Find answers to your burning questions!
Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions to help you understand us that little bit better. However, some of these answers may vary from region to region, so if you do have a question, get in touch and we'll happily fill you in.
Is Tharstern software only for the print industry?
Broadly, yes. But we have companies who label themselves as being in the mailing, communication and fulfillment industries, to name a few.
Is Tharstern a UK company?
Our headquarters are based in Colne, Lancashire, in the UK. However, we also have a sister company, Tharstern USA who have headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and we have distributors of our software in Australia and New Zealand.
Where did the name Tharstern come from?
This is actually a funny story. There is no Ms or Mr Tharstern, it’s not the name of anybody or anything, it’s not an abbreviation or two words joined together. It was actually from an off the shelf company package which our founding owner, Keith Harrison, chose. He was an accountant and was notoriously tight. He bought an off the shelf package that already had a name which most people decide to change. However, Keith refused to pay the small fee to change the name and so Tharstern it was. 39 years later it’s a bit late to change it, but we wouldn’t want to anyway! We’ve all grown to love it.
How often is a new version of Tharstern available? Do I have to upgrade it?
We operate to an agile development methodology and work in timeboxes which generally last a month. At the end of each timebox, we release an update to the software with all the development that has taken place in that past timebox. Major versions of the software where there are significant changes to either functionality or appearance only happen every year or two.
Yes, you do have to upgrade it. Upgrades aren’t automatic, and this is a decision that is made based on the fact that most of our customers don’t want their software upgrading automatically, they want to request when it happens at a time that’s convenient to them, so that’s the approach we take. We’re proactive in asking people to upgrade and we will set an appointment at a date and time that is convenient for that particular customer and then upgrade it. Updates for new builds don’t take long to update at all, but it may take longer to upgrade to a major new version if you want/require some training. But that is by the choice of the customer.
Does Tharstern come in other languages?
No, just English.
How is Tharstern licensed?
Tharstern is SaaS based and our users pay monthly for their subscription. We have two subscription levels - Standard and Premium, which you can read more about here.
Do I have to buy a minimum amount of licenses?
Is Tharstern SaaS based (Software as a Service)?
Yes, Tharstern is SaaS based, with our users being billed monthly for their software subscription.
How much does Tharstern cost?
This can vary based on the level of specialist functionality you require and the level of automation and integration you want to achieve, but our Standard subscription starts at $525/£375 per month.
How long does Tharstern take to set-up?
Every company has different resources, skills and culture, and so we always adapt our approach to what best suits that particular company. To do this, it means that set-up can take anything from 3 months to a year. Though some have taken shorter and some longer - it's all about what's right for the customer.
Do I own the software once I’ve installed it?
No, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to continue your use of the software. But the data within it is yours and you own that. You are free to take that out whenever you want it and we don’t have access to it unless granted by the customer.
Is Tharstern developed in the UK?
Yes, we have a team of developers at our UK headquarters in Colne. We also have a team of remote developers who we use from time to time.
Isn’t Tharstern just for litho printers?
No, one of our USPs is that we support all the major disciplines of print within the same software system, which is great for our customers because they can have different types of machines and still use the one system. If they want to diversify in the future, we’ve got them covered.
Can Tharstern help small print companies?
Yes absolutely! We have many small print customers who have chosen Tharstern because they know they won’t have to migrate to a different MIS when they grow.
Which countries do you sell Tharstern in?
We sell Tharstern in a number of different countries including the UK and Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa but we’re happy to speak to companies in other countries provided that they are comfortable with the software only being available in English.
Can I use Tharstern on a Mac?
Sales, CSRs and estimating teams can use any device they like to create and track quotes, RFQs and orders, including Macs. For other MIS functionality such as job management and reporting, you can use an application such as Parallels software to create a windows environment on a Mac.
Can I use Tharstern on my smartphone or tablet?
Yes, dependent on your role. We've developed multiple interfaces to our software to cater for the requirements of different roles within a printing company. Sales, CSR and estimating teams can create and track quotes, RFQs and orders on any device, in any location. Shop floor technicians can use tablets to record production operations, and warehouse staff can use barcode scanners or smartphones to carry out warehousing activities. Other functionality such as job management and reporting does need a PC to use.
Are your employees from a print background?
All of our customer facing team are from either a print background, a technical background or both. We also have lots of technical people such as our team of developers and integration specialists. You can check out our meet the team page to find out more about our people as they discuss their role at Tharstern and their previous experience in the industry!
Why do I need a print MIS?
An MIS will sit at the heart of your business and help you gather accurate information, improve business processes, increase efficiency, build customer relationships and make it easier to run all the departments in your print business from one place.
Why should my MIS have an API?
If your MIS has a built-in API, you’ll be better able to customize your system and will never be restricted to who you can work with. Using the API to integrate your MIS with other vendors makes it easier to share data between applications, improves the quality of your information and future-proofs your investment.
What is print automation?
Print automation is about removing unnecessary manual work and touchpoints from production processes, and freeing up time which could be spent on more complex jobs. Utilising technology and creating automated workflows also helps to speed up estimate and job lifecycles.
How do I implement a print MIS?
You’ll work alongside your MIS provider to formulate a project plan which covers your vision and goals, collate the data you need and build your project team. Your MIS partner then builds and installs your software, before beginning training and the testing period.
Learn more about the 9 steps of an implementation project with our FREE implementation workbook.
What is a print workflow?
A print workflow is the process through which your jobs flow – from the initial quote through to production and delivery. Print Workflows can be manual or they can be automated using technology.