Epicor Software Corporation, provider of business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organisations, has announced that Integrity Print, the UK business printing specialist, has selected Epicor's next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to replace its legacy Management Information System (MIS) software, which had become a constraint against business change. Integrity Print will be implementing Epicor for Printing and Packaging.
With an annual turnover of 63m and employing 400 people located in two sites, Integrity Print supplies a huge range of products to many vertical markets; from simple business stationery through to booklets, pressure seal labels and personalised security products for the financial services industry. The company prides itself on its ability to continue servicing its traditional print business, recognised as a mature market, while also diversifying its sales offering to take advantage of the opportunities presented by new markets, such as e-commerce.
"We've diversified through acquisition and intend to remain at the front of our industry," said David Wright, supply chain manager for Integrity Print. "Print is a rapidly moving industry and the legacy architecture and limited functionality of our ageing system was beginning to force us down a cul-de-sac, so we took this decision to protect our continued growth."
Integrity Print has used a heavily customised green-screen MIS system for many years. However, with a complex and poorly documented database structure the system is inflexible and difficult to develop. In turn this made it impractical to modify the system to integrate with the company's Kodak PRINERGY Digital Workflow System, or change the functionality to meet the demands of modern printing, such as digital production and personalisation.
"The artwork system is a primary application for any print business, but once a customer has signed off the artwork for a job, we have to manually transfer that information into the legacy system every time to schedule and trigger the production run," added Wright. "In addition, we hold stock for customers that they can call-off via a website. This, again, cannot be integrated into our existing system, requiring a rekeying of the requirement between applications."
Epicor for Printing and Packing will completely replace Integrity Print's existing legacy system. Developed in partnership with Kodak, Epicor Printing and Packaging offers full and seamless integration with industry leading Kodak Unified Workflow Solutions, such as Kodak PRINERGY, which is Integrity Print's central artwork system. This will allow full automation of production scheduling and manufacturing when artwork is approved by customers in PRINERGY. Epicor's extensibility and SOA architecture will also give Integrity Print the ability to fully integrate its customer "Stock Call-Off" portal into Epicor, giving the organisation a fully integrated business system for the first time.
The heavy customisation of Integrity Print's existing MIS system meant that the list of things it couldn't do became critical as the company moved further away from traditional printing. In particular, the company was forced to stay on an older version of the product because those customisations would break if updates were applied.
"We just couldn't afford the risk and cost of downtime if we applied an update to the existing system all our customisation would need rewriting," concluded Wright. "One of the things that really stood out for us with Epicor, is that it is highly flexible and separates business rules from the underlying code. We now have a clear path for upgrades and are confident that the system is versatile enough to cope with new opportunities that we have not even thought of yet."
"Print is a fast moving and complex business with very tight margins, making efficiency critical," added Craig Stephens, director for product marketing at Epicor. "Customers need complete flexibility, reliability and control over their systems there is nothing worse than knowing that your systems are holding the business back. For Epicor, ensuring that flexibility and control stay in the hands of our customers is a critical part of our success in the midmarket."