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PERSONAL bests

September 2005

[ How It Was Produced ]

Now dealers can interactively modify flyers and newspaper ads in almost any way, while maintaining the graphic integrity of the templates. The system prompts for production specifications and sends a watermarked PDF proof online.

The dealer can make revisions or come back later to finish. The system then sends a high-resolution PDF to Copyco or one of a network of printers closest to the dealer.

The system also notifies Bridgestone marketing managers about usage and prices, and ensures that all information contained in the documents, such as prices and sizes, are correct. Bridgestone can generate usage reports, add or update dealer profiles, and add or change content or images in the digital asset management system.

The end result of the flyer program is a letter-size sheet, with four-over-four color on either 50-lb. offset or 50-lb. enamel stock. An average print run for flyers is 20,000; most are printed on web and sheetfed offset presses at a location closest to the final distribution point.

About five percent, usually rush jobs, are produced on digital printers with similar run lengths. Digital equipment includes a Heidelberg Quickmaster DI digital press and Océ CPS 900 color printer for the rush orders. Pageflex EDIT facilitates ad layout, while Pageflex Mpower is used to print flyers, and MediaBank provides the digital asset management system. Finishing varies according to type of material produced.

[ The Results ]

The program has reduced the lead time for marketing programs from 10 weeks to 72 hours and greatly streamlined production of advertising and POS materials for tire dealers. More than 700 orders were handled in one year, including 16 million flyers.

The number of participating dealers tripled within the initial 12 months, and more than 1,500 dealers have registered with Copyco, with 30 percent of those participating in the custom flyer program. The program has enabled even dealers with no graphics training to produce quality materials, and it has increased the range of materials available to all dealers for POS displays, automated e-mails and newspaper ads.

Dealers and corporate management can review and approve documents, and the structured templates protect the Bridgestone brand and ensure that no document gets printed with missing or incorrect data. Intranet-based reporting and administration add further value for Bridgestone marketing.

With the ability to personalize materials and maintain the highest quality standards, among other benefits, the Bridgestone online collateral site has proven to be where the rubber hits the road for dealer success.

This case study comes from PODi's annual Best Practices in Digital Print research, the largest collection ever assembled of successful digital printing projects. PODi is an industry initiative with hundreds of member companies including executive board members EFI, HP, IBM, Kodak, Pitney Bows, Quark and Xerox. Membership in PODi is open to most organizations involved in digital printing. For more information on joining PODi or submitting your own case study, visit www.mypodi.org/pi1.
 

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