Digital Printing

Business success through MIS integration

the sense that, taking plate making out of the scenario makes a digital output device easier to integrate with other workflow systems. Not to say that offset isn’t a candidate for automation but digital got out ahead of it. At its simplest, a digital press can be integrated with the same technology that connects proofers, printers or wide-format inkjets. For any integrations, no matter the device, today’s business and technical environments require a tightly knit workflow that communicates with MIS.


Management Information Systems are a must-have. They are the brains of the operation and print service providers rely heavily on them. The number of MIS software providers is astounding. It’s a daunting task to choose the right one for any particular business. A Google search for “mis software for print business,” found over 40 million results. Sure, that’s a misleading number, but glancing at the first five pages of results reveals quite a few different solutions. There must be common and unique

he digital printing workflow, in general, has lent itself to automation more readily than traditional offset. That is, in

features among them, and in the end, there’s one for every business.

SYSTEM COMMUNICATION Putting faith in an MIS is easy when a business is a direct manufacturer. It’s easy when the products or services provided are built to order. However, in the wild west nature of print, there is always an exception, there’s always a rush job and there’s always a monkey wrench somewhere in the works. An MIS should be able to deal with these types of anomalies, especially since print production anomalies are commonplace.. The only way an MIS can be effective past releasing a job “into the wild” is if it maintains accurate data about job status. There has to be two-way communication between the brain and the limbs of the business.

PLANNING COMPLICATIONS Planning jobs is handled quite intelligently by most MIS software. Many use algorithms or logic that borders on AI. Systems are considering substrates, device capabilities, imposition variants and workload. Any business owner who has recently looked into MIS will be impressed with the options. As is the situation with hiccups or anomalies,

communication throughout the business becomes increasingly important where multiple sites are part of the puzzle. Powerful MIS can and should be able to keep track of business operations as a whole. But again, the effectiveness is dependent upon maintaining dynamic job data. Paper job tickets fall incredibly short at job data. Many print shops get paper job tickets that travel through the workflow and come back to billing full of hand-scribbled notes. Without this information getting back to MIS, the situation may never get better.


Integrating MIS with production is key. Accurate data is king. Manually making updates to job status and costing is a start, but it’s often delayed and there is opportunity for error. Two-way communication or, better still, multi-way communication throughout production is paramount.

Business success is relying more on improving automation. That doesn’t mean that it’s too late to get started. It does mean that integration on the business level, not just in production, should be the goal.



November 2020

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