One of the best print estimating solutions available today is Avanti Slingshot. This case study describes Impulse Graphic Display and Solutions’ (Impulse GDS) decision to implement Avanti Slingshot Print MIS.
Impulse Graphic Display and Solutions, is a provider of large- and grand-format signage and display solutions primarily for the in-store retail market. Like many operations, Impulse GDS relied upon spreadsheets and manually-created job tickets for estimating, quoting, job production, and business management.
In 2014 Impulse GDS lost a major client RFQ and found themselves with excess capacity. Motivated to revisit their strategy, Impulse GDS began looking at highly competitive trade printing to augment their volume. From their research, Impulse GDS management learned:
- They were underbidding some jobs
- They were overbidding and losing other jobs
- They were sometime providing differing quotes to the same account
- Mistakes and reprints were eroding their bottom line
In short, Impulse GDS’ print estimating was inconsistent and took too long. It left them uncertain how much profit was leaking out of their processes. To be competitive, it was clear that Impulse GDS needed a better way to manage their estimating, ticketing, and business metrics.
Avanti Slingshot Print Estimating Solution
Alex Cachia, the President of Impulse GDS spent about two years researching Print MIS solutions.
Mr. Cachia selected Avanti Slingshot for a variety of reasons, including:
- Avanti’s expertise in both the narrow format and large and grand format markets
- Their willingness to listen to his company’s unique needs
- Their ability to recommend how to adapt their existing methods
- And, the solution features specifically beneficial to the large and grand format market such as:
- Ability to pool presses
- Quick identification of alternatives via substrate classification pulldowns
- Real-time tweaking of estimates in real-time with visibility to line item calculators
- Fast creation of consistent estimates using work templates
Implementation of Avanti Slingshot’s Print Estimating Module
Impulse GDS are in their third year of implementing Avanti Slingshot Print MIS. Their approach is focused on implementing single components individually, training the staff and getting them comfortable as users. This evolutionary approach takes longer than usual, but it ensures that Company’s culture can adapt to the change in technology.
Results for Print Estimating
Avanti Slingshot has improved quotation speed to market, and Alex can see and review quotes in real-time. This capability lets him pick up the phone to talk with the CSR if needed. For example, a recent trade job customer responded that Impact’s quote was double the competition. Alex was able to use Avanti Slingshot to examine alternatives and dropped the estimate from $1,400 to $800 by printing 2-up on different media and became competitive. Alex noted, “That would’ve been difficult to notice on a spreadsheet, but Avanti made it easy to see the opportunity. You have more information to visualize your process.”
Estimators also realize the benefits of using work templates. Work templates contain all job attributes, materials, and production steps required to get specific types of jobs done. As a result, estimators always easily use accurate and consistent costs for inventory, prepress, production, finishing, packing, and shipping. Because work templates provide precise and complete ticketing instructions production floor workers can do their jobs better with fewer, embarrassing, and costly errors.
Bottom Line for Impulse GDS
Alex is happy he chose Avanti Slingshot Print MIS.
“Selecting Avanti was a good decision. Everyone was excited when Steve did the first demo for my team, and Avanti’s support is still there today. We found that working with Avanti was seamless at all levels of our organizations, which made implementing this system easy even though it was a lot of work.”
Read the full case study here.