Tip of the Week #16 – Automate Your ERP Processes
This week’s tip (more like 5 for 1) comes from Development Manager Mogens Christiansen, pointing out hidden gems in the PrintVis system which everyone can (and should) access and use to their advantage, but few know about.
When we discuss how to automate your business processes – we bring up a broader topic to highlight the features PrintVis has regarding “automation,” such as CIM (JDF + JMF), e-Procurement, email notification, batch manager tasks and more.
Why? Because not many customers actually know what can be automated – and there are a good many things!
1. The Job Scheduler – aka Batch Manager
The Job Scheduler, formerly known as the Batch Manager, is a helpful, general purpose application for controlling common date and time-based background tasks, allowing you to rely on their being fulfilled while left unattended.
You can automate the emailing of weekly reports, monthly customer statements and other routine requirements. These can be conveniently sent on a set schedule as PDF attachments, allowing your customers to do such things as balance their receivables.
2. PrintVis Status Notifications
Triggered by Status Code changes, these notifications can be sent to designated recipients – employees or even customers to keep them updated on the progress of their case.
For example, the status code “Wait” is used when we arrive at a point where further input from a customer is needed before an issue can be resolved. And when a case is closed we’ll change the status to “Ended” and a summary email is sent to the customer.
These Status Codes can be customized for your company, to use whatever familiar terms are suitable, such as “Hot,” “Rush,” etc. These codes enable automatic communication and facilitate productivity.
3. PrintVis E-Procurement
E-Procurement allows you to automate communication with your vendors. For example, if you need to order paper, you can generate and send a PDF purchase order by simply changing a Status Code. Of course your vendor will need to be connected in the same way, so that they can send a confirmation of your order.
E-Procurement with PrintVis can be used in very simple ways, such as the example above, or it can be developed to perform as a highly-robust function of your ERP system, all depending on the nature and needs of your company.
4. PrintVis JMF/JDF
CIM, or computer-integrated manufacturing, allows for automated machine-to-machine communication via JDF (Job Description Format) and JMF (Job Messaging Format). This functionality offers a cross-platform, common integration and process automation, answering the simple question, “What should one common job ticket for the print industry look like?”
With these we have a single common language to support the life cycle of a print job in all its possible aspects, from estimation to prepress to production to post-production and everything in between. JDF information is ideal for communication amongst the various equipment in your production facility – but with it you can also communicate with other print houses, vendors and customers.
If you have a 3rd party web shop, PrintVis has the backend functionality that allows your customers to get a quote or place an order online all on their own. Web-to-print is a rapidly growing area of commerce, as consumer trends grow toward self-help and online research prior to actual engagement with a vendor.
Increasingly, printers and other graphics businesses are offering their production services on the internet, through open web shops or – for registered customers – in closed portals. While open web shops are accessible to anyone on the internet, only defined users on the system have access via closed portals. Most likely you’ve already had this experience when shopping online – being prompted to create log-in credentials before being allowed to continue.
Web2PrintVis is the tool which manages the connection between this frontend (both open and closed web shops) and PrintVis.
Each of these examples illustrates how the intelligence of PrintVis can empower your print/graphics business to become more streamlined and responsive – giving you more time to develop and grow, and better serve your customers.
Thank you Mogens!