Clients needed a better way to keep on top of print quality. One that eliminated those Monday morning “throw downs” and offered them assurances throughout the entire printing process. Phototype sought to give consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies a better option.
With a history going back almost 100 years, Phototype has long focused on driving innovative solutions and quickly adapting as its clients and the industry evolved. That commitment to continuous improvement has helped them set themselves apart and keep pace with the ever-expanding needs of CPG companies, including global leaders in household products, candy and beverages.
As those clients started looking for more hands-on project management—asking for more efficient ways to ensure tight quality control over their brands and packaging—Phototype needed a way to achieve it. They began by offering data through Excel spreadsheets, but often fell behind with a rapidly growing backlog. They needed a solution that would increase efficiency, functionality and visual appeal.
They set out to create a robust, integrated Print Quality Management (PQM) system that would offer instant access to actionable data in a searchable database, all presented in a visually appealing way through a business analytics solution. The system would let clients pull up data on a specific job, brand, color or printer to determine how their print supply chain was performing, both in real-time and compared to historical data.
They just needed the right business analytics technology to help them build it.
Choosing and implementing iHub
The PQM system Phototype envisioned—called BizIQ™—would be a centralized data portal where they could provide dashboards and reports to deliver real-time brand insights to clients without having to write a new application each time. For the reporting component, Phototype started its journey with open source options, creating two reports through the open source-based OpenText™ Analytics Designer. But they found they needed more robust, automated functionality with enhanced security options. To achieve this they looked at several commercial business intelligence and analytics applications.
Phototype conducted an exhaustive search for the right analytics technology, comparing the offerings of each potential tool against their unique set of requirements. Specific areas of interest included graphic and reporting quality, ease of use and cost over time.
“This is a fairly complicated system—it’s more like buying a factory than it is buying a house,” said Gary Russell, Phototype’s vice president of new product development. “It took us about six months of in-depth evaluation; narrowing it down from seven different companies.”
The OpenText™ Information Hub (iHub), stood out among the solutions Phototype examined, both for its visually appealing graphical capabilities and multitenant security options. They wanted a user-friendly, customizable tool that could integrate seamlessly with their own applications and iHub met all of those requirements.
Within three months of choosing iHub, the entire Phototype team was trained and leveraging their new BizIQ solution with customers. “People were amazed at how fast we had it up. Some of the things they thought were going to be up in six months actually happened within the first month,” said Julie Hanley, Phototype’s director of application development.
Financial users, customer account managers and project managers could now access the data they needed for specific customer accounts. Different users could drill down to varying levels of detail, depending on their unique needs. Customers’ print production, quality and brand managers, and their printers, used dashboards and visualizations to view and drill down on quality data. “We’re receiving very positive feedback from companies that we’ve rolled this out to,” added Russell. “I’d say within five months we went from not having enough of what clients want, to having way more than they thought they’d ever get.”