Acctivate is a lifeline for the business. Our business really depends on Acctivate to function and to help us keep our costs low for our customers and make things as efficient as we possibly can, not just for us but for our customers.”
Barbara Somerville, Business Manager, Printnovation
Real 100% cotton bags, eco-friendly high-speed digital printing process, unlimited printable colors…
Using advanced printing technology and high-quality materials, Printnovation, LLC manufactures and prints stock and custom cloth bags for an assortment of uses, from business to personal.
“Our goal is to provide a very high-quality bag with printing that is superior to anything else,” said Printnovation Business Manager, Barbara Somerville.
Printnovation has developed a proprietary digital process to quickly print on all types of cloth bags using technology in an imaginative and innovative way. This allows them to give better, faster service to their customers without increased cost – giving customers durable cloth bags with immaculately printed, long-lasting designs.
“Everything that we develop is specifically for our company – there isn’t anyone else in the country or world, for that matter, that does what we do,” said Somerville.
Innovative Inventory Management Software
Printnovation chose Acctivate to handle their business needs, noting its bidirectional integration with QuickBooks.
Somerville explained why Acctivate was the right inventory management solution for a business that managed accounting through QuickBooks…
We liked the integration between Acctivate and QuickBooks. We just use QuickBooks as our accounting software and everything is done through Acctivate.”
Acctivate in conjunction with QuickBooks is a powerful combination, enabling Printnovation to conduct sophisticated business operations without a high price tag.
We’re a small business and we have capabilities from using Acctivate that exceed the capabilities of our largest competitors,” said Dick Van Buren, general manager, Printnovation.
Acctivate’s assembly feature archives a bill of materials of the individual components that go into a final product.
Using a standard assembly allows us to track exactly what components and how much of each component go into everything. It helps us cost out each of the products to make sure that we are actually making a profit,” said Somerville.
Somerville continued about using the assemblies feature in Acctivate…
Because it will build into the final product, Acctivate’s assembly feature provides visibility into everything that you need in order to give the customer what they want. On the backside, it allows us to be as efficient as possible making our profitability higher.”
Multiple Location Control
Printnovation organizes their warehouse inventory by keeping high demand products in easily accessible, low-level areas of their warehouse, while products in bulk are kept at higher levels.
“We end up keeping a standard amount of 10,000 odd pieces down at a low range and the people in the warehouse go ahead and restock that as necessary,” Somerville said.
When Printnovation receives a shipment, items are swiftly placed wherever space is available in the warehouse, allowing Printnovation to remain flexible to ever-changing product levels and amounts.
“I don’t have to leave open spaces on my shelves – where we have space we put product, so all we have to do is locate it. I don’t have to reserve warehouse space for sizes so it does allow me to be more efficient in my warehouse use and I’m not constantly in a scenario where I have to reorganize my whole warehouse in order to make something fit.
A great example would be three of our bags are 4×6, 5×7, and 6×8. In between the 4×6 and the 6×8 I don’t have to leave open space for that 5×7 – I can stick anything I want to on that level which makes it very easy and efficient.”
The locations of those products are managed by Printnovation in Acctivate using the Multiple Location Control feature.
Not having to reorganize the whole warehouse when the container comes and having the flexibility to put the product where there is room at the time and locating that within Acctivate makes it so much easier in the back. It allows everyone to get the product put away quickly, put away correctly, and ensure that we’re tracking what we have so reordering also becomes a breeze.”
Acctivate’s Multiple Location Control allows people to get back to the work at hand quickly and back on track, so we do not have to spend weeks at a time reorganizing the warehouse to make sure things are exactly in their place – it just makes things quick and easy and it lowers our level of frustration. It’s pretty impressive.”
Acctivate’s pricing function enables Printnovation to offer customers a fair and accurate price on its custom products by taking into consideration all factors such as cost of materials, labor, etc.
When I set up a final product and I assign the components, Acctivate goes ahead and it gives me an estimated cost on the price of the bags for the customers. Then I just ensure that we’re looking at a price that’s about what it should be.”
