Ellington Printing OÜ, founded in 2004, is an agency specialized in mediating print services. The company has partnered up with over 150 print houses. This enables them to provide each customer with the suitable print technology, material and contractor. Most advertising agencies and media corporations in Estonia have relied on these services from Ellington Printing. Some of the more well-known clients are Rannarootsi, Rademar, Liina Stein, Stockmann, Apotheka, Lexus and Baltman.
After being involved in the industry for several years, Ellington Printing saw the need for improvement in the ineffective communication and sales process between various agencies and print houses.
The solution was to develop a software which through automatization and standardized workflow reduced the time spent on ordering print services. Through the integration of workflows of various print houses and agencies they also aimed to create a universal pricing and blueprinting model. No such system was known to have existed before.
Solving the business problem has been an exciting challenge for our team. The complex pricing algorithms used in the system need to account for subject-specific nuances and iterate over thousands of various bids within seconds.
Getting the quote for a saddle stitch service for example requires the system to filter the best bids from 51 888 combinations within seconds.
The development process started from the core of the system – the pricing module. We built a quotation engine which can find the printing solution with optimal bid out of all the potential printing houses and their machinery to reach the desired outcome. To determine the optimal quotes for customer’s needs, the algorithm experiments with various materials, measures, fiber direction and other technical specifications for known machinery. The calculation takes place asynchronously. With each new change to the specifications, the system determines new optimal quotes within seconds.
The user interface is built as SPA (single-page application), which makes it flexible and powerful. This enabled us to build a worksheet with dynamic printing stages and edit them with relative ease. Furthermore, the pricing calculations are displayed real-time, which was also easily implementable thanks to SPA.
Test-driven development (TDD), Domain-driven design (DDD), SOLID principles and event sourcing were used to build the entire solution.
It has been a huge and exciting challenge to build such system from the ground up. From a technological standpoint, building the quotation engine which considers numerous specific nuances in order to save time and money for the end customer has been truly interesting.
For me, printing is a new and exciting field which offered a fresh perspective on solving various software problems. Our team and I have enjoyed working with Ellington Printing, true professionals in their field.Kaspar, developer —
The project has been very challenging as even the slightest modification or new functionality demands thorough analysis. To maintain the rate at which the optimal bid calculation is processed, the various combinations must be managed with precision.Kardo, developer —
The technical challenges in the new field and fluent cooperation with the client, a true expert in the field, has provided a very exciting project for us developers.
Regular development related meetings, daily communication and a sturdy product owner have been the basis for an efficient workflow. Furthermore, the client has been open-minded to our alternatives and proposals, which has enabled us to improve the speed of the complicated calculus.
We have had a very pleasant and productive cooperation with AgileWorks. They have been professional and considered our wishes and business needs. We highly evaluate their involvement in enhancing the system and the ability to adapt to changes.Eero Pank, partner and project manager at Ellington Printing —
The project started in the autumn of 2018 and thanks to the fluent cooperation, it is now successfully launched. iOnPrint, an application developed for printing service providers, enables to integrate the workflow of various printing houses and agencies and provides a standard pricing and work planning model. The solution eases quotation and ordering processes by providing accurate bids for the desired work within seconds, accompanied by an intuitive user interface.
The interest towards such automated system has been big in the neighboring countries as well. Several partners in the industry, both from Estonia and abroad, have already joined with iOnPrint platform.
Cooperation with Ellington Printing OÜ will continue while the solution is constantly being upgraded. Regular enhancements and improved functionality enable the system to be used for managing more complicated printing solutions both in Estonia and abroad.
iOnPrint provides the ability to independently plan out the desired printing services and get a quote on the work without directly contacting any printing houses or agencies. Learn more about the solution from https://www.ionprint.eu/
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