Software to manage your print jobs?

Any of you have any good recommendations for software to manage your print jobs?

Attach images, set deadlines, track progress, etc.!

I’d appreciate any input.

Log in to reply   9 replies so far

casmit, Most commercial print shops use a “job ticket”
to work from. It’s pretty much a large catalog envelope,
that travels with the job through the shop. Creating software to do the job of a “job ticket” seems like a waste of time,especially in small operations.james

James is right.

Many years ago,when I was works manager in a medium size commercial letterpress shop the job envelope showed all the relevant details of the job, inc materials to be used, deadlines, etc on the front; and on the back was tabulated all the separate operations with space to enter the time taken for each process.

I wrote my own software program in C+ to transfer the details to computer, calculate the cost of each item and produce an invoice; these details were added to our monthly summary to monitor our turnover.

so no electronic notifications, etc. to let you know when they job is late, due dates are approaching, etc.?

I guess I can use a basic project management package. I only have 5-10 jobs going at once but the deadlines get kind of mixed up…

In the shops I worked in the tickets “ideally” resided in racks either at the press or other work stations-or sat on top of the finished printing between points. Somewhere in bold print on top was the due date for the job. Usually there would be from 50 to 100 tickets in circulation at any one time.

I think there are some basic scheduling programs you can use to monitor production waypoints, so a ticket that gets stuck in comp (say waiting for a cut) will flag and you can go look for it and find out what’s going on. However, for the small shop the operator should have a day to day awareness of what’s getting out, or not.

I hate to bring this up, but I am.

I hate computers, have been working with them for 20 years as a graphics newspaper and print layout.

If you going to go back to letterpress , get away from computers all together.

I had a great letterpress shop, put in a computer system in the mid-70’s.

If you work with a computer you start doing things on the computer.

You start drawing, setting your type, make layouts, and the real fun of letterpress is the hands on of real type, engravings etc.

Before I get 10,000 emails telling me I wrong. I just want to say, Letterpress is a hands on printing system, and the art of craft of letterpress is real type and artwork done with pen and ink and make into an engraving to use on the letterpress press.

If you want to do layouts and etc on the computer stay offset.

And, hand write your job tickets. No letterpress shop is doing hundreds of tickets a day.

We use a eraseable Whiteboard to track Jobs, easily to see what is approved, in Prepress, on Press or in Finishing or shipped.
An accounting Program has the values for cost of materials, services and labor, very easy to create a Packing List, Shipping Label, Job Ticket or Invoice.

Keep it simple.

Other info job tickets may contain are samples from the last job run, a dylux or dummy, invoices for supplies needed for the job, any production notes, processes that are outsourced, etc. You can make a production board to help you track your jobs. Anything will work such as a chalk board, note book, or even a peg and hook board hung on the wall.
I dislike computers too…had my hard-drive crash and burn, interrupted and DOS internet connections, and besides I always keep a hand written book with job #’s, customer, and other info. I can’t tell you how many times after the company put in a computer system someone from the front office, came to me to look for the info they needed but couldn’t get off the computer when it was down. Even a simple list on a piece of paper will work. Good luck and happy printing!

To answer your question.
A very popular program in Australia is known as Quote and Print. They have offices in many parts of the world.
Can be bought in modules, the basic one is “Production” most printers I worked for found that that module did most things, however like all things whether this day and age, Rubbish in_Rubbish out, or, in letterpress terminology, a good makeready will produce the best results. How you set up the system will determine how effective it is.
I spent many years using it and it is developed for printers, by printers. I estimated with it and it is excellent for revising quotes, duplicating the next job ticket, I produced work tickets: 1 ticket for the whole job or specialized tickets for different departments, had all the alarms, whistles and reminders. It is so comprehensive, you’ll never use it all.
Thoroughly recommend it and the excellent backup and support., phone +61 2 9747 9000 or 9088
ask for Bradford or Ron Pelley. Mention my name.
William Amer, Rockley NSW

In my shop, we just use the old fashioned job ticket, but some of the designers I work for use Base Camp, which is a project management system that has all the alarms and reminders for you, but your client can also log in to the “ticket” so instead of emailing back and forth, there is a platform to keep you and your client connected and send files back and forth throughout the project. All correspondence between you is listed just like this forum. It annoys me, because its a little overkill for our projects. But it works very well for the designer when involved in complicated branding and webdesign jobs.