Mostly I use Acctivate’s pricing feature to ensure that we are making profit. Seeing the components that go into the final product and the amount of time and the flexibility in Acctivate to make adjustments to those components as necessary, we find that it takes less time to make a product. We can actually pass those savings along to our customers. If it takes more time, we adjust as necessary.”
Pricing in Acctivate is also highly customizable and adjustable, allowing for tiered-pricing, discounts, contracts, and more.
For some of our customers, we’ll have a contracted price for the course of a year and I will use the features that are available through Acctivate to do that. I’ll also use discounting based on quantities or special circumstances.
Acctivate allows me to keep track of all my specials that I’m offering and it allows me to keep track of all the contracts that we offer to our customers as well.”
Shipping Workstation Interface
Acctivate’s shipping workstation interface allows for direct integration with major shipping providers, eliminating the need to manually enter shipment information.
Being able to interface between Acctivate and the other shipping software programs like FedEx and UPS is a great timesaver because you don’t have to re-enter anything – you eliminate all of the fumble finger mistakes that could happen over the course of large orders.”
Somerville continued on the features of Acctivate’s Shipping Workstation Integration…
Being able to hold multiple addresses in Acctivate is also a nice feature because we ship to our customers all over the place, not just necessarily to one location.
That makes it really nice and easy to have the two pieces of software, Acctivate and UPS or FedEx software or whoever it is we’re shipping through, talk to each other. It makes the efficiency level in the back go up quite a bit.”
Somerville talked about the feature’s ease of use…
Warehouse workers may not be very excited to learn to use new software, but that’s okay – we train them on Acctivate and once they find out how easy it is, it’s great.”
Business Activity Management
Business activities in Acctivate are an excellent way to manage customer activity all the way from initial inquiry to post-sale to everything in between.
We use business activities to track our sales opportunities all the way through the delivery of the final product to the customer. What I’ll do is I’ll be in contact with a customer who may want some packaging from us and I’ll enter that into Acctivate as an open business activity that we have it marked as sales opportunity.
All of my interactions with the customer are then tracked through that particular business activity and it will give me reminders and updates on what I need to do to close that business.”
Because Acctivate is an integrated system, business activities can be linked to the sales orders that correspond with it, allowing information such as order and shipping status to be easily accessed and tied to the business activity and sales order.
Once the deal is closed, I, in the front office, will be able to see the order in Acctivate and see what’s going on physically in the back in production so I can keep my customers up to speed on the status of their project.
Once it ships, I can go ahead and feed that information to my customer and let them know exactly when they can expect to have their product.”
Business activities can also be maintained and updated even after the product has been shipped and received.
We reach out to the customers once it’s been delivered to ensure that they have it and we put all of that feedback into the business activity.”
Notes can additionally be stored in business activities, such as customer preferences and other applicable customer information.
We also use Acctivate’s business activities for what we call an ‘in-house job’ and that’s actually how we keep all of our jobs filed. Jobs are all assigned an in-house job number and then they’re tracked that way and production can go ahead and keep notes on that in-house job for future prints.
If they have little tricks or techniques that they use in order to make the job go faster, they put all of those notes on the business activities so that information is notated on an inventory assembly – so production has everything that they need at their fingertips to go ahead and get a repeat job done.”
We’re not having to manage software – we’re actually managing our business.”
The biggest thing that I would tell you is that for us, Acctivate is a lifeline for the business. If for any reason, it went away or we didn’t have access to it then it would be detrimental. Our business really depends on Acctivate to function and to help us keep our costs low for our customers and make things as efficient as we possibly can, not just for us but for our customers.
Acctivate allows us to create greater efficiencies within our processes and it allows us to get to the business at hand so that we’re not having to manage software – we’re actually managing our business.”
Somerville continued about Printnovation’s experience using Acctivate…
We’ve had great success with Acctivate since we began using it in 2005. It’s really made some big differences in our business and what we do – the visibility and the insight into the sales, the ability to order what’s needed quickly at the push of a button, the amazing way it works within our warehouse and how we do things. It’s very unique and the flexibility it offers is great.”