DWS Printing

150-Year-Old Printing Company Controls Data Better Than Ever with Custom System from ITS


DWS Printing is a full-service premier provider of the most advanced printing and graphic systems available today. From cut-and-stack to pressure-sensitive to in-mold labels, DWS offers a range of label producing services. In their century and a half of business in New York, they've serviced a wide variety of industries and organizations, with some of the biggest current clients including craft beer, bottled water and other beverages, along with food and household product companies.

The Challenge

Several years before contacting IT Solutions, DWS developed a system internally for tracking contacts and creating invoices and reports for one part of the business. DWS chose the FileMaker Pro platform for its ability to be developed by individuals without programming backgrounds and its full customization capability. Director of Quality Assurance, John Gulino, was responsible for development and support of the initial system. With his other responsibilities at the company, he didn't have the time to build the system beyond the first iteration so the decision was made to seek a reliable FileMaker consultant to take on the additional functionality desired. At the same time, DWS explored commercial printer software packages as well to make sure the "buy" option wasn't more effective than the "build" option.

The Solution

After a thorough review of multiple consultants and comparison of the pros/cons of custom vs. commercial applications, DWS selected IT Solutions for the company's certified FileMaker team and extensive experience with building and supporting custom FM-based solutions. In a multi-phase engagement, DWS and ITS collaborated to develop, test and deploy a fully custom, multi-user job tracking and waste management solution.

The system provides a number of key features and functionality including integration of the current customer relationship management system with job details, status and production workflow tracking, invoice integration with QuickBooks to automatically sync quotes with associated accounts, as well as a simple vendor/contact management solution to facilitate job ordering.

As multiple departments play a role in the production of each print job, staff can attach their pieces of the project to an account which is represented by a single work ticket. For example, a product record from within the sales order can be generated into the system to speed up the sales order entry process. The graphic designers can then add/edit/search art jobs and enter multiple labels per job on the same work ticket. The system organizes tasks under each ticket in order of production workflow, passing the ticket onto the next department to roll out their assigned tasks prior to the final printing stage.

The Return

The improved FileMaker system reduced the amount of manual entry and unified DWS processes on a central platform. The added production workflow and tracking functionalities increase productivity for both sides of the business. Profitability for DWS is measured by waste management - the more reprints needed and thus paper wasted on each job directly correlates to lost capital. The ability to track the progress of each project prior to the final printing stage has significantly reduced the amount of "throw away" print jobs to less than two percent.

"IT Solutions has been able to take each one of our departments needs and create an easy to use, intuitive database that would have taken several off-the-shelf products, costing in the tens-of-thousands of dollars. We can customize our database how and when we need to without the high cost of service contracts. Their team of software engineers gives us the support and expertise we've come to rely on."

John Gulino, Technical Director of DWS Printing

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