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Business & Management Software

(April 2012) posted on Mon Apr 23, 2012

More than 40 front-end solutions for bettering your company’s bottom line.

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Too many companies invest in an array of tools for the production side of their business, but then neglect doing the same for the business and management end of things.

The argument for not doing so typically seems to be: “Most of it is common sense,” coupled with, “We’ve been doing it this way for years,” or the alternative, “Usually, I just write up the estimate on a napkin from this morning’s McDonald’s sack.”

In fact, modern business and management software can help you do a much better job of putting in place systems, tools, and strategies that can help you be more effective when it comes to: costing and estimating, monitoring inventory, creating schedules and tracking jobs, automating shipping and fulfillment of jobs, and much more.

As a result, you’ll not only be more efficient – you’ll likely be more profitable, as you identify up-front any potential problems and bottlenecks. And the back end of a job will similarly be free of any troublesome hitches.

In our annual look at business-management software, we’ve strived to focus on tools or components that are primarily geared toward print providers (not generic business software); nor are we are including software that’s primarily focused upon proofing, PDF, asset management, or variable data or software that’s primarily designed for publication and/or package printing or RIP production. We have, however, included information on a few print-management tools – software that is not a RIP but does address production or workflow efficiencies.

Activity Software
Activity Advantage, created specifically for the signage and graphics industries, allows users to create estimates and work orders; manage inventory, vendors, and ordering information; track jobs; generate accounting and production reports; market to customers; export to Quickbooks; and track customer contacts and notes. Also included are job-profit reports, automatic inventory updates, surcharge capability, and ability to use Art Approval and Estimates online. Its Shop Floor component allows users to track jobs through production, create time and productivity reports, and schedule jobs.