Understanding the Difference Between Print MIS and ERP Systems

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The terms Print MIS and ERP get thrown around quite a lot in manufacturing and printing companies. Whether it’s a label printer, flexible packaging manufacturer, or a make-to-stock manufacturer, each one of these companies is using an ERP or MIS.

To keep things short, a Print MIS and ERP are very similar. The main difference is that a Print MIS has a few out of the box features that print manufacturers need that an ERP doesn’t have.

If you’re running a print manufacturing company that has outgrown basic accounting systems like QuickBooks, you’re likely searching for an upgrade. Luckily, we’re here to guide you through the decision-making process. Now, let’s dive into the details of Print MIS vs ERP systems.

What is the Difference Between Print MIS vs ERP Systems?

The difference between a Print MIS (Management Information System) and an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system can be a bit nuanced, but it mainly lies in their scope and functionality. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

  1. Scope: A Print MIS system is primarily focused on managing the unique processes and workflows within the print industry. It provides specialized features and functionalities specific to print manufacturing, such as estimating, job planning, production scheduling, inventory management, and job tracking. A Print MIS system is designed to cater to the specific needs of print companies and optimize their print-related operations.
  2. Industry Focus: While a Print MIS system is specifically tailored for the print industry, an ERP system is designed to be industry-agnostic and can be used in various sectors. ERP systems aim to provide a general solution that can be adapted to different industries with customizable features and modules.
  3. Functionality: Print MIS systems focus on print-specific functionalities, such as estimating print jobs, managing print production workflows, tracking inventory of print materials, and generating reports related to print manufacturing processes. These systems are optimized to handle the unique requirements of print companies and provide tools for efficient management of print-related operations.
  4. Integration: While both Print MIS and ERP systems can integrate with other software applications, the level of integration may differ. Print MIS systems often provide integration options with accounting software, allowing companies to connect their MIS system with their preferred accounting solution. This integration ensures a seamless flow of data between the print-specific operations and financial management.

In summary, the main difference between a Print MIS and an ERP system lies in their focus, scope, and functionality. A Print MIS system caters specifically to the print industry and provides specialized tools for managing print-related processes.

The Difference between Print MIS and ERP Systems

Evolution of Print MIS and ERP Systems

The journey of Print MIS and ERP systems dates back to the 1960s and 1970s when early business software started making its mark. These systems initially found their place in large Fortune 100 businesses, with manufacturing companies leading the charge due to their complex requirements.

During this time, two key components emerged: accounting software and inventory management software known as Material Resource Planning (MRP). As technology advanced, both the accounting and MRP modules grew more sophisticated, with each incorporating functionalities from the other. This convergence allowed smaller businesses to afford and benefit from these systems.

However, as the capabilities expanded, the challenge arose in finding suitable terms to describe these evolving software packages. The traditional term MRP no longer captured the breadth of features, as it now encompassed not only inventory management but also production scheduling, management, and accounting integration. In the 1980s and 1990s, new terms emerged, including MRP2, MIS, and ERP, which aimed to capture the evolving nature of these systems.

In today’s context, ERP refers to a comprehensive software package that integrates various aspects of a business, such as accounting, production scheduling, material handling, warehousing, MRP capabilities, and even customer relationship management (CRM). It serves as a centralized hub that streamlines operations and enhances overall efficiency.

MIS and ERP Systems Today

Traditional Print MIS systems did not typically incorporate accounting directly within the system. Instead, they provided the ability to connect with external accounting systems like Dynamics GP or QuickBooks. This differentiation led to the persistence of the term MIS, which specifically denoted the print-related capabilities of the system.

In recent times, modern print MIS systems have begun embracing the term ERP as they have started incorporating accounting functionalities within their platforms. For example, the EPS Systems Pace Software Package is now referred to as Pace ERP/MIS or Pace ERP in marketing collateral. This trend indicates a shift toward aligning with the broader ERP concept while maintaining the distinctive print MIS capabilities.

