New System Saves Time
Like many in-plants, Central Michigan University Printing Services used to do all of its estimates by hand. But over the past year-and-a-half, the 15-employee Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in-plant has been phasing in the Programmed Solutions Print Management System. Today, estimating is a whole new ball game.
"Now we can build a template and then when we get the call for an estimate that's very similar, we can just call up the template and modify it," explains Rhonda Kohler, director. "You can have similar estimates in minutes."
Now, she says, order-entry clerks are able to do standard estimates themselves, whereas in the past Kohler and her assistant director had to do them.
Kohler lauds the time-saving benefits of the system. For instance, when a job is first entered, the customer data automatically goes onto the shipping labels and the receiver slips that customers must sign.
"We only have to enter everything once," she enthuses.
The system is very close to being fully implemented at the in-plant. The billing application is still undergoing some modifications to enable it to interface with the accounts payable department, but the job tracking, job ticketing, and material and labor cost retrieval functions have all been running smoothly.
The key to to success with such a system, Kohler says, lies in how well you build your database. Chris Bradshaw, assistant director, spent a lot of time doing this. Now his hard work is paying off with tremendous time savings.
Implementing a management system in an environment that was not very computer literate was a challenge, Kohler says. Her employees were nervous at first—but they quickly caught on.
"The ones that you thought would have the most problem with it were the ones that really did a great job," she says. They ended up finding and correcting some bugs in the system.