The Quest for a New Breed of Print MIS

One of our core values at Marketing Ideas For Printers is Positive Attitude. A slightly longer version of that core value reads like this:

Positive Attitude: We find the best in every experience.

It’s easy to “find the best” in good experiences, but we desire to find the best in every experience, including the not-so-good experiences. We had one of those not-so-good experiences happen a little over a year ago when a customer left us.

Finding The Best

Gut check. What just happened? Why did they leave us? Their answer: they were frustrated that their website wasn’t communicating with the technology they used to manage production. They wanted a website that communicated with their Print Management Information System (Print MIS). They wanted the efficiencies that would result when a website and a Print MIS can have a two-way digital conversation with each other. What they wanted wasn’t happening.

That was the moment we said, “We can never be in that position again. A lack of integration with a Print MIS can never again be the reason we lose a customer.”

Print MIS Integrations

How do we “never be in that position again” and get our websites and Print MIS talking with each other? We could pursue integrations with existing Print MIS systems, but we’ve been down that road before. Every time we pursued integrations like this, one of two things would happen:

  1. Print MIS vendors would create a light-weight connection to our websites. When information was exchanged between websites and a Print MIS, it always felt like something was missing. It’s kind of like looking at a partially completed jigsaw puzzle. You get a good feel of the big picture, but when key pieces are missing, it’s nowhere near what it should be.
  2. More likely, Print MIS vendors would just say, “No, thanks. We’re not interested.” They were more interested in doing “business as usual” and could never quite catch the vision of what could happen when a website and a Print MIS truly communicated with each other.

Building a Print MIS

That left us with only one option. It was time to build our own Print MIS! It was time to “find the best” in every experience. That’s when our Print MIS, code-named “Odyssey,” started to find its way into the world!

Bringing Odyssey to Printers

Odyssey will make its debut at Graph Expo next month, but after many months of whispered conversations, we’re now ready to tell you more about Odyssey.

We started working on Odyssey on October 2, 2015. How do you compress ten months of work into one blog post? Well, you don’t. We’ll have much more to say as Odyssey prepares to make its debut.

For now, though, the best way to quickly learn about Odyssey is to watch the first 7 minutes of this video:

That’s a recording of the day Odyssey was presented to a gathering of Fargo’s tech and entrepreneurial community called 1 Million Cups. We knew that building Odyssey was going to be much bigger than just one person, so we used that event as a recruiting tool. However, we knew that the information presented there would someday also be valuable to printers wanting to learn more about Odyssey. Today is that day!

So, how do you build a Print MIS from the ground up in one year? Like this…


Odyssey Debuts at Graph Expo

The story of Odyssey is still being written. We open the next chapter at Graph Expo, which runs from September 25-28, 2016. Come see us and Odyssey at booth 1979!