This page contains an overview of the different types of software applications used by large format or wide format printers. If you refer to your company as a Point-of-Sale printer or Point of Purchase printer, then this page is also relevant for you.
What is the most used software in the Large Format inkjet printing industry?
The main piece of software used by Large Format print businesses is a print MIS solution, which manages the entire lifecycle of a print job – from sales and estimating through to production and delivery. You can read more about what print MIS software does in our technology guide for printers.
You may also see the following phrases used to describe the same type of software, but they are all referring to the same thing:
Ecommerce / Storefront software for Large Format printers
Sometimes called ‘web-to-print’ software, this type of solution is used by Large Format printers to provide an online storefront for their customers to order directly from. There are industry-specific solutions such as Vpress and Aleyant, but there are also more generic options such as Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce.
Most printers will integrate their print MIS software to their eCommerce solution so that orders placed by the customer via the storefront portal will automatically be processed by the MIS solution. Dependent on the MIS solution used and the level of integration, these orders can even be sent straight directly to the press without any manual intervention.
For more information about this type of software and how Large Format printing companies use it, head to our page about Ecommerce and storefront software for printers.
Workflow software for Large Format printers
The term ‘workflow software’ is mainly used in the large format printing industry to talk about the flow of the 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:
Imposition/optimization software used by Large Format printers
In the Large Format sector, imposition software is used to automate the nesting and tiling of jobs that will be printed on the same substrate, even if those jobs are of irregular shapes. Products such as Caldera and OneVision support optimization such as nesting and tiling.
Workflow automation software for Large Format printers
Workflow automation software is different from ‘workflow software’ and refers to the solutions used by Large or Wide Format printers to automate the business processes that take place outside of their main MIS software.
Examples of workflow automation software used by Large Format printing companies include:
Creative and graphic design software for Large Format printers
Large Format printers typically use software such as Adobe Creative Suite to design their products. They can also use CAD software, though less often.
Courier software for Large Format printers
If you use a particular courier company to arrange your shipments, then you probably use their web portal software to book these jobs and arrange for delivery. Examples of this software include UPS Worldship, EasyPost, DHL and FedEx Ship Manager.
Large format printers tend to also integrate this web portal with their core MIS software, so that management of these activities can be carried out directly from within the MIS.
Accounts software for Large Format printers
There are many different financial accounts packages available on the market for Large Format printers to manage their financial activities e.g., Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, Access and Business Central. Typically, these solutions are then connected to the company’s print MIS solution to reduce manual rekeying of data and speed up the administrative time of each print job.
Financial automation software for Large Format printers
In addition to the accounts software mentioned in the above section, there are other types of software applications available to aid with the automation of financial functions with a Large Format printing company. Some examples of this are Paperless Europe and V1 Automation, which both provide automated reading and consolidation of documentation such as invoices and purchase orders. AvaTax is another solution and this deals with the complexities of tax in the USA, with the aim of automating the calculation of the various taxes in different states.
Marketing automation software for Large Format printers
Marketing automation software is becoming increasingly adopted by Large Format printers with a marketing function and is used to create targeted campaigns, send emails, and drive traffic to a company’s website. Examples of this type of software include Hubspot, Pardot and Infusionsoft.
By integrating their marketing software with their print MIS software, Large Format printers are then able to create targeted marketing campaigns based on previous quotes and orders – an important feature to have in the world of print!
Stock and substrate ordering software for Large Format printers
Paper merchants such as Premier Papers and Antalis have online catalogues that their customers can use to check prices and order stock. Large Format printers can integrate their print MIS solution with these online catalogues so that orders for required materials can be placed from within the MIS system.