Furthermore, there has been a recent trend where mainstream ERP vendors, like Microsoft, are beginning to incorporate print-specific capabilities into their systems. These vendors are recognizing the importance of catering to the unique requirements of the print industry. For instance, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central offers the PrintVis add-on, which seamlessly integrates print MIS capabilities into the ERP system. This integration allows for the unified management of print-related processes within the broader ERP framework.

The terminologies of Print MIS and ERP have evolved over time, with MIS historically referring to systems that integrated production scheduling, material planning, and estimating, while ERP encompassed broader business management capabilities. However, with the growing inclusion of accounting features in modern print MIS systems and the integration of print capabilities in ERP systems, the lines between the two have become blurred. While the industry still retains the term MIS to distinguish print-specific functionalities, the trend leans towards adopting the ERP label. Stay tuned as we explore further insights into the print industry’s embrace of ERP systems and the future landscape of Print MIS and ERP integration.

Understanding the Difference Between Print MIS vs ERP Systems

The Significance of Print MIS and ERP Systems for Print Manufacturing Companies

Now that we understand the evolution and relationship between Print MIS and ERP systems, let’s dive into why these systems are crucial for print manufacturing companies, especially those on the smaller side of the spectrum.

  1. Streamlined Operations: Print MIS and ERP systems bring order and efficiency to print manufacturing processes. By centralizing key functionalities like estimating, production scheduling, inventory management, and accounting, these systems eliminate silos and streamline operations. This integration enhances productivity, minimizes errors, and ensures smoother collaboration across departments.
  2. Accurate Estimating and Pricing: One of the vital aspects of print manufacturing is accurate estimating and pricing. Print MIS and ERP systems enable businesses to generate precise estimates based on various factors such as materials, labor, equipment usage, and overhead costs. This functionality allows for accurate pricing and helps companies maintain profitability while remaining competitive in the market.
  3. Improved Resource Planning: Effective resource planning is crucial for print manufacturing companies to optimize their use of materials, equipment, and labor. Print MIS and ERP systems provide comprehensive resource management capabilities, allowing businesses to monitor inventory levels, track equipment utilization, and allocate resources efficiently. This helps minimize waste, reduce downtime, and maximize overall productivity.
  4. Enhanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Print MIS and ERP systems often incorporate CRM functionalities, enabling companies to manage their customer interactions and relationships more effectively. With features like customer data management, order tracking, and personalized communication, businesses can provide superior customer service, improve client satisfaction, and foster long-term partnerships.
  5. Financial Visibility and Reporting: Accounting integration within Print MIS and ERP systems provides financial visibility and reporting capabilities. Companies can track revenue, costs, and profit margins in real-time, enabling informed decision-making and financial planning. These systems also generate accurate financial reports, simplifying compliance with auditing and financial regulations.
  6. Scalability and Growth Potential: As print manufacturing companies grow, their operational needs evolve. Print MIS and ERP systems offer scalability, allowing businesses to expand their operations seamlessly. With the ability to handle increasing volumes of orders, manage larger inventories, and accommodate more complex production schedules, these systems support companies in their growth journey.

Print MIS and ERP systems play a pivotal role in the success of print manufacturing companies. By integrating essential functionalities, streamlining operations, enabling accurate estimating and pricing, facilitating resource planning, improving CRM, providing financial visibility, and offering scalability, these systems empower businesses to thrive in a competitive industry.

Choosing the Right Print MIS or ERP System for Your Print Manufacturing Company

When selecting a Print MIS or ERP system for your manufacturing company, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and supports your business growth. Here are key features and considerations to keep in mind during the decision-making process:

  1. Print-Specific Capabilities: As a print manufacturing company, it’s crucial to choose a system that caters to the unique requirements of the print industry. Look for features like print estimating, job management, production scheduling, inventory management, and integration with print-specific equipment and software. This ensures that the system can handle the intricacies of print manufacturing processes effectively.
  2. Seamless Integration: Consider the system’s ability to integrate with other essential software and tools used in your operations. Look for compatibility with accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, e-commerce platforms, and other specialized print software. Seamless integration eliminates data silos, streamlines workflows, and improves overall efficiency.
  3. Scalability and Flexibility: Evaluate the system’s scalability and flexibility to accommodate your company’s growth. As your business expands, the system should be able to handle increased order volumes, inventory management, and production complexities without significant disruptions. Ensure that the system allows for easy customization and adaptability to evolving business needs.
  4. User-Friendly Interface: A user-friendly interface is crucial to ensure smooth adoption and usability by your team. Look for systems with intuitive navigation, clear workflows, and customizable dashboards. Training and support resources should also be readily available to help your employees become proficient in using the system effectively.
  5. Vendor Expertise and Support: Assess the vendor’s expertise and experience in the print industry. Consider their track record in delivering reliable software solutions and their ability to provide ongoing support and updates. Look for vendors that understand the unique challenges of print manufacturing and offer responsive customer support to address any issues that may arise.

