Printing businesses depend on wide format printing for high-quality output of large-scale promotional materials, signage, and other applications where traditional printing processes simply won’t cut it.

However, tight timelines, an abundance of print media, and tracking costs of wide formatting printing tasks present a slew of challenges for print shops in 2023.

At Avanti Systems, our print MIS experts are here to help provide guidance on wide format printing, common challenges, and how a print management information system (MIS) can solve them.

What is Wide Format Printing?

Wide format printing, also known as large format printing, refers to the process of printing materials that are too big for standard presses. It involves printing graphics or images with a width greater than 24 inches (60 centimeters), and some wide format printers can print up to widths of 196 inches, often referred to as grand format printing.

Wide format printing is commonly used for various applications such as point of purchase displays, trade show materials, posters, signage, vehicle wraps, and other promotional materials.

Uses for Wide Format Printers

Wide format printers can print large graphics in various formats at an impressive level of quality.

Some of the common uses for wide format printers include:

  • Retail signage: Any store you walk into is loaded with large, custom size signage for the latest promotions, sales, and events. Businesses depend on print shops with wide format printers to meet high-output orders of large prints with unique dimensions.
  • Trade shows: Companies in different industries showcase their products and services at trade shows around the world, and wide format printing helps brands stand out from the competition.
  • Banners and posters: From advertising posters to massive banners that span entrances and archways, wide format printers deliver quality imagery at sizes that simply can’t be achieved with traditional printers and formats.
  • Wall graphics and window displays: Large murals and printed window signage can transform a retail space, arena, or large commercial facility overnight. Wide format printers excel at printing graphics to fit the need to cover large walls and windows for promotional purposes.

Wide Format Printing Challenges

Wide format printing can present cost-prohibitive challenges for small shops, including:

  • Tight timelines: Managing aggressive timelines is a challenge from the estimating stage all the way through the production process. Every job seems to be a rush, and the longer it takes to get it into production, the less time there is to actually produce it.
  • Print media: There is a huge variety of print media options available to wide format printers, and each is available in various sizes and thicknesses. Managing media options, tracking landed costs and managing inventory levels are essential to success and profitability in wide format.
  • Purchasing: Tight timelines and an abundance of print media make managing purchasing a challenging and complicated task. Optimizing the purchasing process will directly impact profitability .
  • Scheduling: With a typically high volume of jobs, the production schedule for a wide format printer is dynamic and changes throughout the day. Planning resources to be as productive as possible is essential to meet all timelines and commitments.
  • Job cost: It is extremely important to capture actual job costs in order to understand profitability on a job-by-job basis.. This data enables management to direct sales efforts and focus improvement plans on the areas requiring attention.


Understanding the Role of MIS in Wide Format Printing

A Print Management Information System (Print MIS) is a specialized software solution designed to streamline the workflow in a print production environment.

A Print MIS allows smaller shops to tackle large-scale print operations that, until recently, only enterprise-level businesses could handle.

Learn more about our Print MIS solution, Avanti Slingshot.

Key Benefits of an MIS for Wide Format Printing

When it comes to wide format printing, a Print MIS solution can help small shops overcome challenges and perform like their bigger competitors. Some of the advantages of a Print MIS solution include:

Centralized Data Management

Managing a printing business involves juggling multiple data streams. From client details and job specifications to material inventory and invoices, it can quickly become a logistical nightmare.

This issue is where a Print MIS steps in. Centralizing all this data provides a one-stop shop for all your information needs, making data handling a breeze rather than a chore.

Automated Job Scheduling

Automated job scheduling allows for the efficient allocation of resources and prioritizes tasks based on deadlines, complexity, and other parameters.

The result? More jobs are done in less time with fewer errors.

Real-time Reporting

Print MIS offers real-time reporting, providing you with up-to-the-minute insights into your operations.

From tracking job progress and identifying bottlenecks to forecasting trends and measuring performance, real-time reporting can transform your decision-making process and help your business stay agile in the face of challenges.

Highlight the benefits of implementing an MIS, such as centralized data management, automated job scheduling, and real-time reporting. 

Wide Format Printing with Avanti Slingshot®

Wide format printing can be a costly business, but it doesn’t have to be.

In 2023, even a small print shop can achieve enterprise-level productivity, quality control, and cost efficiency by properly integrating a proven Print MIS solution.

Learn more about the wide format advantages of Print MIS with Avanti Slingshot.

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