Case Study: Lithocraft, Inc.
Lithocraft is an award-winning, full-service commercial print company which specializes in paperboard packaging items such as folding cartons, clamshell inserts, blister cards and POP displays, as well as many other specialty items manufactured from board, such as air filter frames of various dimensions.
Their company is headquartered in close proximity to many well-known Kentucky bourbon distilleries, and as such they are frequently called upon to produce packaging which is visually-stunning, with complex designs, breathtaking colors and impressive craftsmanship.
Lithocraft have dedicated themselves to an unwavering standard of continuous improvement and consistent high quality. Providing world-class products on an efficient timeline while maintaining competitive pricing is the daily goal at Lithocraft.
The Need for a More Robust and Dependable Print Management Solution
Lithocraft had been using its previous software system since 1996 and the company was falling behind in technology:
“The long-term viability of the company and the inflexible data structure for custom reporting were key aspects for looking at a new solution. We were seeking a more open industry-standard database that would be supported for the foreseeable future.“ – General Manager Billy Brewer
“We needed better finished goods and raw material inventory management reports. We wanted report functionality built into the system rather than using separate report generating software. Managing finished goods in our packaging world is vital to serving our customers.
“While the reliability of the database in our previous solution was good, the system was becoming outdated with less support because of migration to newer SQL server and other databases. We knew we needed to find something that would be just as dependable, yet more robust and user-friendly.” – General Manager Billy Brewer
- Better Reporting with an Integrated System
- Better Purchasing – Pricing from Raw Materials to Finished Goods with Different Units of Measure
- Better Inventory Management
- More Dependable Long-Term Support
- More User-Friendly Interface
Solution : PrintVis and Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an enterprise resource planning software which helps businesses to focus on their strengths. Quick to set up, fast to learn and easy to use, it also empowers businesses with data on areas where there is room for improvement.
PrintVis is a comprehensive print MIS solution developed specifically for the graphics industry and its many segments, including packaging and label production. Built on and certified for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, PrintVis handles all tasks and processes for the administration and production of pre-press, press and post-press.
A Globally-Proven Software Solution
Small and midsize businesses around the world continue to choose business solutions from Microsoft because they support and help drive profitable growth.
The core system upon which PrintVis’ print-specific functionality is built – Microsoft Dynamics NAV – is now used by over 110,000 businesses around the world.
Billy and his team at Lithocraft found and purchased Microsoft Dynamics NAV through a local NAV reseller, before discovering PrintVis.
“We went with standard NAV for about a year and started preparing it for our specific needs. As we moved from accounting functions into more printing specific needs such as raw material variables – paperboard rolls to sheets, printed sheets to finished goods, etc. it became apparent we would incur significant programming and customization costs to achieve a good solution. The NAV resources were many with online solutions in the NAV community, yet it was a tedious process to identify solutions and try to implement them in our system.”
“PrintVis was found by our reseller and recommended to us as a great overlay on standard NAV. While PrintVis is a significant investment it would save us a tremendous amount of time and enable us to get support for the functionality it provided.”
“Reports in our old system were not user-friendly. It was difficult to work with the report data.
“Reporting in PrintVis allows us to export data to Excel. Our previous software did not seamlessly allow this functionality – and we use this a lot!
“For example our finished goods inventory can be exported to Excel, add some calculations and then share with others as needed. PrintVis has vastly improved our reporting.”
Billy continues: “In packaging we are producing several finished goods items on the same printed sheet. We have been able to implement PrintVis to manage our material flow from rolls to sheets to die-cut finished goods. It does this very well and has greatly improved our finished goods inventory control and reporting.
“We now have the ability to purchase our paperboard raw materials in pounds and then consume them in linear feet. In fact, all of our purchases are done through PrintVis. The fact that it is integrated with other data in PrintVis saves time and allows us to leverage the data to improve our spending.”
A company that’s been around as long as Lithocraft must be doing something right. Clearly they understand that to not only stay in business, but to thrive, requires the perfect recipe of quality, pricing and scheduling. These 3 factors are key to winning customer loyalty and earning new business.
While Lithocraft especially benefits from the purchasing, inventory and reporting functionality of PrintVis, there are of course dozens of other features which make it a comprehensive MIS for any type of print company, in any segment of the industry. Should Billy and his team at Lithocraft decide to branch out into label printing, for example, or to start doing all their own finishing in-house, there would be no need to look for additional software.
Remember that PrintVis is built into the bedrock ERP that is Microsoft Dynamics NAV, whose functionality is also under continuous development and improvement. Together they create a fully-integrated software system to manage every aspect of a print business, now and decades from now.
Just like Lithocraft, PrintVis and Microsoft are committed to continuous improvement and innovation.
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“PrintVis is a thorough, complete system for printers, with a very stable SQL-based system by Microsoft. It has tons of reports and data searching options as well as an estimating module that provides easy quotes – especially for commercial printers. PrintVis helps us better serve our customers.”
– Billy Brewer, General Manager, Lithocraft, Inc.