Job Status and Costing: Real-Time Capture of Time and Materials Data

Duncan Ellis | September 26, 2022

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A print management information system (MIS) can create drastic, positive changes for your in-plant or commercial print business by automating processes and capturing critical data. Having this real-time access to high-priority and accurate information at your fingertips aids in your ability to make better business decisions. It also allows you to track your operating budget and real-time and understand your costs and profitability at any time.

Job Costing: The Key to Success

Print companies must constantly look for new ways to connect and manage workflows seamlessly by streamlining processes, eliminating bottlenecks, and responding to issues quickly with real-time notifications. They also need to stay ahead when it comes to maximizing profits. That’s where job costing comes in.

Job costing is the process of analyzing the cost of materials, time, and administrative expenses for specific printing jobs. By tracking this information, you can compare expenses to the total job revenue. Running this process for all your jobs provides a wealth of information that reveals a lot about which jobs are making money and which ones aren’t.

More importantly, job costing allows businesses to visualize which jobs cost more and find opportunities to reduce costs and increase total profits. Successful job costing can mean the difference between barely getting by and earning a profit on every job.

The Benefits of Real-Time Data

Job costing is only one piece of the formula for success. The other is real-time access to job status. These things are always changing, especially if you have a large number of jobs to keep track of. Staying on top of them is of maximum importance. With the right solutions, you can see where and when you are earning money, all in real-time:

  • Track your operating costs. Access to live, company-wide analytics allows you to understand your financial snapshot at any time, providing the ability to make data-based business decisions
  • Improved job accuracy. Powerful analytics pave the way for improved job accuracy, which can lead to more precise estimating and delivery. 
  • Higher profit margins and increased revenues. A 2022 study found that 80% of companies reported an increase in revenue due to real-time data analytics. If you can reduce your operating costs, increase revenue, and improve cost projections, it will lead to higher profit margins.
  • Information when you need it. Real-time data allows your employees to answer customer questions and requests instantly. Alerts and notifications gives stakeholders the information they need when they need it.

How to Track Job Status and Costing in Real-Time

With hundreds of jobs occurring at any one time, you constantly need to be aware of where each job is in your workflow and how much it will cost. After all, good data is a valuable asset for any company to have. The best way to track job status and costs in real time is through the use of high-quality business management software.

Fully Integrated System

Many companies do their job status tracking and costing with separate software, resulting in a fragmented approach to what should be an easy task. Instead of having to navigate multiple platforms, you can track job status and costs in real-time by using a fully integrated system that offers you company-wide data all in one place.

Get the Job Done Quicker

Traditional job tracking is often left to employees who have to move through several steps to reach job cost projections. This process takes time, and it misses any job status or cost changes that are currently happening within the company. Investing in job costing and tracking software will speed this process up, allowing your employees to spend more time analyzing data thoroughly and finding ways to cut costs while still maintaining efficiency.

Dashboard Analytics

You need to be able to see critical data related to time, materials, costs, and status of jobs to glean the maximum benefits. A comprehensive dashboard that clearly displays this information as it occurs will allow you to achieve your goals.

Track Critical Information with Avanti® Slingshot

Most job costing and status tracking software is sold separately from business management software. Avanti Slingshot offers both services in a print MIS solution that helps print and communication organizations automate all facets of the business and cultivate more meaningful relationships with their customers.

Job Costing and Tracking

Avanti Slingshot’s Job Manager module is a one-stop source for information on all your jobs, past and present, with real-time insight into job costing and tracking, job profitability, invoicing, and more. It offers robust reporting on jobs in progress by incorporating data across all facets of your company, from the shop floor to integrated systems.

Optimized Operating Budget

Good forecasting and budgeting can drastically improve your business’ financial standing. You can link your revenues to their related costs with Avanti Slingshot. This cost-based reporting will give your business the ability to analyze data and achieve the operating budget that best fits your goals.

Full-Scale Integration

Avanti Slingshot uses an award-winning Advanced JDF framework that creates linkages to all third-party prepress, workflow, press, and finishing systems. This facilitates the relay of job parameters and the collection of job progress and production data, giving you instant updates on the status of your current jobs.

Executive Dashboard

You can access the customizable Executive Dashboards with Avanti Slingshot. They are information hubs that automatically send and receive data from different software applications and equipment, giving you the most up-to-date information possible. The dashboards provide a graphical status and key performance indicators (KPIs) that include everything you care most about: productivity, profitability, job status, operating budget, and sales activity by job, customer, and employee.

Get A Free Demo of Avanti Slingshot

You shouldn’t have to take our word as the only truth. We believe that seeing is believing, and we want you to believe what we do: Avanti Slingshot is the best print MIS on the market.

See how our JDF-certified software can help your business increase profits and reduce your operating budget without adding administrative costs. Book a free demo with our experts today. They will use real job samples from your company to show you how Avanti Slingshot works.

They’ll also provide insights to help you stay ahead of your competition.