Portland, Oregon-based Premier Press continues to evolve its MIS implementation with the EFI™ Enterprise Commercial Print Suite MIS/ERP business and production workflow system from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. This includes estimating and planning with the addition of iQuote software, streamlined shipping operations due to better integration between the Suite’s core Monarch ERP and its Process Shipper software, and more.
The 135-employee Premier Press offers a wide range of services, from design and project management to custom packaging using superwide-format, offset and digital printing. The company’s use of EFI’s latest and most-advanced production workflow systems continues Premier’s tradition of applying best-in-class technologies to offer greater efficiency and productivity to its customers.
Premier Press first adopted EFI MIS/ERP technologies in 2001, when it replaced a home-grown MIS with EFI Monarch ERP software. “Since that first software implementation,” stated Premier Press System Administrator Shawn Williams, “EFI’s technologies have continued to advance and allowed us to grow and be competitive in the print market.”
Faster, more accurate estimates
Estimating with iQuote has been a key advantage for Premier Press, and EFI was especially helpful in a successful transition. “The new estimating implementation was a large project for us, and they pulled out all the stops to make it happen quickly as possible,” Williams stated. “I really appreciate the fact that EFI’s support staff is available and very responsive when we need them.”
According to Williams, iQuote is much easier to use than standard estimating software. While in the past, estimating “required skilled estimators who keep a lot of the needed information in their heads,” said Williams, “we have been able to put that wealth of knowledge into the new system so that it can make smarter decisions on the most efficient way to produce a job. This makes building quotes and estimates easier for a broader array of our staff and will make onboarding new estimating staff easier in the future. Not only are quotes faster to generate, but they are more accurate as well.”
Premier Press only recently installed the new system in its Suite; despite initial plans to gradually phase it in, the company is already using it to estimate a majority of its work. “Ultimately,” Williams said, “we want to enable our sales professionals to produce quotes in real time from the field, which will be valuable in helping us win more work. Companies that respond first to requests for quotes are often more likely to get the job. If sales people can do that on the spot while they are at the customer site or on the phone with the customer, it makes us that much more competitive.”
‘Brilliant’ innovations unlike any other workflow system available
The new upgrade to EFI’s Commercial Print Suite 6.0 continues the evolution of Monarch with a host of advanced component technologies that streamline and automate production while providing detailed data insights Premier Press can use to better manage the business. Williams calls a new “elastic search” feature in the Suite’s award-winning Productivity Workbench “brilliant,” based on its ability to find data, job status and more from any point in the production workflow.
“Before, if you were looking for something, you might have had to look individually in various components,” Williams said. “Now search goes across the entire system so you can quickly and easily find what you are looking for. It’s a real time-saver. And I haven’t seen anything like this in other MIS or ERP systems I have looked at, from EFI or anyone else.”
In addition to being one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading independent providers of commercial offset and digital printing, Premier Press also established a growing superwide-format graphics printing operation that features an EFI VUTEk® LX3 Pro LED hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll LED inkjet printer. An EFI Fiery® proServer digital front end used to drive the VUTEk printer seamlessly integrates superwide-format operations with the company’s overall production workflow.
Another new feature of Premier Press’s workflow – the integration between Monarch and the Suite’s Process Shipper software component – “has been a huge improvement” according to Williams, giving users clear and readily available shipping information compared to the past, when shipping details only appeared as added notes in Monarch and were easy to overlook.
Printing and packaging professionals across the globe rely on EFI’s portfolio of workflow products to manage their businesses and become more streamlined, efficient, informed and profitable.