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Quote & Print brings your business online with MIS

Monday, 30 October 2006
By Print21

Colanco Printing in Sydney is an enthusiastic user of Quote & Print’s Internet Interface, which allows for client interaction via an internet browser. Such connectivity can open up a fresh approach to business – new customers, new processes and a new way of doing things.

Wayne Bywater (pictured right), general manager at Colanco Printing, fired up Quote & Print’s online module as soon as he arrived at the company in 2004, convinced of its effectiveness after working extensively with the software company over 15 years. Colanco has been offering commercial printing services for nearly 30 years, but Bywater knew it was necessary to take the business online to allow it to maintain its competitive edge.

Colanco specialises in commercial offset and digital, with an HP Indigo digital press complementing the offset Komoris and Heidelbergs. It performs work for a wide variety of clients, mostly in the financial sector but also taking in manufacturing, universities and a bit for the trade.

“I knew the MIS solutions from Quote & Print were the way to go, so I took Colanco down that path as soon as I arrived,” says Bywater. “The company already had an online interface in place, but it just wasn’t up to scratch. Though it was custom built, it lacked a lot of features and was generally inadequate for what was required.”

Quote & Print’s ‘Internet Interface’ on the other hand possessed everything that was needed to provide Colanco’s customers with an online link to the company. Browser-based software that allows business-to-business interaction over the internet, it opens up new possibilities like job tracking, stock level enquiries and online ordering.

Immediate benefit

The most immediate benefit that Colanco enjoyed from the Internet Interface was that it allowed the company to gain new customers. “It’s enabled us to pick up more than a few fresh clients, particularly those who have offices interstate,” says Bywater. “All of a sudden we were offering a highly efficient method of interaction that meant customers didn’t need to be in the same state to easily place an order.”

And he insists such capabilities are definitely becoming more important as clients begin to ask more and more from their printers on the customer service side. “If you haven’t got such capabilities when going for a tender, chances are you’re not going to get the job,” says Bywater. “If you don’t have online capabilities then you don’t have a chance.”

Ordering 24/7

Another visible benefit of Quote & Print’s Internet Interface is that it provides clients with the opportunity to place an order at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Freeing up customers from having to place an order during business hours, it also gives them the opportunity to order without even having to call the office, send a fax or shoot off an email.

“The advantages of these capabilities are obvious, it means we’re not tying up our sales staff with babysitting the jobs,” says Bywater. “It all takes care of itself, and goes right back to the core benefits of MIS – allowing for more to be done with less resources.”

These are not the only ways in which Q&P’s Internet Interface facilitates communication between the printer and client. Its online reporting facilities allow customers to draw on stock through the interface, to see what items are available and how much of it there is. “It gives customers info on the job, on the inventory side of things,” says Bywater. “Which branch requested it, when the request was made, when it left the factory and current stock levels.”

When it comes to security, the module allows for the interaction of each and every customer to be customised by privilege allocation. For instance, the Internet Interface can restrict levels of access to certain people, narrowing it down for some while widening it out for others.

Don’t MIS the boat!

Bywater says his faith in Quote & Print’s software was reflected in how quickly Colanco’s customers took the system up. “Businesses have adapted quite comfortably to the system because of its simplicity,” he says. “The software is user friendly and easy to navigate, and not complex in any way. Fortunately for us, this simplicity applies at the backend as well.”

While Bywater concedes there are printers out in the marketplace who do not share his enthusiasm for MIS – after all, the benefits from money spent on a new press appear a whole lot more tangible – he believes those who neglect such software do it at their peril. “MIS is a vital part of the total service that we offer our customers, and the clients are demanding it more day by day,” he says. “If you don’t provide it, then you could end up in trouble.”

Bywater’s final consensus is that MIS brings extra efficiency and means productivity increases on the factory floor. “It makes money in a roundabout way, and I think a lot of commercial printers are waking up to that.”

This article was brought to you by Quote & Print

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