Digital Workflow -- Tools for the Trade
By Marie Alonso
Business Development Consultant
Integration. that's the simplistic way to offer a microscopic definition for the goals of computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). However, CIM is far from simplistic. In reality, it's quite massive—a vast concept for digitizing, automating and integrating print production processes.
Whether the banner of choice is JDF (Job Definition Format) or less distinct and clear approaches to integrating one's MIS/print management system with both production and administrative tasks, CIM is real—in theory, if not in true application.
Which brings us to a critical point: Workflow. How do today's technical and management consultants, information managers, prepress directors, pressroom operators and, yes, even CEOs attempt to understand, invest in and deploy a truly integrated digital workflow in the "CIM-est" sense of the word?
Time on Your Side
Stephen Shinnick, principal of All Systems, offers a perspective. "Time savings—that's a huge benefit of entering the digital manufacturing process. The goal is to eliminate gaps in the production line by having the vision to move your business into a more digital, more forward thinking, workflow," Shinnick asserts.
All Systems Integration specializes in serving and supporting the integration and workflow requirements of companies connected to a digital infrastructure, including printers, publishers, corporate marketing communications, advertising agencies, prepress trade shops and in-plant service bureaus.
"Printing businesses today need to have that kind of vision to survive—forward thinking vision, combined with practical experience and the ability to fix real problems fast. You want to improve the workflow dynamically and, as such, add value to your customers' experiences in working with you."
Markzware plays a role in Shinnick's digital vision at All Systems. FlightCheck Workflow (formerly MarkzScout) version 3.1, now with Apple Macintosh OS X support, is in place at All Systems, where it has become an essential tool at all prepress operations. It simplifies and automates many of the tedious workflow processes, while managing thousands of documents and electronic files destined for print.