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This is an overview of the different types of software applications that are used by label converters to manage their business. This includes software used in all the different areas of the business workflow – from sales and marketing to production and delivery.
What is the most used software in the label converting industry?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Management Information System (MIS) is the most important piece of software used by label converting businesses and almost every company in this sector will have such a solution installed.
An MIS/ERP is basically the core software application that label converters use to manage the lifecycle of the products they manufacture, and it encompasses every area of their business in one way or another.
There are 2 types of ERP/MIS solutions that are relevant for this sector:
Ecommerce / Storefront software for label converters
This type of software (sometimes also called web-to-print or W2P) is sometimes used by converting companies to provide an online storefront that customers can use to place repeat orders. These storefront portals allow customers to self-serve 24/7/365 – a big advantage for the modern print buying customer. Label converters can themselves gain even more advantages by integrating their web-to-print portal with their ERP solution, to automate the processing of incoming orders.
Workflow software for label converters
Workflow software allows label converters to automate some of the business processes that take place outside of their main ERP/MIS software. In the label sector, this is generally going to be products such as Esko Automation Engine or OneVision’s Label Automation Suite, which provide label companies with the ability to automate activities such as proofing and preflighting.
Planning software used by label converters
Label converters use planning software such as Tilia Phoenix to plan production layouts. This software provides functionality that allows converters to step and repeat labels, across and down a web, and to optimize for multi-lane digital printing. This planning software can be integrated into an ERP or MIS solution to streamline this process.
Creative and graphic design software for label converters
Label converters typically use software such as Adobe Creative Suite to design their products. They may occasionally use CAD software also.
Courier software for label converters
Label converters use online web portals to arrange for and manage shipments from their favorite shipping couriers e.g. UPS Worldship and FedEx Ship Manager. These web portals can be integrated into the ERP/MIS solution used by label converters so that shipments can be arranged directly from within the ERP/MIS software.
Converters may also manage their own delivery fleet and can integrate software such as BigChange JobWatch into their ERP/MIS to streamline this process.
Accounts software for label converters
ERP and MIS solutions do come with some financial functionality, but label converters typically use more comprehensive accounting solutions to manage their finances. These two applications are often connected together to provide synchronization of financial activity between the accounts package and the ERP/MIS software.
Examples of this software include Sage, Xero, Quickbooks, and Business Central.
Financial automation software for label converters
Additional automation software is available for the financial areas of a label converting business. Paperless Europe and V1 Automation provide tools to digitize the processing of invoices and purchase orders, while Avatax automates the processing of interstate taxes in the USA. These solutions can be integrated into the ERP/MIS solution used by the label company to speed up these processes even further.
Marketing automation software for label converters
Label converters can also use marketing software to help them create targeted marketing campaigns for their printed products. By integrating this type of software into their core ERP/MIS solution, they are able to target prospects and customers based on past estimates and orders. So they know exactly what type of commercial products these companies are interested in.
Examples of this type of software include Hubspot, Pardot, and Infusionsoft.