How to choose the best MIS software and partner for your label business
Do you need some advice for choosing the right MIS or ERP partner for your label business? You’ve come to the right place!
These are the top 10 key things you should look for when choosing which label MIS software is best for you.
1. Does the software meet your business needs?
Label MIS software sits at the heart of your business and touches every department. So it’s pretty important that you choose the right one.
Before rushing into anything, take the time to evaluate your business processes and decide which ones could be improved or automated. It’s also a good idea to research the types of software available to you that you might need.
Reading through our Technology guide would be a great place to start. There’s no hard sell, we just wanted to share our expertise on the software available to printing and converting businesses.
You also need to understand the challenges that your team are facing and create a list of requirements that will help overcome them.
Here are a few examples of items you might put on your requirements list:
- We need a way to quote for peel-and-reveal labels more easily and consistently.
- We’re not getting quotes back to customers fast enough and we want to speed things up.
- We want something to help us keep track of quotes and highlight ones that need following up.
Then you need to check each label MIS solution you’re looking at fits with these challenges. Sign up for a free trial if they offer one or speak to the software provider to arrange a demo.
2. How is training delivered?
If you need training before getting started with the software, are you happy with how this is delivered?
If you prefer self-learning, check if they have an online learning academy.
If personal 121 training is better suited to you, make sure this is offered. Also check whether this is done via online sessions, or whether they offer to send a member of the team to your company to deliver the training.
Here at Tharstern, we don’t take a one size fits all approach. We understand that everyone has different preferences when it comes to training, and so we offer all the options mentioned above. As part of a subscription to Tharstern Cloud, users can access their very own online training academy to learn as they go while using the software!
3. Do you want an MIS partner? Or just the software?
Either of these options is fine, but the type of supplier you’re looking for might be slightly different.
If you want more out of this investment than just some cool software, you’ll want to make sure the business offers this too. Do they promote that they’ll work as part of your team? Offer you advice and guidance on how to continually evolve your technology stack?
4. What is their pricing model?
The way MIS software is priced varies for every different supplier. Some require a big upfront cost for the first year, followed by a smaller annual fee. Some offer a monthly subscription that allows you to cancel anytime.
Whichever you would prefer, make sure the software you choose uses that model.
5. Does the software meet your cybersecurity requirements?
According to the 2023 Global Software Buying Trends survey from Gartner Digital Markets, 42% of people see security as the most important factor to consider when buying software. And with an increasing number of cybersecurity attacks hitting the headlines, it’s fair to assume that this number will only continue to rise.
That’s why you should make sure the software you choose is hosted on a secure platform that will protect your business from cyber criminals.
Tharstern Cloud, our MIS for label and converting businesses, was built on cloud-native technologies. It’s hosted on Microsoft Azure and offers world-class security, so our users can be confident that their data is protected from theft and damage.
6. Does the software meet your connectivity requirements?
By connecting your technology stack together, you can digitize your business and streamline your processes. But to do this, you need a label MIS with good connectivity functionality.
The solution you choose needs to have a comprehensive API that lets you create custom integrations without your MIS partner needing to be involved. Of course, if you need their help, your MIS partner will be more than happy to oblige, but the best scenario is to have both options available to you.
Something else to look out for is if the solution has a connection to Zapier. It’s a no-code automation platform that allows you to set up your own integrations without needing any coding knowledge whatsoever.
Most MIS providers will promote their integration capabilities on the website, so a quick browse should give you the answers you need.
7. What is their technical support like?
Having access to valuable technical support is an important part of your MIS partnership. A couple of things to consider:
- How big is the support team?
- Where are the support team located?
- Do they support your time zone?
- Do they have online resources that you can access for self-help?
- Are you able to speak to a person, or is it just a bot?
8. Are there any financial penalties for cancelling?
In an ideal world, this isn’t something you should need to worry about. But there's nothing wrong with protecting yourself against the unforeseeable. So be sure to check that you’re not tied into a long contract with financial penalties for early cancellation.
9. Do they have a product roadmap to show continued development?
It’s important to make sure that the label MIS you subscribe to isn’t in ‘maintenance mode’ and that the supplier is demonstrating their commitment to continuous development.
If they do have a roadmap, you can be confident you’ll see consistent new tools and features added to the software. Just ask the software supplier for this information, and they should be able to help.
TOP TIP - We also recommend seeing if the MIS providers run regular user events. Product roadmaps, new features and integration updates are the types of sessions run at software user events like this. Here at Tharstern, we run annual user events in both the UK and US, showcasing everything new in the software and catching up with customers.
10. Do customers have input into the new features created?
A software company shouldn’t decide on the new features that go into a product – their customers should. This is the only way to guarantee that the label MIS software will continue to meet real market needs and overcome industry challenges.
So you ideally want to choose a supplier that asks their customers for input. Look out for things like an ‘Ideas Wall’, where customers can send in their suggestions and vote for others, and User Groups.
If you keep these 10 things in mind when searching for an MIS for your label business, and make sure you’re clear on what your business needs to help it succeed, you should find it much easier to choose the right supplier for you.
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