JDF Update — Fulfilling the Promise

When pairs test successfully, it means that the JDF instructions used by these two products conform to the JDF standard. In other words, there has been successful communication of information about a job from one step of the process to the next in a multi-vendor scenario.

While we have not been able to test all identified product pairs at each InterOp, what is extremely exciting is the growth in vendor participation, the number of products submitted and the number of pairs identified during the three InterOps sessions we have held in 2003.

And we have been able to increase the number of pairs tested in each successive session as we—CIP4 and the vendors—gain more experience with the process, increasing the number of successful pairs, as well. Notably, we were able to test more pairs in the latter sessions because so much more is now working. The graphic on the right is a summary of the JDF InterOps results to date. We plan to hold at least three more sessions during 2004.

What does this all mean for the graphic arts industry? JDF doesn’t stand alone; it is a stepping stone to full computer-integrated manufacturing in printing. But beyond the technological advantages of JDF is a critical business advantage.

JDF can drive increased customer satisfaction for the print service provider. Increasing profits is not always about cutting costs. Most printers would agree that if they could increase the amount of business flowing into the firm, driving up revenues while utilizing the same fixed cost base, the result would be an increase in profits. With its full implementation, JDF can help increase customer satisfaction and increase business volume.

The automation offered by JDF-enabled products presents the print service provider with a better view, for example, of when a job will be completed, improving the ability to comply with promised due dates. Thus, it is important to think about JDF not only in terms of automation or cutting costs, but also in terms of its ability to make customers happier by improving service, reducing costs and decreasing turnaround times. But that’s not all.

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