Coloro

Coloring the world

MultiPress MIS Software helps us control our business and significantly increase our revenue.

MultiPress seamlessly connects production and administration

How Coloro keeps pace with business developments

Coloro is a relatively new company, established only two years ago in 2017. Sampsa Lilja explained: “By the end of 2018, one year after we started, our total revenue was approximately 5 million euro. By the end of the second year – 2019 - we managed to achieve 7 million euro. During the third year, which actually ended this October, we again generated a revenue of 7 million euro, and that is taking into account the fact that we took on a lot of alternative jobs instead of our regular work during the Covid 19 crisis. This year, we had to give the business a complete makeover in our three market segments: exhibitions, events and printing for retail (POS material), as most of the exhibition and events work was cancelled.

We immediately started to develop different kinds of protective clothing for hospitals, face masks and face shields – not too complicated for a printing company working with cutting tables and a textile printer. However, if it weren’t for the Covid crisis, we would have done much better and our revenue would have exceeded 7 million euro, because the company was doing extremely well.”

Coloro, a major print provider based in Finland (Helsinki and Tampere) and employing approximately 50 people, is mainly active in large format work. Sampsa Lilja: “Most of the work involves sign and wide format printing, but we also handle digital printing in smaller formats such as A4 and A3, and we have one screen printing machine. But you could say that wide format printing is our core business.”

Coloro is a relatively new company, established only two years ago in 2017. Sampsa Lilja explained: “By the end of 2018, one year after we started, our total revenue was approximately 5 million euro. By the end of the second year – 2019 - we managed to achieve 7 million euro. During the third year, which actually ended this October, we again generated a revenue of 7 million euro, and that is taking into account the fact that we took on a lot of alternative jobs instead of our regular work during the Covid 19 crisis. This year, we had to give the business a complete makeover in our three market segments: exhibitions, events and printing for retail (POS material), as most of the exhibition and events work was cancelled.

We immediately started to develop different kinds of protective clothing for hospitals, face masks and face shields – not too complicated for a printing company working with cutting tables and a textile printer. However, if it weren’t for the Covid crisis, we would have done much better and our revenue would have exceeded 7 million euro, because the company was doing extremely well.”

Different equipment

Coloro, works for customers in different sectors like pharma, retail, automotive, offering a wide range of products and using Arizona flatbed 6000 printers, roll-to-roll printers such as Canon Colorado, Mimaki and Epson, a textile d.Gen printer and a 1.6 x 2.1 m, 28 m long 4 colour screen printing machine.

Impressive indeed, but Sampsa Lilja, who joined the company one year after it was founded as Director of Business Development, had to deal with the fact that Coloro didn’t employ any kind of MIS system.

Lack of streamlining

He commented: “When I started at Coloro the amount of e-mail traffic throughout the company was huge. The organisation was more or less managed by e-mail. We used standard mail and office applications to run our overall operations: CRM, calculation & estimation, planning, production, stock, logistics and installation. We got an e-mail from a customer, which was then printed, forwarded to production and everyone tried to make the best of it. When the next e-mail arrives from a customer, we often had to ask ourselves: ‘Oh dear, what did we do for them last time?’”

The future is Dataline’s MultiPress

In March 2019 Sampsa Lilja was introduced to Dataline. “It was their Channel partner, NI Solutions, based in Sweden but also operating in Finland, who provided me with the contact, i.e. Markku Rajala introduced us to Dataline and we soon started our MIS discussions.”

MultiPress first steps

Sampsa Lilja: “I initiated the evaluation of Coloro in January 2019. I worked for HP, Indigo and before that Grano, the largest Print provider in Finland where I was Production Manager for 20 years. With my background I am very familiar with multiple, different MIS systems for the printing industry. I previously ran 3 MIS projects myself. In my view the most important aspect was that MultiPress would enable us to achieve what I wanted more than anything: automation, in both sales and production, across the entire workflow. The first thing you have to do is to automate your customer service and then you can start to introduce automation in production, eventually followed by automation of the invoicing system, etc. MultiPress showed me that it can go even further.”