By carefully considering these features and factors, you can select a Print MIS or ERP system that best fits your manufacturing company’s needs. Remember to involve key stakeholders, conduct demos and trials, and gather feedback from industry peers to make an informed decision.

Best Practices for Implementing and Adopting a Print MIS/ERP System

Implementing a Print MIS or ERP system is a significant undertaking for any print manufacturing company. To ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of the new system, it is essential to follow best practices throughout the implementation and adoption process. Consider the following guidelines:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Begin by establishing clear objectives for implementing the Print MIS or ERP system. Identify the specific pain points you aim to address, such as improving efficiency, reducing costs, or enhancing customer satisfaction. These objectives will serve as guiding principles throughout the implementation process.
  2. Conduct a Comprehensive Needs Assessment: Perform a thorough needs assessment to identify the specific requirements of your print manufacturing company. Engage key stakeholders, including department heads and end-users, to gather input and insights. Evaluate existing workflows, pain points, and desired functionalities to ensure the system aligns with your unique business needs.
  3. Choose the Right Vendor: Selecting the right vendor is critical to the success of your implementation. Look for vendors with a proven track record in the print industry and extensive experience in implementing Print MIS or ERP systems. Evaluate their product features, scalability, customer support, and implementation methodologies. Request demos and references to gauge their compatibility with your organization.
  4. Plan for Data Migration and Integration: Carefully plan for data migration from existing systems to the new Print MIS or ERP system. Ensure data accuracy, integrity, and security during the transfer process. Consider integration requirements with other software and tools used in your print manufacturing operations, such as accounting software or CRM systems. Establish a clear strategy for seamless data integration.
  5. Allocate Adequate Resources: Allocate the necessary resources, both human and financial, to support the implementation process. Assign a dedicated project team consisting of key stakeholders and subject matter experts. Provide them with the time and tools needed to collaborate effectively and ensure the project’s success. Secure appropriate budgetary allocations to cover implementation costs, training, and ongoing system maintenance.
  6. Plan for Change Management: Recognize that implementing a Print MIS or ERP system will bring about significant changes in processes and workflows. Develop a comprehensive change management plan that addresses employee concerns, fosters buy-in, and ensures smooth adoption. Communicate the benefits of the new system, provide training and support, and create a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  7. Conduct Thorough Testing and Training: Before fully implementing the system, conduct thorough testing to identify and resolve any issues or bugs. Develop a comprehensive training program to ensure all users understand the system’s functionalities and how to leverage them effectively. Provide ongoing support and training opportunities to keep employees engaged and confident in using the system.
  8. Monitor and Evaluate Performance: Once the system is implemented, closely monitor its performance and evaluate key metrics to measure its impact on your print manufacturing operations. Regularly assess the system’s effectiveness in meeting your objectives and identify areas for improvement. Utilize the system’s reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights and make data-driven decisions.

By following these best practices, you can set the stage for a successful implementation and adoption of a Print MIS or ERP system. Embrace the transformative potential of these systems to optimize your print manufacturing operations, enhance productivity, and drive long-term business growth.

Why Sabre Uses PrintVis as an MIS Solution

Several years ago I was contacted by a magazine printing company about their ERP system. I looked on the Internet and did some research and found an add-on for Microsoft Dynamics called PrintVis. I had a conversation with the sales Rep and found out that the product looked really good, and might be a good fit for this company. When I called them back a few days later they had decided not to look and I set the information aside and forgot about it.

