Opening the Connect event in Las Vegas, US, eProductivity Software (EPS) CEO Gaby Matsliach outlined the company’s aim to turn the gathering from the user conference that it has been under EFI’s tenure into a broader ‘industry event’.

Commenting on the first 390 days of the company’s independent existence, Mr Matsliach reviewed the aims he set out at the 2022 Connect event and said that the drive towards greater collaboration across the print and packaging ‘ecosystem’ was reflected in the presence of 24 other companies who were either sponsoring or exhibiting alongside EPS. These include industry heavyweights HP, EFI, Agfa and Ricoh as well as more IT-focused businesses such as Cloud services provider ISCorp and LinkedIn.

He noted that 2023 is the fourth consecutive year characterised by an unpredictable business environment and that although supply chain issues were easing, labour shortages remain a challenge, now exacerbated by rising energy costs and inflation. Despite this, many EPS customers had been able to exploit opportunities in 2022, he said, and suggested that a de-globalisation trend was a positive development.

Mr Matsliach reported that hiring new talent had been a priority for EPS and that this would continue through 2023. He also hinted at a ‘non organic’ growth path via merger and acquisition activity, promising announcements later in 2023.

In product updates covered during the first day of Connect, key modules that underpin many of the Productivity Suite offerings have been revamped to present common browser-based and configurable interfaces. This applies to iQuote, PrintFlow Scheduling and AutoCount, while the Monarch MIS that is the central component of the Enterprise Suite has been ‘modernised’.

New abilities in Monarch include forecasting work and materials requirements for tentative jobs and indicate potential shortfalls, while iQuote will support commercial printers’ diversification into signage or PoS work with direct import/export from/to customer spreadsheets detailing complex orders with large numbers of very diverse items. Integration with third-party software allows iQuote’s capabilities to accessed via web services, opening up possibilities in flexible e-commerce quoting. The software’s ability to test all possible production paths via the installed print and finishing systems can also be used to explore ‘what if’ scenarios to guide potential equipment purchases.

Another new module for Monarch is Material Director, which comes from the MarketDirect suite, and adds warehouse picking, with walk path optimisation and tracking, as well as the ability to charge clients for warehousing space based on level of stock.

New to the MidMarket Suite, which is built around the Pace MIS, is Pogo (print on the go), which uses a smartphone app to communicate PoS/display installation instructions, routing and tooling requirements, and collect job and time tracking and sign-off for immediate billing. This is currently in beta testing with customers and is expected to be officially available in the next month; all other new capabilities are promised for the second quarter of 2023.