Mary Lulich has 35 years in the print industry but only started her own business Pixel Graphix Studio 4 years ago. Located in Shelby on the shores of Lake Michigan, USA, they are the local design, print and branding specialists.
The business has grown and advanced keeping up with the ever-changing print industry by increasing the products and services it offers. Today, the business provides a range of services from traditional print work, through to graphic and web design solutions.
As technology to the print industry has evolved so too did Mary’s business acumen, as she decided to move her processes into a cloud-based environment. Initially, she converted her accounting processes into Xero, an easy to use but highly functional accounting solution. She then started to look for an online print management software solution.
Mary says “much of our work is digital print which we run on our machines in the shop. I needed a print estimating software to enable me to price this accurately. But I also needed to work like a print broker as I outsource my offset and some signage work to third party vendors.
The online print management software solution, which proved to be the most logical choice, was Hexicom Software. Not only was Hexicom Software an approved Xero partner, but it was a solution that was responsive to her Print MIS processes. In regards to the accounting, Hexicom Software is an approved Xero partner. This means that Hexicom Software provides a connection to Xero through the internet so data from the Hexicom print management software can be sent directly through the internet into Xero. The advantage for users like Mary, is there is no manual data entry between the two systems.
As Mary also discovered, “the system can handle both types of jobs, in-house and outsourced, which means I can handle all types of quotes and jobs in the one system. I can also create standard products for items I quote on regularly, which makes pricing these really very simple and I can always give a consistent price. No matter which way I build the quote I can provide up to four prices so if a customer asks for a certain quantity, I can provide that. I am also able to upsell, by giving prices for up to 3 other amounts in the same estimate. Often the customers take the larger quantities, so the print estimating software is actually enabling me to increase my business. Another great thing is that I can now monitor my margins and see how much I will make before I even send the quote to the customer. This allows me to check that I am giving my customers a good price whilst also maintaining a margin that ensures I run profitably and is sustainable to the ongoing costs to the business.”
The advantages of a cloud-based Print MIS approach to print management allows clients like Pixel Graphix Studio to create a systematic approach to their internal processes, that all users within the business can access simultaneously if required. Estimating becomes a breeze as the system manages the pricing which means all employees are on the same page and tracking a jobs status and progress at any time is quick and easy. No matter the number of users or the number of estimates or jobs in the system it is a solution that works for all.
“I have been waiting for something like Hexicom’s print estimating software for nearly 4 years from when I opened my doors – I’m sure it was out there before I found it but I was so green, I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for!
So, long story, the only estimating tools I used before Hexicom was a pencil, calculator and paper. It was incredibly time consuming and because I’m an artist and right brained, not very accurate.
I was specifically searching for something that was cloud based, because my experiences after viewing many demos, was that the majority of the estimating software was almost entirely PC based with actual software needed. It appeared taxing to learn, clunky interface and not easy for me to use. Not to mention the expense was too great for my fledgling company.
So every 6 months, I’d take the time to Google cloud based print estimating software. Then in November, I came across Hexicom Software – I signed up for a demo and after that, I made an agreement to purchase and use.
SUPPORT IS EXCELLENT: Training was absolutely brilliant. Once a week Phil would schedule an online meeting with me. At first, it was to get the basics, as the weeks went by, I was coming up with my own unique situations, which Phil very expertly walked me through the steps. I’m still asking questions, but mainly through email they have satisfied my knowledge. I know that at anytime, I could request a one on one, and they would accommodate. I’m a student at heart and could barely wait for them! I like the fact that you can create individual products for super fast estimating. That learning has been interesting and fun.
It’s actually given me the confidence to enter the job specs and not overlook incidentals such as shrink wrapping. I’m beginning to see a significant increase in my job prices. Something else I learned from this is that it’s so professional looking, rather than an email invoice, that it’s hard to question pricing : ) I tell myself, that’s the what the program tells me I have to make!
I really like the interface. I love the fact that it’s cloud based because it keeps my costs to a manageable level and I think it will be more fluid in the future.
I highly recommend the system, the support and the company.”