Fraser Papers needed a solution that could print on multiple printers and create professional looking forms at the same time. They were not able to print on their Hewlett-Packard printers, and they were experiencing limited design capabilities keeping their forms from looking truly professional. Another issue Dufour had was their need to design the same form twice for different production processes. Forms they designed for faxing didn’t look right when they sent them to a printer, and forms designed for a printer wouldn’t look right when they tested them with a fax. It was also important to Fraser that their forms solution integrate easily with their existing solutions: FastFax, Infinium Software (managed invoicing), and WonderWare (accounts payable and purchasing).
Fraser settled on Fresche’s Formtastic software. In addition to expanding their print options and creating professional forms, Formtastic resides and functions entirely on the IBM i and requires no additional hardware. With Formtastic, they are able to make one design for both fax and print in one shot. The integration was also seamless, Dufour encountered zero bugs with either Infinium or WonderWare. To produce checks, Fraser Papers also used Fresche’s companion Checks Module for Formtastic. Another attractive feature for Fraser Papers was the capability to operate in a multi-currency environment involving two different banks and AP checks in both Canadian and U.S. dollars.
I really can’t talk about weaknesses with Formtastic, because I haven’t been burned by this product. So far, I haven’t really found anything I can’t do with it. Formtastic supported our Hewlett-Packard printers and made all of our forms look more professional. It was important that our forms solution integrate easily with FastFax. It made sense to purchase our forms solution from the same vendor. Formtastic lets you take data from the spooled files and not mess with the application code, the product doesn’t require a lot of attention or maintenance. Once you put it in place, away it goes. Basically, you get into the GUI and design what you want the form to look like, take the data from the spooled file and overlay it onto the form. I was able to map and design our purchase order form in 2 to 3 hours. It’s a simple product to use.
Setup is very simple. All you do is enter the size of the check, where you want to put the MICR, the scanned signature and logo, and that’s it. From there, the module lets you take the spool file from the accounts payable application and maps each piece of data to the form. In checks or forms, you don’t even have to use the entire spool file. You just take the data you want. When I call their tech support department, I’m usually able to talk to someone right away. If there’s nobody available, I’m contacted within an hour. Most of my issues were resolved during the first call, and if I didn’t notify Fresche that the problem was resolved, they continued to contact me until they confirmed that I was satisfied. Most other tech support departments would rather not hear back from the customer. Because Fraser Papers was careful about purchasing a product that could integrate and grow with the company, they have implemented the solution quickly and with minimal headaches.