Should you opt for generic or sector-specific software?
The quality of a graphics company can often be measured by the calibre of the businesses it works for. Opticom, a sign-making company from Olen, is a clear leader—just take a look at the impressive list of large national brands among its customers: Sigma Coatings, Decathlon, the Flemish government, Astra Sweets, AS Adventure, Brantano, Dockx, Spar, and many more. The hard-working firm from the Campine has everything under one roof. A full-service sign company, in other words. With 25 employees, including a number of its own installers, Opticom is able to offer a broad range of large-format and sign products: outdoor advertising (façades, sports fields), indoor advertising (relief letters, wall decorations), flags, pop-up stands and banners, signposting, signage, and fleet marketing, as well as solar protection and anti-theft films. Quite a broad portfolio. But how are things behind the scenes?
Generic software, not designed for sign applications
For their administration, the graphics company has taken a number of necessary steps. After all, investments in hardware should ideally be followed by investments in software. Otherwise, the machines will never achieve the desired return on investment. Until now, Opticom has been working with an old Filemaker setup. The company was growing but the back office wasn’t growing with it. And then you have to look for a solution. But where do you look at first? The management first explored more generic business software such as AFAS and TCOG (Microsoft). But it soon became clear that they would not be able to fulfil the specific requirements of an ambitious sign company.
Efficiency is key!
The solution came via a new employee, who had joined from an affiliated company where MultiPress had been used very successfully to automate the workflow. This made the sales process more efficient than ever: an e-mail, a phone call, a demo, a quotation, and a discussion—and everything was signed and sealed. Managing directors Bart Zwysen and his wife saw something they’d known that they needed since long: an integrated system for calculations, quotations, orders, production, installation, and invoicing. And it had a module specifically for large format and sign! And so Opticom’s continued growth is now assured.
Three reasons to choose sector-specific software
The large-format module in MultiPress includes all the specific parameters required. Three specific reasons why specific software is a powerful step forward for any large-format company.
- Accurate cost calculation by transparent calculating the machine speed and the material price, such as ink and number of square metres of paper. Because the module includes a breakdown per panel and per machine, the result is a more accurate production time, making planning even more precise!
- All variables are taken over using a linear link to the finishing stage. This undoubtedly saves an enormous amount of time in production as well as calculation! Extra automation is also provided for calculating the separate parts if a customer requests a format that is larger than the material format. This may be the case with façade cladding, for example.
- Creating templates with pre-defined parameters is now a walk in the park. Creating similar jobs, including quotations and invoicing, is possible with a few mouse clicks. Post-production and material use are linked directly to the printed material. In this way, a standard library is created, where the print run and format are variables.
This makes it possible, for example, to determine in real time—during the calculation–which jobs are worth accepting. It makes life easier for the accountants, too. As a graphics company, MultiPress keeps you one step ahead of the competition!