Pictorial Offset--Reducing Costs Through Efficient ManagementNovember 1998
JobWorks is a Logic extension program that Pictorial is implementing to help the company access customer information. JobWorks combines a user-defined electronic job ticket—one that Pictorial has customized to fit its specific needs—with all job-related information. By having access to computers throughout the plant, anyone can access the most current job information and quickly answer any client's questions about the job.
"No work can be done in this plant unless there has been a job ticket created," says Samuels. "Having the new electronic job ticket makes us more consistent."
The pressroom is another area where access to job information is critical. With three six-color webs and several four-, six-, and eight-color sheetfed presses, Pictorial produces jobs anywhere from 5,000 to 20 million impressions with an average turnaround time of five days. To keep track of all the information for the different jobs, Pictorial implemented Logic DMI on every press. Data collected directly from the press by DMI are displayed in the Logic PlantVista on PCs throughout the plant, giving an instant view of the production floor.
"DMI is one of the best pieces of technology," states Samuels. DMI links all production machines directly to the Logic system, and uses sensors and controllers to track counts and equipment-stops automatically. The result is extremely accurate gross and net counts as well as spoilage counts. With real-time information and job status at a glance, Pictorial's managers have immediate access to current production data, and its machine operators have immediate access to job schedules and job specifications.
DMI allows all of prepress as well as production to know the status of a job at any time. "We use it to determine scheduling such as in the prep department," Samuels continues. "If the plates aren't made, they can determine how much time they have just by looking at the screen. If they want to prioritize, they don't have to walk around the pressroom to figure that out. Everyone knows where they stand at any moment."
As an example, when a client calls and asks about a specific job on-press, Pictorial's production person looks at the screen and selects the press that is running that job to determine how many impressions are left to run. "What is most important to us is to give our clients the right information, at the time they need it. We won't tolerate keeping our customers waiting by having to get back to them when we can obtain the information so quickly and easily," remarks Samuels.
The advantages of the Logic systems are becoming clearer as Pictorial's 275 employees have just completed their computer training. "Everyone is finding that the management of jobs—both large and small—is easier. Anyone can find out about any piece of inventory that's on the floor. We are able to effectively manage and control odd items in smaller lots, such as leftover cartons and miscellaneous rolls, and reduce the amount of inventory, which has created more cash on hand."
Having Logic as a partner yields additional advantages to Pictorial other than just helping manage its business. Logic's User Meeting and the yearly releases are a plus, too. "The User Meetings are very good because we get to see new products and to meet and discuss details with other companies who use the system in order to benefit from one another," states Samuels.
Pictorial's philosophy of "never say no to a client" and "deliver ontime...every time" is demonstrated through its business management system. "The Logic system as a package is integral and allows us to meet the needs of our clients," says Samuels. "It lets me successfully manage my business on an ongoing basis by significantly reducing the internal transactional costs of running a business."
Maybe that is why Pictorial keeps its customers coming back.