An end-to-end print MIS is a significant investment, but the right one can make a world of difference for your print operation. Not only will it streamline your operation, give you more time to focus on nurturing customer relationships and help drive profitability, but when you purchase a solution, you’re also making an investment in the vendor that should benefit you for years to come--if you make the right choice.
Your purchase means you are signing up to work with your vendor’s team of product and industry experts and buying into their customer service and support. It indicates you see the vendor as an industry leader and are putting your faith in its ability to innovate and stay competitive so your business can too.
How do you know if you’ve invested correctly? Make sure your MIS vendor is doing these three things:
1. The vendor views you as a partner, not just another customer.
The best MIS vendors recognize the value of your investment and treat their relationship with you as a true, two-way partnership. This intention can become clear as early as the sales process. A vendor committed to a strong, long-term partnership will be fully transparent about the complexities of an implementation and how long the timeline can be. The vendor’s team will be clear about how they plan to work with you and assist you along the way, not only with hands-on help, but also with online tools and resources for additional training and product education.
When it comes to starting the business relationship, a reliable vendor should provide you with a detailed plan for launch and implementation. Milestones, associated tasks, deliverables, timelines and how all of these affect your current operation should be laid out for you and your team. Confirm that the process is led by product experts who know the print industry well and fully comprehend how to navigate the complexities of your operation, and that you’ll have visibility into progress every step of the way.
Beyond implementation, a true partner will provide support throughout the duration of your relationship. Are you able to get assistance for any type of issue whenever you need it, or are you left to fend for yourself when it comes to anything beyond basic troubleshooting? Is the vendor’s executive leadership team willing to jump in and help in a time of crisis? The depth of support from your vendor reveals its commitment to you and your business success.
The vendor maintains and updates its product frequently.
Because your print MIS becomes the backbone of your operation, any breakdowns could have serious consequences on your efficiency and profitability. Be sure your vendor proactively prioritizes system performance. Frequent product updates and enhancements help address system inefficiencies, resolve software bugs and reduce risk for major failures.
Additionally, a vendor that prioritizes innovation ensures the long-term value of the product. To be an industry frontrunner, your vendor needs print industry expertise to identify trends and stay ahead of the curve with fresh and innovative features. A vendor not invested in the future of their platform will lose relevance and usefulness as the industry changes, becoming unable to serve your business demands as you expand. Make sure your vendor shares your business’ commitment to longevity.
The vendor collaborates with complementary third-party organizations.
Even the most powerful MIS platform can’t do it all, so an experienced vendor sees any product gaps or limitations as opportunities for business development.
Make sure your vendor is invested in the integration capabilities of its platform so that partnerships with third-party organizations that build complementary products are possible. Outside collaborations help expand the functionalities of your vendor’s MIS without the use of internal resources.
Does your current vendor meet the standards? Here’s how to tell.
Being clear about what you expect from your print MIS investment will help guide your buying process and inform whether or not your current vendor still suits your needs. Especially as your business expands, you’ll need a trusted team of industry experts and leaders who can take your operation to the next level.
Not sure if the vendor you’re considering is right for you? Use our MIS Vendor Checklist to guide you through the top 12 questions you need to ask potential vendors, as well as the red flags you should not ignore. Then chat with one of our specialists to see if Avanti might be the right partner for you.