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Industry

Tharstern extends its knowledge to the industry

Software house, Tharstern, has created a free workbook to help the print industry tackle Management Information System (MIS) Implementation projects.

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The workbook is an accumulation of Tharstern’s experience and knowledge

With an estimating tool and purpose-built customer relationship management, Tharstern’s management information system, the Tharstern MIS allows print firms to speed up their estimating process and improve customer experience.

For a company not familiar with such systems, the words: “You’d be forgiven for breaking into a cold sweat at the very thought of an MIS Implementation”, would fill you with reassurance. These are the first lines of Tharstern’s new free MIS Implementation project workbook.

Described as “the secret weapon and the antidote to any sleepless nights”, the book was created as a culmination of the company’s experience of implementation projects as a way to share knowledge and advice for other companies embarking on a project of this kind.

Our sales and customer success teams wanted to give any company who is thinking of investing in an MIS, a guide which will help everyone in the business to understand an implementation

The workbook is a result of several months of research where the company interviewed its customer success managers to extract their advice and guidance, along with some customers who had recently completed their own MIS implementation.

Amanda Newman, head of marketing at Tharstern explains: “Our sales and customer success teams wanted to be able to give new customers or any company who is thinking of investing in an MIS, a guide which will help everyone in the business to understand an implementation.”

The first half of the workbook describes the nine steps of an implementation project and what is needed to prepare.

The second part is broken up into how to stay motivated and make the implementation a success, as well as being packed with exercises and resources such as ‘The Wheel of Implementation’, a Belbin Test which checks how well a project team will work together, and a Tharstern production workflow diagram.

The book includes nine steps to completing a successful MIS implementation project

As the workbook is not specific for the Tharstern MIS, it can be used by any print company.

Newman says: “We think the tips and tricks we’ve collected from our own customers will provide a big benefit for those using the workbook, because they can learn from other printers’ mistakes, and steal their best ideas too.

“We’ve created the book so people can take it into their project meetings, make notes in it, write their to-do lists, and also have the guidance to refer back to any point throughout their project.”

The company recommends first assembling a project team which will both decide on the preferred MIS solution, and also implement it. The firm also recommends including a member from each area of the business as everyone in the company will be affected by the change.

The following steps are preparing for the project, communicating the project to the whole company and project planning.

There is a complete lack of this type of resource out there, nobody has put together anything like this before, and that’s why we’ve decided to create it

Step five is data collection. In this section, of the workbook, Tharstern includes a checklist with items such as raw materials, outsourced services, hourly cost rates, and reporting requirements, amongst others.

The next four steps are training/knowledge transfer, testing, go-live strategy, and post go-live – taking the user right up to the last stage of the project.

Alongside each section of advice and steps, the workbook includes a to do list template with features such as a project team pledge, and boxes for high and low priorities.

The second half of the book is filled with tips and resources

On why there is a need for this type of resource for MIS implementation projects, Newman adds: “For most people, an MIS implementation is an unusual project for them. So they are entering into an unknown area, and this can sometimes make people feel a bit worried and apprehensive about the project.

“But, as it says inside the workbook – “Knowledge is the antidote to fear” – and we’ve put the workbook together to provide some knowledge about what the project entails, what they can expect, and the best way to go about it. There is a complete lack of this type of resource out there, nobody has put together anything like this before, and that’s why we’ve decided to create it.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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