In November of last year, EFI acquired Technique, the British company that developed the print MIS with the same name. While EFI did acquire all of Technique’s print MIS tools, it has left the products more or less as they are, only taking care of an integrated workflow with their Fiery digital front-end and inkjet portfolio including VUTEk, Jetrion and wide format devices. But what exactly is Technique, and how does it compare to for example EFI’s Monarch?
Technique is a modular Management Information System (MIS), targeting printing environments. Technique, the company, has developed Technique, the product, in such a way that it isn’t just a print MIS, but also an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tool. Technique is a modular system, which basically means you can plug in and take out modules as required.
Available modules include:
- A mobile MIS and reporting tool running on iOS devices
- An analytical reporting tool
- Customer Relationship Management
- Data collection module that even monitors paper
- Sales enquiry tool
- Estimating module with route-based calculation engine
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Customer Portal
- Production scheduling tool
- Connectivity module to integrate with other systems (JMF, XML, financial adapter).
The Technique MIS is a feature complete system, users report that it is simple to use and set up with some good reporting which can be customised to suit your needs. Users also report the learning curve is not steep at all, so you can be up and running very quickly.
The modular approach is said to work well. The different modules have different prices and there is one that is reported to be a must-have: the production planning module. This, users say, is excellent. Also recently added was the iPhone and iPad functionality. iTechnique, as it is called, is even fully social media aware including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Finally, users report a good support with quick response times and an eagerness to find a solution for your problem. Users reporting good things about Technique has certainly contributed to EFI not going the way it usually does when acquiring a company, which is to encourage customers to move to one of the existing EFI products.
In an interview with PrintWeek, EFI Senior VP and General Manager of Productivity software Marc Olin said: “Where Technique has done well has been among the larger print groups in Europe and Australia, primarily web offset and gravure businesses that are significant in scale.” EFI does have quite a few web offset and gravure clients using the Monarch print MIS in the US, but the two platforms are slightly different and it will come down to a matter of customer preference, according to Olin.
Olin also said about Monarch that it is somewhat more advanced in terms of post-press integration, whereas Technique’s estimating functionality is a little more automated.