About a year after that another company reached out to me, the printed labels for packaging. This seems similar and so I decided to call the same guy from before, and ask him if PrintVis handled labels.

It turns out that PrintVis handles label printing really well.  

I arranged to visit the client, and have one of the PrintVis technicians demonstrate their product. After arriving at the company, and setting up in the boardroom, a German consultant came on and remotely presented on my computer and began demonstrating PrintVis.

To my surprise, after about 30 minutes the customer stopped the demonstration. He said “I don’t need to see anymore!” I thought he was gonna throw me out of his boardroom. Instead he said “this is exactly what we need in our company.”  

Despite the fact that I didn’t make that sale, I realized this was a really impressive product. I decided that year that we would start selling PrintVis and have not looked back since. 

At Sabre Limited, we understand the importance of selecting the right Print MIS system to meet the unique needs of print manufacturing companies. Our preferred choice of an MIS is PrintVis. PrintVis is actually an AppSource add-on to Microsoft Dynamics that makes it an incredible solution for print manufacturing companies.

Here are some of the reasons that you should consider PrintVis:

  1. Seamless Integration: PrintVis is designed as an add-on for Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, one of the leading ERP systems in the market. This integration provides a seamless experience, combining the power of ERP functionalities with print-specific capabilities. By leveraging the strong foundation of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, PrintVis ensures a robust and unified platform for managing all aspects of print manufacturing operations.
  2. Comprehensive Print-Specific Features: PrintVis offers a comprehensive set of print-specific features that are essential for efficient print manufacturing management. From estimating and job planning to production scheduling and inventory control, PrintVis covers the entire spectrum of print-specific workflows. It enables accurate job costing, enhances resource allocation, facilitates production tracking, and streamlines order fulfillment, ultimately leading to improved productivity and profitability.
  3. Enhanced Visibility and Control: With PrintVis, you gain enhanced visibility and control over your print manufacturing processes. The system provides real-time insights into job statuses, production bottlenecks, resource utilization, and overall operational performance. This information empowers us to make data-driven decisions, optimize workflows, and proactively address any issues that may arise. The ability to monitor and track every stage of the print production cycle ensures efficiency, quality control, and customer satisfaction.
  4. Flexibility and Scalability: PrintVis is highly flexible and scalable, making it suitable for print manufacturing companies of all sizes. Whether you are a small print shop or a larger commercial printer, PrintVis can be tailored to meet your specific needs. As your business grows, PrintVis can accommodate increased volumes, additional production lines, and evolving requirements, ensuring that your MIS system remains aligned with your business goals and objectives.

Conclusion: Harnessing the Power of Print MIS and ERP Systems in Print Manufacturing

In today’s rapidly evolving print manufacturing landscape, leveraging the power of Print MIS and ERP systems has become increasingly crucial for companies of all sizes. These systems offer a comprehensive solution to streamline operations, optimize processes, and drive business growth. As we conclude this article, let’s recap the key points discussed and emphasize the importance of embracing these technologies:

  • Understanding the Terminology: Print MIS (Management Information System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are terms often used interchangeably in the print industry. While there may be semantic differences, the software capabilities are quite similar, with the main distinction being the integration of accounting functionalities within ERP systems.
  • Evolution of Print MIS and ERP: Print MIS and ERP systems have evolved over time, initially catering to larger manufacturing businesses and gradually becoming accessible to smaller companies. Modern Print MIS systems are now incorporating accounting functionalities, blurring the line between MIS and ERP. Conversely, traditional ERP vendors are incorporating print-specific capabilities into their systems..
  • Best Practices for Implementation: Implementing and adopting a Print MIS or ERP system requires careful planning and execution. Key best practices include defining clear objectives, conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, selecting the right vendor, planning for data migration and integration, allocating adequate resources, implementing change management strategies, conducting thorough testing and training, and continuously monitoring and evaluating performance.

By embracing Print MIS and ERP systems, print manufacturing companies can unlock numerous benefits, including streamlined operations, improved productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction, and sustainable growth.

Want to learn more?

If you have any further questions about Print MIS or ERP systems, feel free to give us a call at: (519) 585-7524 or contact our team, we’re always excited to talk!

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