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What's the difference between an integration & an automation project?

2 minute read

You'll see us talking about automation and integration a lot, as they are key topics when looking into what a print MIS can do to help your print business gain a competitive edge.

However, it's important to know the difference between the two, here we have a look at those differences.

Automation Project

Automation focuses on reducing labor costs or even eliminating them. Automation projects often remove manual input mechanisms and replace them with fully automated processes, helping orders fly through the factory and removing bottlenecks.

These projects tend to be personalized and tailored to an individual site and normally focus on a specific type of product (web-to-print or regular and repetitive products). Most wasted time is usually at the ‘front’ of the workflow – order entry, artwork proofing and invoicing, so automation projects tend to focus on this area. They lend themselves perfectly to products of a similar type where the artwork and method of input is consistent and controlled.

In short, automation projects aim to create a process where data is entered in once and nobody needs to touch it again.

Integration Project

Integration is the handing-off of data from one piece of software to another. For print businesses, an integration project involves getting your print MIS to talk with other software products, eradicating touchpoints and bringing departments closer together with the help of technology. In some cases, this may mean merging different departments entirely and creating a larger customer-facing team.

In short, integration projects aim to take data and move it downstream to the next piece of software, where an operator adds value to it, then moves it downstream to the next piece of software.


Hopefully, this explanation has helped you differentiate between an integration project and an automation project! If you're looking to take on either of these projects, speak to your print MIS partner who'll be more than happy to offer their advice. 

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