Founded in 1969, Outdoor Image (formerly Formetco Print Division) is recognized as the most innovative and complete supplier to the outdoor advertising industry. Outdoor Image has amassed the most complete line of installation systems on the market. They offer services for computer-printed or hand-painted Forma-Flex and Forma-Bond.
Outdoor Image operates two pre-press locations – in Georgia and Ohio – that also print and support graphics. Sales representatives designate the fabrication location for printing services, and the Georgia operation determines the ideal location for generating the graphics.
Because each Outdoor Image order is custom and fulfilled in hours and days, not weeks and months, the company needed a way to deliver accurate, real-time information to internal staff and external customers. Outdoor Image required a single, easy-to-use information repository for all customer information to do this effectively.
- Besides being comprehensive, the Outdoor Image solution needed to be intelligent and flexible.
- Company personnel required the ability to improve order management by allowing real-time schedule modifications and notifications for critical events.
- The capability to streamline data collection by integrating into Business Central, FedEx shipping, and barcoding systems also was critical.
- Ultimately, the solution would need to link marketing, sales, customer service, and shop floor activities to customers and their orders.
The JETS solution (Job Execution Tracking System) brings sales, production, and financials together as a total integrated system:
- A job manager module captures job information and managing scheduling data.
- The jobs detail module provides job configuration and is integrated into Great Plains Sales Order Processing.
- JETS allows users to check graphics documents specific to a job. In the past, this process was managed through e-mail, limiting issue resolution from everyone in the company.
- An order history interface now supplies a simple method for searching order history and for applying that information to configure new orders.
- JETS components provide facility and printer information and links with the customer master view in Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains.
Simplicity and ease of use were the primary concerns in developing this solution.
- A simple-to-use shipment module is used to manage all shipment activity. The interface supervises FedEx shipments and provides an easy method for entering shipment information from other carriers.
- Printer operators use an operator interface to manage print orders quickly, log machine activities and receive performance measures.
- A rules-based notification feature manages e-mail notifications based on specific order criteria and then creates a comprehensive list of printable reports.
Migrating to Business Central
Outdoor Image moved its ERP system from an on-premise Great Plains system to Business Central. The goal was to provide multi-location access (GA and OH) to a cloud-based financial solution. Business Central integrates seamlessly with JETS. Production data can now be exchanged with the ERP to deliver a consolidated picture of the company’s financials.
When changes are made on the production side, the bidirectional data exchange keeps invoice line items up-to-date. The integration allows sales reps, the production team, and the front office to maintain tight synchronization for every job and stage, from sales to shipping.