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What Software do I need?

What software do flexible packaging converters use to manage their business?

The following article contains an overview of the different types of software applications that are typically used by flexible packaging businesses. This includes software used in all the different areas of the business workflow, not just production, and includes the initial sales enquiry right through to warehousing and invoicing.

What is the most used software in the flexible packaging industry?

The most important piece of software used by flexible packaging converters is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Management Information (MIS) solution. You may also see it referred to as the following:

An ERP/MIS is basically the core software application that flexible packaging converters use to manage the lifecycle of the products they manufacture, and it encompasses every area of their business in one way or another. Flexible packaging converters will use the software for the following types of activities:

  • Creating quotes and quote letters
  • Creating targeted marketing campaigns
  • Scheduling production
  • Creating financial documents
  • Checking substrate levels and placing orders
  • Managing warehousing and inventory
  • And much more!

Ecommerce / Storefront software for flexible packaging converters

Sometimes referred to as web-to-print (W2P), this type of software is sometimes used by converting companies to provide an online storefront for their customers to place repeat orders. The web-to-print solution is most often connected to the ERP solution so that these orders are automatically sent into the ERP or MIS software and processed without any manual intervention.

For more information about this type of software and how converting companies use it, head to our page about eCommerce and storefront software for printers and converters.

 Workflow software for flexible packaging converters

Workflow software allows flexible packaging converters to automate some of the business processes that take place outside of their main ERP/MIS software. In the flexible packaging sector, this is generally going to be the popular Esko Automation Engine, which automates prepress tasks and allows converters to preflight, trap, and make proofs.

Find out more about the workflow automation software used by printers and converters.

Planning software used by flexible packaging converters

Flexible packaging converters use planning software such as Tilia Phoenix to plan production layouts. This software provides functionality that allows converters to step and repeat flexible packaging, across and down a web, and to optimize for multi-lane digital printing.

Learn more about how printing and converting companies use planning, optimization, and imposition software.

Creative and graphic design software for flexible packaging converters

Flexible packaging converters typically use software such as Adobe Creative Suite to design the branding elements of their products.

Learn more about what software flexible packaging converters use for design.

Courier software for flexible packaging converters

If you have a favorite shipping provider, you will most likely use their online web portal to arrange deliveries at your company e.g. the UPS Worldship portal and FedEx Ship Manager. Often, flexible packaging converters integrate these web portals to their ERP so that shipments can be arranged directly from within that software.

You can achieve the same thing if you have your own delivery fleet, by integrating courier software such as BigChange JobWatch to your ERP.

Read more about the software applications used by flexible packaging converters for managing courier shipments.

Accounts software for flexible packaging converters

ERP and MIS solutions do come with some financial functionality, but flexible packaging converters typically use more comprehensive accounting solutions to manage their finances. Some examples of this software include Sage, Access, Xero, QuickBooks, and Business Central.

Often, a flexible packaging company will connect these two applications together to automate financial processes e.g. general ledger posting.

Learn more about how flexible packaging converters use accounts software and integrate them with their ERP/MIS software.

Financial automation software for flexible packaging converters

To further automate their financial administration processes, flexible packaging companies sometimes also use additional automation software such as Paperless Europe or V1 Automation to digitize the processing of invoices and purchase orders. Another example is the Avatax software from Avalara which automates the processing of interstate taxes in the USA.

Learn more about the financial automation software used by companies in the flexible packaging sector.

Marketing automation software for flexible packaging converters

Marketing automation software such as Hubspot, Pardot and Infusionsoft, helps companies to create targeted marketing campaigns, manage sales pipelines, send marketing emails and track online activity.

Those flexible packaging converters who use this type of software often integrate it into their core ERP solution, so they are able to send targeted communications to prospects and customers based on past estimates and orders.

Learn more about how flexible packaging converters integrate their MIS with marketing automation software.

Technology Guide for Printers

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See a comprehensive guide to the key software applications that are used in the printing, packaging, and label industries.

Go to Guide