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Modern Litho-Print : Pushing the Limits

November 2010
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One of the most difficult things for people to accept is that while they may have unquestionable talents and strengths, it may be even more important for them to recognize their limitations. The same may be true for printing companies, to an extent. 

At any given point in time, a company’s success is tempered by its capabilities and capacity. But time is not static, and growth is dictated by a commitment from management and employees to accomplish as much as possible within the aforementioned constraints (which, as you may have noticed, have been continuously hampered by a plodding economy).

In a thriving economy, throwing money at a deficiency is hardly a business panacea and route to success. Similarly, hiding your checkbook in a lock box during a recession isn’t a survival enabler. The manufacturing equivalent of curling up in a ball has been proven an effective method of going out of business moreso than the intended consequences.

Unafraid to Improve

Take Modern Litho-Print, a 73-year-old establishment based in Jefferson City, MO. The 100-employee shop is not planning on taking delivery of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 (of which it has one) before the year is out, but Modern isn’t blowing all of its capex at the local Staples store, either.

In fact, notes Jim Tomblinson, the firm’s plant superintendent, Modern Litho-Print hasn’t been afraid to make critical software investments during the economic downturn, or to look internally at ways of making the general commercial shop leaner and meaner.

One of the ways that Modern Litho has achieved this end was by acquiring EFI’s Monarch Planner and PrintFlow software packages. It became the first printer in the United States to integrate the prepress interface from Kodak Prinergy to Planner. Modern Litho has also installed EFI Auto-Count for shop floor data collection, and PrinterSite Internal to simplify the quoting and order placement system for its sales team and office staff.

“During the last two years, we’ve turned our company upside down, looked at everything—every machine speed—to program it into the software so that this package knows every piece of equipment, every employee, every speed that we need,” Tomblinson says. 

“It’s all in there. We have committed a great deal to the software and the Monarch suite, along with Prinergy automation, to prepare and ramp up for growth. And we will be ready for that without having to increase our staff. We’ll be able to take on more volume of work because of automation.” 



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