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At print company Butz & Bürker, easy interoperability made the case for Keyline

The German printing company Butz & Bürker has opted for Zaikio's Print-MIS Keyline. The result: higher efficiency and improved customer service. In addition to functional benefits including technical openness, efficient costing and operating data collection, Managing Director Thomas Karcher also appreciates soft factors - the vendor's service capability and its appreciation of customers.

A very large selection of fine papers, unusual and handcrafted finishes, a wide variety of printing processes and the highest quality – this is what the print shop Butz & Bürker in Karlsruhe (Germany) has stood for a good 85 years.

Managing Director Thomas Karcher: "We are a specialist in the small- and medium-run sector and deliver even the smallest volumes in the highest quality. One of our unique selling points is the elaborate finishing of print products. This is how we achieve stable growth."

Automation can be fun

Short runs and extensive finishing stages lead to a great deal of work on the commercial side, too. Thomas Karcher: "We had already used an MIS. When high license fees would have been due, we developed our own solution based on Excel. Once you start doing this, analyzing and automating processes is a great deal of fun. The technology itself is secondary for me – I'm not an IT person, but rather look at everything from a business perspective. For me, it's all about efficiency in production and optimum service for our customers. Then I got in touch with Keyline from Zaikio and saw that we were building functionality that Keyline had long since had."

Openness drove the decision

Thomas Karcher remembers the decision-making process: "Zaikio always advertises the openness of Keyline. At first, I doubted its benefits and advantages. When I understood that I can handle the interfaces even without a developer and real programming skills, the decision for Keyline was clear. Any information I want to get out, I can get out – and in everywhere. This makes Keyline the data hub in the management and production processes, able to control other software solutions and machines."

Efficient costing of complex orders 

According to Karcher, "especially with complex orders, costing is like a maze of threads – if you pull one, it affects a whole series of downstream workflow steps. This is where Keyline's efficiency is particularly evident – everything is calculated automatically."

No more poking in the fog

At Butz & Bürker, it was like in so many print shops: many jobs were produced without knowing whether they were profitable. Keyline therefore makes it possible to record operating data – even directly at the machine via the iPad app. 

Thomas Karcher: "After the first two months with Keyline, we could no longer imagine how we could have managed without this collection of operating data. Many of the recurring orders, for example, simply ran along for a long time without us questioning their profitability. Today we have the data enabling us to adjust where necessary."


"Finally a supplier who takes us seriously"

Operating Keyline in the SaaS model was another important decision making criterion. In addition to billing via usage-based fees, Karcher sees another decisive advantage: "Because of the rapid terminability of such usage contracts, vendors have to keep customers happy." For example, he says, there have been three major updates in the first two months with Keyline that improved the system in functionality and stability. These updates revealed that Zaikio values customer wishes and requirements. Says Karcher, "I've never felt like I was taken so seriously by a vendor. This is more of a partnership than just a customer relationship."

Customer service significantly improved

"Particularly for orders with many sub-processes – keyword: complex finishing – it was not easy to keep track of everything in the past. Now everyone in the team is always aware of the exact status of each individual order and can inform the customer accordingly at any time," says Karcher. "In discussions with customers, we notice regularly that this is very positively received."

Karcher expects a further boost from Zaikio Mission Control: "This completely new type of networking of the entire printing industry offers enormous potential in terms of automation, efficiency and customer service. I'm already very excited about the potential."
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