MultiPress is real

He continued: “Analysing your work is not an easy job, it takes time. It involves training your sales team, your administrators and your prepress and print production staff. I put my faith in Dataline MultiPress from the outset. They handled it in an extremely professional manner, arranged several demonstrations and answered a thousand questions. In the end the demos convinced us. Of course, demonstrations are meant to make it look easy, but we felt that the Dataline crew knew exactly what they were talking about. They convinced us that their option far exceeded any of the other possibilities we had seen before. Most other software is not dedicated to graphic arts work and even if it is, it tends not to focus on large format printing, which is quite different because you need specific features.”

Let the numbers speak for themselves

Dataline : “Did you also try the ROI calculator we provide on our website to find out how you can increase your profit by using MultiPress?”

Sampsa Lilja: “Yes I referred to it quite often. I used the ROI calculator combined with my own Excel sheet to attempt some kind of modelling for our own situation. It was most convincing, but [he laughed] you have to be careful with demos.”

One year on

Sampsa Lilja: “We have been using the system now for twelve months, having started in November 2019. We are now able to evaluate the system. Meanwhile, MultiPress introduced more features. I have a direct contact, i.e. a strategic partnership with Dataline. You start to work with the system via modules and yes, it is an ongoing process. First, we were able to do a calculation, then generate a job ticket and eventually produce the invoice. Meanwhile you also have to train your workforce.”

More automation

He summarized: “One year on we are introducing more and more automation, with MultiPress and Enfocus Switch (integrated into the MultiPress environment). We are also looking at new features, but this has to be approached and implemented in stages.”

What are the new features?

  • “We plan to use the Installation App, which allows to follow up installation on premise of large format jobs. Being able to use your mobile phone for installation follow up is an impressive feature. We decided to wait until we had gained appropriate knowledge and experience to handle it. Interesting tool? Yes, absolutely!”
  • Control Cockpit, to check prepress files already in the administration phase. “Yes, we are using it. We introduced it 4 months ago. It is based on an extremely powerful PDF tool. How to truly automate your customer service. Anyone can take a file, check it, repair it and impose it. It is an excellent tool.”
  • Campaign converter: Sampsa Lilja: “Yes, I am familiar with it. My feedback from our customers is: we have not just one product, but multiple orders in one job. In that sense Campaign converter is in fact a basic tool, not just nice to have, but necessary.”
  • 100% control? Sampsa Lilja: “Automation starts with customer service, but you have to get your customers involved in the system. It doesn’t quite fully meet our needs at the moment, we are implementing different store fronts. We need even more features, connected with MultiPress through an API.”

Sampsa Lilja is convinced that the latter will become extremely important going forward in the graphic arts industry. “The system has to be similar to that used by Amazon for instance: one click ordering. However, I am convinced that this is currently impossible to achieve in our graphic arts industry. Interesting is that Dataline can do it. We handle over 1,000 orders per month, which involves a huge amount of data. All this data is included in the PDF and is only one click away. Our MIS will then also be a platform for our business, integrating different kinds of selling channels, similar to web shops, integrating directly with customers and a b-to-b channel.”

  • What about the Dashboard application? Sampsa Lilja: “Dashboard is something that we really need. We are currently using another tool, which is not integrated into the system. It is better to have it in the MultiPress system so that you can generate different reports and dashboards. In today’s business environment you really need to be able to visualize data.”

He continued: “People in the company who would like to work with this kind of option would have a much clearer view of what’s going on, particularly in sales and production.”

Training is key

Sampsa Lilja: “We deal with a lot of employees. Even though we introduced extensive training, we still had to double it. Some are quick learners; others need to be told three or four times. It is complicated of course when you aim to automate your company’s entire organisation. That goes without saying.”

How difficult or easy is MultiPress in this case? “It can be really easy if you are able to work with the wizards. There are so many ways to build up your orders. Most of our staff, however, like the system. They recognise the results in terms of making their work much easier.”

What kind of savings can be made?

Some figures state that we save 750 euro/month per person. It is difficult to measure though. However, without the system we would encounter many problems. We cannot do without it nowadays.”

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