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Managing the variables in the screen-printing workflow is but one of the ways in which growing shops can maximize productivity and profits. Streamlining and standardizing interdepartmental communication, reporting, job quoting, invoicing, and more is another potent method screen printers can employ to give their balance sheets a boost.

Business-management software is typically the first place printers look when they need an accessible way to reign in their practices. For example, accounting software can help straighten out the books, while a program focused on customer-relationship management can allow a busy shop to improve its handling of client information. Unfortunately, using different systems throughout the business can lead to issues with data management and exchange. If the accounting software generates a report that the customer-oriented software can’t import, then the valuable information will have to be reentered. Such a situation can consume lots of time and lead to costly errors.

Cyrious Software developed its Control Out-of-the-Box software to offer printers who are focused on growth a multifunctional solution for business management in a single system. Cyrious says users can put the software to work immediately upon receipt, thereby eliminating excessive implementation costs, and operate the program with only minimal computer skills. Control Out-of-the-Box comes with a set of standard features. Users may augment the software’s capabilities by purchasing additional services. Among the standard tools are estimating, customer management, pricing, target marketing, reporting, sales management, accounting-data export, customized data tracking, and more. Also included are one user license and one store license, one pricing dataset, three one-hour phone-based training sessions, six months of technical support, and unlimited access to Web-based training classes and videos while on a valid tech-support contract.

The software’s Activity Manager allows users to track interactions with customers and store those details in customers’ records. They can then call up a client’s entire history, including old estimates, past orders, calls for customer service, e-mail exchanges, and more. Activity Manager also includes a calendar that can be used as a task reminder. The estimating and quoting tool facilitates customized entry of data (pricing forms) that are specific to each product. The pricing forms collect all of the information needed to price a job, and the software allows users to automatically compute cost and price, adjust profit margins, save estimates, and e-mail, fax, or print estimates. Cyrious says Control Out-of-the-Box also gives operators the ability to convert estimates into orders with point-and-click ease, as well as attach job-related images or documents to the work order as it’s sent to the production floor.

Cyrious most recently introduced a version of Control Out-of-the-Box  that includes pricing tools specifically for flat-stock and textile screen printing. When estimating pricing, users can calculate layout, including printed area, total area, scrap area, roll length, and more. The pricing tool also lets operators add product descriptions, review margin percentages and unit costs, input charges for additional items or services (i.e., design, shipping and installation), and add production notes specific to the job.

Control Out-of-the-Box reports job status in real time, including department location, and it can be used to track and analyze marketing efforts, export data to common accounting solutions (PeachTree, QuickBooks, and others), quote jobs remotely or on site, and schedule jobs, appointments, and calls. Those who purchase the software can opt for additional services, such as modules for inventory, costing, shipping, and credit-card processing. Other services include customer-data conversion (from Excel, QuickBooks, or tab-delimited format), additional user licenses, and pricing datasets for screen printing, vinyl, large-format imaging, electric signs, and repro. Datasets for commercial printing products are expected third quarter, 2007.

The minimum requirements for Cyrious Control Out-of-the-Box on a single station include Windows XP Professional, 1-GB RAM, 20-GB hard drive, and Pentium 4 processor. For more information, contact Cyrious Software, 12627-C Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816, 800-552-1418, e-mail, Web:


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