Print MIS

I Found Some Paper in the Back. Can I Use It?

Jared Woodard | April 13, 2023

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Avanti Slingshot™ Print MIS delivers better print inventory management, eliminating guesswork so you can efficiently meet customer demands.

So, you found some paper in the back of your print shop. It isn’t exactly what the customer asked for, but it’s paper—and it’s here, available, right now.

But can you use it for the job at hand?

This question is deceptively complex. First, there’s the issue of whether it’s a suitable substitute: will it meet (or come close enough to meeting) the customer’s expectations? Can it physically handle the job’s requirements?

The second consideration is even more important: can you be sure that paper in the back wasn’t already committed to another job?

In other words, if you use this paper here, will you be undercutting yourself with another customer?

Without a proper print shop inventory system, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether that case or pallet is already spoken for.

This article will explore how Avanti Slingshot Print MIS, a powerful print inventory management and print MIS system, can streamline supply chain management in print shops and deliver data-driven insights. We’ll also show you some of the real-world results you can achieve as a result.

A Problem Created by Supply Chain Chaos 

In today’s supply chain environment, “here and available” are some of the most important criteria that exist for print production. Gone are the days of “order today and receive tomorrow.” Now we’re living in an era of “order what’s available when it’s available.”

We aren’t saying that managing inventory was ever simple, but it used to be simpler when you could focus mainly on ordering replacement stock before you ran out of what you had.

Today it’s a juggling act where you’re balancing limited resources, long lead times, backorders, and more—even as orders are becoming increasingly complex and customers more demanding.

The Damage Caused by Guessing Wrong

So, what happens when your print production gets these questions wrong? Damaged customer experiences and lost trust.

When delivery dates slip because the paper that should have been reserved for the order got scooped up into another order, customers notice. They don’t have what they need when they need it, and that kind of customer experience is hard to forget.

The same is true if you make a calculated guess about a substitute product that either doesn’t work or doesn’t meet the customer’s demands.

The cost of not solving your print inventory management challenges is hard to calculate. But it’s real, and the toll that damaged customer relationships cause can be devastating.

How Avanti Slingshot Print MIS Ends the Guessing Game—For Good

These supply chain challenges are going to be with us for a while. While you can’t change those, you can change how you manage your print production inventory.

By adding Avanti Slingshot Print MIS as your print shop inventory system, you’ll replace guesswork with certainty. 

Here’s how.

In addition to delivering overall better print management, Avanti Slingshot can manage your purchases and track your stock so you can:

  • Know with certainty what stock you have on hand
  • Know what paper stock is already allocated to jobs with inventory reservations
  • Know the difference between on-hand stock and actual available stock

With this system in place, you’re much less likely to simply “find” paper in the back—but if you do, you can immediately determine what obligations (if any) that paper already has on it.

Answer “Can We Squeeze This Job In?” with Confidence 

Taking back control of your print inventory management delivers results across your organization. Now, when sales or customer service comes to the production floor with “can we squeeze this job in?”, the production team can respond confidently based on data-driven insights.

It’s no longer a matter of deciding who to please or figuring out creative ways to say no. Instead, print shops can make decisions based on real numbers.

Juggle, but Based on Data-Driven Insights

Avanti Slingshot doesn’t always eliminate the juggling act, but it changes the way this works. In some cases, you may still need to rob Peter to pay Paul—that is, reallocate stock from one customer to another. But now you’re doing it with actual data driving that decision (such as knowing when more stock will arrive), not just based on hunches, guesses, or hopes.

Integrate Inventory and Scheduling Modules to Maximize Insights

Avanti Slingshot is powerful on its own, but your print shop can achieve even more by tying other modules into the print MIS solution. Avanti Slingshot’s Inventory module manages raw and finished goods in real-time and includes the ability to set up a “low inventory, automatic re-supply” function. For products that aren’t experiencing shortages, this function puts your inventory management on autopilot.

The Scheduling add-on module extends your capabilities in maximizing equipment use and organizing print jobs optimally—taking into account actual available stock at every step in the process. 

Last, the Shop Floor Data Collection module tracks how your shop floor personnel will report the stock they used, interfacing beautifully with the other modules discussed here.

Not yet convinced that Avanti Slingshot is the best print MIS solution to solve your supply chain and information management challenges? Get started now with a free workflow evaluation.

Solve Your Inventory Management Challenges with Avanti Slingshot Print MIS

Inventory management is more difficult today than it was in the past, but print shops don’t have to let that difficulty drag them down into guesswork and missed delivery dates.

Avanti Slingshot is a modern print MIS that delivers print inventory management powerful enough to overcome today’s challenges.

See Avanti Slingshot for yourself with a customized demo—one that can even show you how a “low inventory, automatic resupply” function would work using real data from your business.