The Challenges and Reality of Print MIS Solution Implementation

Duncan Ellis | March 24, 2023

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Here’s a question: if you’re about to plant a $100 tree, how much should you invest in digging the hole?

Do you just head out there with a shovel and eyeball it? Or, given the money you’ve already spent, do you spend what’s needed to get it right?

Duncan Ellis, General Manager at Avanti, likes to say “If you’re planting a $100 tree, you dig a $500 hole. The more you prepare and the extra work you do in planning allows your investment—the new tree—to grow.”

The point we’re getting at is this: the job isn’t finished when you plunk down your credit card at the nursery. It isn’t finished when the hole is dug—not even when the tree is set.

To ensure the tree will grow, thrive, and meet expectations, there’s several layers of prep work that you need to consider.

What Do Trees Have to Do with MIS Solutions?

The title of this blog post probably clues you in to the fact that we aren’t just talking about trees. MIS solutions operate in the exact same way. As the owner or key decision-maker at your print company, your relationship to a new MIS solution is a lot like one’s relationship to that new tree.

There’s the process of purchasing and preparing for implementation (purchasing, digging, planting). That prep work is absolutely vital, and it isn’t easy. It’s an investment of time and money.

There’s a lot more that needs to happen in the coming months and years to ensure your print management solution grows properly and continues to align with your vision and goals. If you treat your new tree just like an older tree of a different species, you probably won’t get the best results. And if you treat your new MIS just like your old one, you’ll get the same kind of mismatch solution, leading to status-quo results—or worse.

In this post we’re focusing on the realities of what needs to happen before and after purchasing a print MIS. For a deeper look on the part in the middle, download our eBook How to Buy a Print MIS.

Common Challenges and Failure Points During MIS Solution Implementation

The transparent reality is that implementing new print MIS solutions don’t always go well. We talk about these situations as “implementation” failures when the reality could be a little more complex: the failure point could be anywhere from the purchase (choosing the wrong print management software) to the hole-digging (preparing print operations and team members improperly) to ongoing care and upkeep (using the new print management solution properly, even when that means change).

Be aware of these common challenge and failure points along the MIS implementation journey.

Knowledge and Experience Gap

First, a good MIS solution lasts a company about 10 to 15 years. That means that when it comes time to upgrade, many of the people that guided you through the last upgrade are no longer available. And those who are— it’s tough to remember a process you haven’t used in a year or two, let alone a decade and a half!

So, companies can get into a bad situation when they plan for and implement a new print management solution without an experienced hand.

Underinvestment Up Front

A new MIS solution is a costly product, so it’s natural to try and save where you can. But underinvesting up front is like winging it with a shovel. Doing it right takes time and resources. It may sound radical, but we believe a business shouldn’t invest in a new MIS unless they can also invest the time and money required to prepare the soil for the new system.

Change Management

Your existing system may not be working well, but at least the people using it know how it works. Bringing in a modern print management solution unlocks so much potential for your business, but it’s natural for individuals to fear change.

The best way to overcome this challenge is strong top-down communication. Be an evangelist for the new system. Show and tell your team what kinds of new capabilities you’ll have and get specific about how those elements will improve their day-to-day work experience.

Don’t Chop and Drop

One of the worst mistakes possible is signing a contract for a new print MIS solution and then performing what we call a chop-and-drop. That’s when a print business chops out the old print MIS and drops in the new one without changing one element of their environment or workflows.

This approach loses out on most (maybe all) of the new functions and capabilities in the modern print management solution. It also hardens inefficient and counterintuitive processes: this is the perfect time to evaluate existing process and reimagine what’s possible in the new MIS solution.

Unfortunately, this step can go overlooked.

How Avanti Systems Helps You Overcome the Challenges and Meet the Realities Head-On

These challenges are real, but they can be overcome—and doing so is infinitely easier when you choose the right partner for your print MIS solution.

Here’s how Avanti Systems helps you overcome the challenges and meet the realities head-on with our industry-leading print management solution, Avanti Slingshot™ Print MIS.

We Lay the Foundation, and Then Some

Avanti doesn’t just sell you an MIS solution, hand you the keys, and walk away. We’re with you every step of the way. We do a significant amount of the buildout for every single customer.

But there’s one crucial way you can help us: We know the print business, but we don’t know the specifics of your business— unless you tell us. Spending the time to articulate current workflows and how you’re hoping they can improve is vital.

We Come to You

We physically arrive on site 6-8 weeks prior to any customer implementation to do a thorough workflow assessment and risk assessment. We deliver a list of items that must happen prior to going live.

We see tremendous results from customers who commit to and complete this assessment process.

We Provide a Team

Avanti assigns a project manager, implementation consultant, integration specialist, and customer experience rep to every client. You aren’t just buying a system. You’re partnering with an entire team that exists to help you succeed.

We’ve Been Getting This Right for 35 Years

Avanti Slingshot is a powerful, modern print MIS solution, but it didn’t come out of nowhere, and neither did we. We’ve been getting this right for 35 years, with products that keep evolving as technology does.

We have a long track record of success, and we’ve documented what works and what doesn’t. We’ll hand you an implementation primer that helps you learn from what has worked elsewhere.

See Avanti Slingshot In Action

Selecting a new MIS solution is a massive decision that touches every corner of your print operations. Implemented well, a new MIS revolutionizes your capabilities, accuracy, and throughput. But navigating the challenges and realities of MIS solutions implementation is not automatic. It takes time, careful thought, and plenty of planning.

We know taking that first step can feel like a leap of faith. That’s why we’re offering to conduct a workflow evaluation for you: we’ll consider how you’re currently operating and show you how we’ll adapt our powerful software to your business needs. We’ll also calculate your return on investment and recommend a reliable path forward.

See what’s possible with Avanti: Get started now with a free workflow evaluation.

Contact Our Experts Today