PrintERP paves way for Pragati's success

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: Pragati Offset Pvt. Ltd.,  a one-stop service provider offering entire range of high quality print services, has been serving customers in India and abroad. Equipped with an unmatched technology, infrastructure, processes and people, Pragati provides cutting-edge printing services ranging from prepress, printing to finishing and bindery to its clients.


Set up in 1962 with  a mere investment of Rs. 6,000, Pragati has today grown to become a Rs. 86 crore company with technological upgradation from time to time. Pragati uses PrintERP – an inhouse developed ERP software to manage operations throughout the plant which also helps capture real-time information of every order status.

Pragati, which started business with commercial offset print services, later diversified into packaging printing and has set-up separate facilities to handle offset packaging, flexo packaging and also specialized rigid boxes for packing textile/garments, jewelery, export goods, etc.

“We at Pragati believe in creating value to our customers by understanding their requirements fully. We  collaborate with the customer and optimize the specifications of  the print project – be it size, paper selection, additional online/off line features, so as to optimize the cost and still produce best-in class product,” says K. P. Ramakrishna, Director – IT & Prepress, Pragati Offset.


Pragati’s prepress is considered as one of the finest facility running very high-end solutions to deliver high quality scanning, color-retouching, processing and computer-to-plate, backed up high speed network, dedicated 2 Mbps bandwidth, dedicated FTP server, huge archiving solution.

The company has an efficient team, trained in-house, to proficiently handle the latest and best technology.Pragati offers its print services to its clientele from various industry segments. Its print product range includes - annual reports, art books, magazines, brochures, catalogues, calendars, journals/newsletters, posters, corporate stationary, packaging cartons and carry bags.

Technology in place

In 1979, Pragati acquired an American computer for type setting. We were the first printing company in South India  to have modern and imported technology. With this we provided quality dimension to printing and type setting. Since then, we have been adding new technology and new features to our printing press," says Ramakrishna. “Today our focus is on how do we deliver world-class printing to customers in India.”


Print ERP: “We developed a small inhouse application in 1991. At that time nobody thought that printing estimation is something that can be done on computer. This solution helped us solve lot of queries in no time. Earlier, it was a complex process to change each parameter after a customer placed an orde, but PrintERP helped in quick response, increasing customer care and ensuring consistency,” he adds. "

"In the beginning, this was not a full-fledged ERP. It was only a costing and delivery module which helped Pragati do the invoice and delivery. In 1992, we went live with the Novell-based platform which was designed to give out quotations. What used to take 30 to 35 minutes to give  a quote was brought down to 15 to 20 minutes. Then in 1995, the team started working on Windows-based platform to make it much more elaborate. As we wanted a better GOI, we took advantage of the  Microsoft Windows and Microsoft SQL platform. This solution, developed on Power Builder had more features. With these solutions in place, Pragati introduced a kind of print scheduling mechanism," Ramakrishna explains.


IT as an advantage

As the company grew bigger with more orders, technology helped us maintain consistency and deliver quality services. Our response was quick. It helped us build good relations with the customer, and also enabled the customers to take quick decision and provided timely orders for Pragati, says Ramakrishna.

“We looked at IT in a strategic way, while others looked at it as a business enabler and a business driver. Our challenge of how to do business with IT was met. IT has made us more competitive,” he adds.

Other solutions

Pragati has complex technologies in place. The Print ERP subsequently evolved into a robust web-based  platform.
Despite having in-house tools, we went in for SAP implementation last year. I saw the business was expanding and wanted to make sure that this solution served as a lifeline to Pragati. From idea to realization, I wanted the turn around to be quick. The management too supporterde in our initiative to have the best industry-standard ERP. The small initiative we took in 1993 finally culminated into a SAP implementation in 2008," he adds. 


Job Tracking: Customers can track the production status of the print project online using the unique tracking number  provided to them as soon as the order is confirmed.

The year ahead

“This year went well ofr us. We did not see much of an impact due to slowdown in the quarter that ended now. We may see a slight dip in the coming quarter, say by around 15 percent. Because of overall gloom in the rest of the industry, we are seeing decline in our orders as well. We spend two to three percent on IT from our overall budget. However, there will not be any cut in our IT spend next year as we  still feel that IT is a key driver for our business,” adds Ramakrishna.