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Two medium-size print businesses set the course for the future with Keyline

The German print businesses Druckhaus Hesseling and Druckerei Stürner are gearing up for the future with print business management software Keyline from Zaikio. The main decision-making criteria were openness for integration with other applications, the clear structure and high ease of use, and the price/performance ratio. Implementation was completed in just a few weeks in each case, and the efficiency gains and savings are high.

When it came to increasing efficiency in the printing industry, the stage has so far mostly been production – there has been no focus on print shop management. However, more and more print businesses are recognizing that aging MIS systems, for example, are not capable of mapping the current requirements of the business.

Druckhaus Hesseling (Managing Director Christian Hesseling in the picture on the left) employs twelve people. In addition to classic commercial printing in offset and digital, the focus of production is on posters, which are produced in large-format printing from the roll up to A0 format. As part of the thoughts on switching to a new shop system, the team also questioned the forward-looking nature of the MIS in use.

With eight employees, Druckerei Stürner (Managing Director Alexander Stürner in the picture on the right) mainly produces labels in sheetfed offset printing and roll labels in digital printing and is active in print finishing, in particular hot stamping and die cutting.  The existing MIS was no longer up to date – for example, order processing was cumbersome and the system no longer ran on new PCs.

Putting everything to the test

Both print businesses reviewed a number of MIS applications. Christian Hesseling and Alexander Stürner appreciate the fact that this involved putting all processes to the test, rethinking them, and thus uncovering potential for optimization. Both finally decided in favor of Keyline from Zaikio. 

Alexander Stürner: "We wanted a straightforward system that is clearly laid out and user-friendly. What I particularly like about Keyline, apart from the ease of use, is the really well-designed app for tablets, which we use to bring all the relevant information digitally directly into production and also report back our operating data – that's a turbo for efficiency."

Openness and cost/benefit factor were key factors

Christian Hesseling explains his choice of Keyline: "The openness and easy integration with other systems via APIs were key reasons for our decision." Alexander Stürner also compared several MISs, paying particular attention to the cost/benefit factor: "It was important to me how our new solution could be scaled up and down. Here, Keyline came out on top. I also liked the fact that no high initial investment is necessary. The ability to integrate other cross-platform apps was also a deciding factor." 

Implementation in just six weeks

Both managing directors were surprised at how quickly the changeover went. Alexander Stürner: "We went live just six weeks after the decision was made. One added value in Keyline is that all processes are highly digitalized, everything can be done with just a few clicks. Of course, we haven't fully tapped the potential yet, but it's like a new car – you can drive from A to B right away, then discover the finesse while you're driving."

Christian Hesseling sees it as an advantage that all production steps can be defined in Keyline itself: "This means that the software can be adapted to the individual operating processes. Everything is well solved, just as we had envisioned. The transition ran swiftly, everything was done in six weeks."

Operating the software in the cloud is an important aspect for Hesseling, especially in the current pandemic situation: "Since we can access Keyline from any location, it's easy for us to relocate workstations to the home office if needed. Another advantage is that things like data storage and security are delegated to the manufacturer – that’s a considerable relief."

Integrated with online shop, accounting to follow

The days of supposed "jack-of-all-trades" solutions are probably over in the software industry – today, applications with an open architecture that are focused on a specific purpose and easily to be integrated with other programs are in demand. This is also the case at Druckhaus Hesseling: "As far as the shop solution is concerned, we opted for Lead-Print from Be.Beyond, which we linked with Keyline. 

In the near future, an accounting software will also be purchased, which will also collaborate with Keyline. Christian Hesseling: "A product decision has not yet been made, but it is clear that it will also be a cloud-based solution".

No more unpleasant surprises, but high efficiency benefits

The team at Druckhaus Hesseling is confident that it will not only be faster, but also more precise, especially when it comes to costing: "In post-costing, initial comparisons with the previous solution have shown significantly greater accuracy, which saves us from unpleasant surprises." 

Alexander Stürner agrees: "Keyline is extremely efficient, compared to the previous system we see a time saving of easily 50 percent. From costing to order creation to invoicing, manual intervention is no longer necessary, everything is automated."

Setting the course for the future

Christian Hesseling and Alexander Stürner believe they are well prepared for the future with their new print business management software. Stürner: "The market is developing so fast, I'm also thinking about innovative developments where I don't want to be at a dead end in five years. Here, Zaikio with its same-named platform, which is constantly evolving, is the right basis." 

Christian Hesseling is also very interested in Zaikio – just like Druckerei Stürner, the team at the printing house is already using Zaikio Procurement to optimize the procurement process: "It's going very well and saves us the previously high effort for checking prices and availability of paper and other consumables."

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