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This is an overview of the type of software that in-plant printers typically use to manage their business. It isn’t extensive and has been designed as an informative article to help printers in the in-plant print sector understand more about the automation opportunities available to them through technology.
What is the most used software in the in-plant printing industry?
Most in-plant departments use a Management Information System (or print MIS) to manage their business workflow. This software is about much more than the production aspect of a job – it touches every part of the in-plant business, from estimating through to delivery.
These are the types of features that in-plant departments benefit from when they have an MIS solution installed:
Ecommerce / Storefront software for in-plant printers
An eCommerce storefront solution (sometimes called a web-to-print or W2P solution) can be used by in-plant departments to provide an easy self-service way for their internal customers to place repeat orders. These online portals can provide an Amazon-like interface to libraries of stored documents that customers can order and re-order on demand. Dependent on the web-to-print solution used, customers could also build their own documents by choosing the paper stocks and binding styles they want.
Workflow software for in-plant printers
When the phrase ‘workflow software’ is used in the in-plant printing industry, it typically refers to the flow of the administrative job information from the estimating phase through into the prepress workflow, and into press, postpress, and even further on into shipping. Typical examples of this type of software are HP SmartStream or EFI Fiery RIP.
Workflow automation software for in-plant printers
Workflow automation software allows in-plant printers to automate some of the business processes that take place outside of their main MIS software. This can include processes such as artwork preflighting and proofing or even auto checking the suitability of jobs for EPM printing (an option on HP Indigos that eliminates the black separation from CMYK jobs to increase printing.
Examples of workflow automation software used by in-plant printers include:
It can also include non-industry-specific workflow automation solutions such as Zapier and Automate.io.