iMS builds global business with agile solution from HYBRID Software
Creative design, prepress and artwork production agency iMSGlobal has chosen CLOUDFLOW from HYBRID Software to ensure full production workflow flexibility across its multi-site operation. This is a symbiotic partnership that over the past five years has benefitted both companies and helped lay the foundations for the global expansion of iMS.
Headquartered in Sydney, iMSGlobal provides integrated marketing solutions for many of the world’s best-known brand owners, such as Danone, Nestlé and Unilever. With offices in Australia, Singapore, India, China, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, the company has a global reach, based on a knowledge workflow and single platform system that reduces time to market and improves productivity.
Working with clients, their agencies and print providers, iMS offers artwork, pre-press, colour and print management across all packaging, point of sale formats and print processes. It operates on a “Follow the sun” principle, with teams in different time zones collaborating to support clients and meet deliverables around the clock.
“Although we are a global company, we’re that little bit different to some of the other players, because we really focus on listening to our clients’ needs and being flexible,” says CEO Mark Mahoney. “So, we look for partners that have the same ethos and are happy to work with us to implement agile solutions that support our goals. As soon as we met the team at HYBRID and heard about their innovative approach, we could see that this would be the right fit for us.”
Following the sun
Underpinning the iMS vision is CLOUDFLOW from HYBRID Software, which has been rolled out across the four main production hubs in Sydney, Mumbai, Shanghai and Hull (in the UK). This is an Enterprise Packaging Workflow System that is fully integrated with the company’s own MIS (management information system). As a fully Cloud-based application platform with powerful Share technology, it links across the internet to exchange and synchronise project data and resources to optimise their utilisation.
Andrew Gale, iMS COO, says, “We wanted to find a model that really worked in our industry on a global scale. With CLOUDFLOW, we can easily manage projects around the group and truly ‘Follow the sun’. One of the real game-changers for iMS is access to all the global hubs within the same infrastructure; managing data in real-time is a huge bonus.”
CLOUDFLOW is specifically tailored for the packaging industry with support for PDF, colour separation, trapping, screening, proofing and much more. The modular nature allows users to define their own configuration and create a system that works best for their business. iMS is also using HYBRID Software’s PACKZ native PDF editor, which has been designed for labels and packaging to capture all elements of a print job in a single file for seamless prepress production.
“CLOUDFLOW is great for maintaining consistency across the board, so we have that continuity in every region where we are active. This is a massive advantage, not just for our technical teams, but for the whole business, and most importantly, for our customers,” says Andrew.
With floating licences that can be used irrespective of location, CLOUDFLOW has also proven to be the perfect choice during the COVID-19 pandemic as staff working from home can easily log in online without the need for specialised software.
Streamlining the businesses
It was at drupa 2016 that the two companies first connected and the plan for migrating to CLOUDFLOW and PACKZ was initiated. iMS was in the infancy of developing its own bespoke MIS as part of a drive to remove duplication of data and processes from the business, as they expanded to other countries.
“Australia is a smaller market, and it was a big decision for us to look abroad,” comments Andrew. “To support this move, we wanted a new fresh solution that would set us apart from the competition, because we needed to fundamentally change the business to make that leap.”
The goal was to streamline operations, keep an open platform and have full view of all assets at all times. Almost five years down the line, it is clear that the project with HYBRID Software has been a resounding success.
“During our negotiations with the HYBRID team, they were flexible and prepared to engage with us and help us to get the commercials right to suit the opportunity we had in hand,” says Mark. “Right from the start, we were very excited about what the solution promised to provide, and we are now seeing the real benefits and the technical advantages that this relationship is bringing us.”
Identifying the challenges and developing the software to each customer’s specific needs is the core mission for HYBRID Software. Paul Bates, who is the UK, Ireland & Global Accounts Manager, explains, “Although this sounds like a cliché, we do work very closely with our customers. CLOUDFLOW certainly wouldn’t be where it is today, if it wasn’t for that bi-directional relationship we have with the iMS team. Some of the functionalities you see in the software today were developed specifically for them to the benefit of all our customers. It has been a trailblazing cooperation.”
Mark concludes, “We’re looking to continue growing and we know we have a unique offering that not everyone enjoys. But this is only stage one and we’re excited about continuing the journey with HYBRID Software to see what we together can bring to the market.”