Fast expanding Leicester printer Flexpress has implemented an Imprint MIS on the back of pressroom and bindery expansion.
It is a case of third time lucky for the company, having tried and not settled with systems from two previous suppliers, which led to running a home grown system for a number of years.
With the growth of online ordering, the time had come to look again at what a specialist company could provide. The company has grown from £650,000 sales in 2010 to £1.8 million last year, beyond what the existing system could cope with.
Managing director Steve Wenlock says: “I wrote the MIS that we currently use in 2007. It was designed when we were turning over less than half a million pounds, and it was fine then. The company is a different animal now and that system is creaking at the seams. What we needed was a system that was right for us at the stage we are now and also able to see us through the future, no matter how we grow.”
This includes the Imprint Expert estimating module, shop floor data collection and integration with a Vpress web to print implementation gathering online orders. But it was a not an overnight decision.
Wenlock says that the decision to opt for Imprint followed 18 months of research into what was available on the market, demonstrations and visits as well as deep consideration of how the Flexpress business might develop. “The key buying criteria for the Imprint MIS was that it was substantial enough to support our growth,” says Wenlock.
There is support for an expansion into large format printing, which had never been included in its existing MIS. “The ‘fag packet’ method is not very good when it comes to scheduling. That’s a very important point. Another key fact was that Imprint is very receptive to doing custom programming, which is commendable. Other companies say they will develop something if enough people ask for it. Imprint just does it anyway if they feel it will benefit enough of their customers.”
The system is due to go live in Leicester next month with Wenlock looking for benefits in accuracy speed and flexibility of costing, estimating and scheduling. It will allow the company to become more proactive than reactive he explains. It will allow for future growth, particularly as non skilled admin staff will be able to generate a basic quote, taking pressure off estimators.
And the experience with Imprint to date has been positive: “They are receptive to feedback, they take on board what we say and they do something about it, which is as much as you can ask of any supplier. At this stage I am happy with the way things have progressed.”
The investment in an Imprint MIS follows on the heels of the investment in a pair of Ryobi presses followed earlier this year by the UK's first Duplo iSaddle to cope with growing demand for booklets.