Tries from Andrew Trimble, Ian Humphreys, Simon Danielli and Ruan Pienaar saw off a spirited Italian challenge and McLaughlin clearly felt it was a case of 'job well done' at Ravenhill.
"We're chuffed with the result," said McLaughlin, whose team claimed four wins in the pool stages of last year's competition.
"We never mentioned the bonus point but we knew it was very important to get maximum points and I'm extremely pleased with that."
Ulster led just 11-6 at the break but an early second-half try from Humphreys settled the nerves before Danielli's effort dismissed any faint chance of an upset just after the hour mark.
But while the result itself was never really in doubt, Ulster's hopes of picking up the full five points on offer most certainly was.
McLaughlin's men butchered a number of good chances in either half to leave the Ulster faithful sweating a little longer they would have liked.
"In the first half, our tempo and intensity were excellent but our third word was accuracy and that let us down," added McLaughlin.
"We didn't polish off the opportunities we created so we talked a little bit about bringing some more accuracy into our game at half time.
"We took quick taps, we took fast ball off the base and we tried to play a little bit more in wider channels, which we needed to do if we were going to get to where we needed to be.
"We still made a few errors but…thankfully, we got there in the end.
"The best way to describe it is that we got a great win but, we said in the changing rooms and everybody agreed, we can still play better."