Maybe you’ve seen one of those viral videos of a child trying to convince their parents to buy a video game console: the kid finds their parent’s smartphone and starts repeating or googling video game lingo over and over: “Video games, Roblox, gaming, controllers, TV, console…”
These videos are entertaining because of the thought process behind the child’s actions: the child is growing up in a world of digital data and targeted advertising. Maybe if the phone hears about the new Xbox enough, it’ll show my parents video game ads, the thinking goes. And maybe then the parents will finally give in.
That kid may or may not succeed in the quest to get an Xbox. But either way, it illustrates a key component of sales: information is key to a company’s ability to sell well.
The print industry shares two key elements with these videos: the immense value of information and data, and how crucial it is for businesses to do the right things with that data.
Every day, your customers are giving you information about them. But if you’re not using solid print estimating software, you're missing out on improving your company’s effectiveness through better, cleaner, more accurate data.
Avanti Slingshot™, our print MIS software, provides all that data for you in a centralized system that simplifies your workflow from customer input to fulfillment.
Here’s how it works.
The Power of Information in Print & Mail Solutions
As your print business grows and evolves to meet the ever-expanding needs of direct mail and Web to Print, you’ll need more data about your customers and your business. You’ll need to know:
- What your customers need
- That your data is reliable
- How that data interacts with every step of your production workflow
Most importantly, you need the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that at every point, your business has what it needs to thrive.
Not sure what data to focus on? Download our free eBook that dives deeper into the data points you need to thrive in your print business.
Know What Your Customers Want and Need
If you want to sell something well, you must know your customers. Over time, you accumulate more and more data about a customer. As they order from you, they create patterns that tell you what they want and what they need.
These patterns and data can be difficult to see and work with if you rely on manual reporting. But using Avanti Slingshot, you can turn that data into insights.
The software enables you to perform sales analyses by customer, generating reports that list outstanding jobs, payment, SLA status, and more for individual customers. Armed with this knowledge throughout your entire workflow, you can better evaluate cost estimates vs. actual revenue, improving your estimate accuracy.
There’s a sales advantage here as well: knowing what your customers need will help your sales team identify the most profitable customers and to identify opportunities to upsell or expand services to them.
Give Your Operators Insight and Enable Greater Efficiency
Our print management solution also delivers value to operators and other key positions, who receive more detailed information about every job in the schedule. These team members can access real-time data on individual jobs, either in a dashboard view or through barcode data.
This elimination of manual input and rekeying minimizes human transposition error and helps your operators stay on track during production.
Manual touchpoints increase the number of variables in ways that are difficult to predict. Reducing these touchpoints equals fewer errors. Fewer errors equals more efficiency, and more efficiency leads to increased margins and higher profitability.
Increase Your Order Accuracy With Our Print MIS
Most older print intake systems involve plenty of manual data entry. The customer calls or emails over their job details, and a customer service representative transfers that information into the system.
This process creates problems: customers don’t send complete information, and all that manual rekeying information leads to errors in job intake. Those errors in turn become costly reprints.
A unified web to print MIS solution removes these manual steps and reduces the associated errors: now the customer provides the information directly into your web interface — and cannot submit a job without supplying the right information. When no one has to copy, rewrite, or rekey that information, it stays exactly as the customer provided it.
In addition to more accurate inputs, Avanti Slingshot improves production efficiency by providing inventory usage reports. Our print estimating software can generate reports giving a bird’s-eye view of the entire print workflow. Slingshot can even trigger purchase orders when your inventory hits certain thresholds.
Unforeseen resource bottlenecks can mean overtime labor to meet SLAs, increased acquisition costs in shipping, scrambling to restock, damaged trust with your customers if those SLAs aren’t met, and ultimately slimmer profit margins. Reducing inventory bottlenecks allows your jobs to be completed reliably and on time, making estimates far more reliable.
Make Better Decisions via Profitability Forecasting
Avanti’s Print MIS software provides key insight into which of your products and services are most profitable. Our centralized system gives your sales team the data they need to identify jobs that have high conversion rates and those that could be discounted to increase business while still turning a profit.
Combined with the customer insights available through individual customer reports, Avanti Slingshot gives you a significant advantage.
This clarity on the sales performance of your teams, products, and information about customer behaviors and needs allows you to project future sales and revenue. The MIS even takes that data and automatically projects revenue and business needs over a month, two months, or entire quarter. Using Avanti Slingshot properly, you can forecast the profitability of your company.
Avanti Slingshot’s forecasting capability can transform your business, and we’d love to prove it in a live demonstration using real data from your business.
As you adapt to the increasingly digital marketplace and engage with your customers online, Avanti Slingshot gives you the tools you need to expand your technical capabilities and thrive in a rapidly changing space. Take advantage of the edge that a cutting-edge print estimating software solution can give you!
Request a custom demo now to see the difference Avanti Slingshot can make for your business.
Get the Report to Keep Learning
The future of success in commercial printing and print and mail solutions relies on data. But data for its own sake isn’t enough: you need the right data, and you need the tools to contextualize that data and turn it into action.
We’ve pointed out several of the data-driven reports and functions a quality print MIS like Avanti Slingshot can deliver, but these just scratch the surface. To help you keep learning which reports and data points generate the most value and success, we’ve produced a free eBook, 20 Reports & Dashboard Data Points Print Businesses Should Have at Their Fingertips.