Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Linx production management software overview

Does your business offer an online store?

No, we do not have an apparel store.  However, most of our customers do and they look something like this.

Having an online presence is essential.  However, managing the orders from those stores can get complicated.  Knowing where each order is in your production process can get tricky and confirming that each order is shipped correctly is challenging.  This can mean a lot of paper, or hoping that your accounting package or CRM can handle work flow.

A better plan is to implement production management software.  There are many of these available on the market that will help manage inventory, shipping and billing.  These will read in orders and give you a paperless system.   However, there is only one that drives the actual production of the machines themselves.  That is Linx.

Pulling directly from your store, whether that is a custom designed web site or a Shopify site, Linx captures order data including art files and product information and it directs those orders to their production stations.  Orders can be sorted by purchase requirement, delivery requirements, production requirements of dozens of other ways.  So Linx is used for purchasing, quality control and shipping.

This image is way easier to read in real time.  However, each row is an order and each column contains information as to the status of the order.

Now I know you are saying that you can do all of this on the system you already have.  That is true. 

What else can Linx do?

The list is pretty long so here is a quick overview:
  • Map artwork from order to output.  Meaning it links the art file location to the order and scales and places it in the final print position.
  • Bar code tag all orders for scanner access at each production station
  • Convert PNG files to formats required for output devices.  (AR3, ARX4, KSF, many more)
  • Control print parameters specific for each art file, each product and each output device
  • Position and scale artwork to any location on the product
  • Set pretreat and curing parameters for each product and art file so that the Synergy and FireFly treat each item for their specific requirements
  • Pull orders directly from your web site and send orders directly to ShipStation

These are items that are NOT done by the spreadsheet that you currently use.

When a barcode prints for an order, it has all information specific to the product and the order.  That barcode is scanned at the Synergy and pretreat is applied and cured based on preset rules.  At the DTG machine, the barcode is scanned and the printer accesses the order and the parameters required and prints.  The FireFly uses the same barcode for curing parameters.

At the QC and shipping station, barcodes will specify if the order is ready to ship or if other products are needed to complete the order.  If more products are still in production, Linx will notify the shipper that the order is not complete and will assign a bin for holding until all items become available.  Once the order is fulfilled, the system will notify the shipping station that it is ready.  

What else is cool?  The Rules Engine

The greatest part of all of this is that the rules and requirements for each order and each product are completely under your control.  If one garment SKU requires different pretreat than another, that information is set by you and is set into the barcode.  If one product needs to ship with another, the first is held in a bin until the other becomes available, then it can ship together.  If the artwork requires an white underlay on some garments but not on others, that is decided by you and stored within the parameters of the art.

All your control and all stored within Linx.  How cool is that?

What production areas are affected?

Originally designed for direct to garment printing, the Linx Production Management Software is now used for laser engravers, tattoo printers, screen printers, and very soon, embroiderers.  Open API communication is all that is needed to connect Linx to a production department.  

So, will this break the bank?

Of course not.  There is a connection fee for each station.  And their is a minimal monthly license fee.  However, since the system does the conversion to the DTG art requirements and it tracks your shipping and inventory, the fees that you are already paying another source will go away.  

Contact our sales department for additional information on the Linx Production Management software.