Accelerating Your Success with Optimized Workflow
In order to be competitive in today’s market, print shops and in-plants need to stop experimenting with digital print devices and commit to transforming themselves into digital businesses.
As an owner or manager, it’s your job to push your organization into seeing digital as a business that creates value for its customers. But what new products and services are key? Is there a way to deploy digital services to help with cost reductions and make your business more efficient? Can you employ a web-to-print system to make it easier to do business with your company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year?
Studies of print operations have found that most opportunities are locked inside of workflow. According to the 2013 InfoTrends study “The True Cost of Business Communications,” 70 to 75% of the cost of printing operations is linked with non-print activity, including receiving jobs, programming customer job tickets, composition and preflighting, as well as finishing and tracking. For every dollar spent on print, $3 is spend on overhead, including work processes, content management and fulfillment.
According to the 2016 InfoTrends “U.S. Production Software Investment Outlook,” print shops were looking to invest in workflow initiatives that improve business automation within the print shop, enable cross-training of the staff, reduce manual labor, improve customer interaction via mobile and web-based systems, improve finishing automation and enable the shop to actively engage in lean manufacturing.
Launched September 2015, Canon’s PRISMAdirect is a workflow solution designed to simplify order intake, facilitate order management, help reduce overhead costs and enable faster turnaround time. Featuring automated processes from job submission to order fulfillment, the PRISMAdirect solution offers users an order management dashboard and an optional web shop module, to enable higher productivity for in-plant print centers, print shops and commercial printers alike.
For Kris Tanner, Manager, Solutions Support Group, for Nashville, Tenn-based Schneider Electric, once his in-plant hit $1M in billing he needed to get his workflow up to par. “We could no longer do business in the archaic email- and Excel-based system we were working in,” said Tanner. In 2016, he decided to make investments in PRISMAdirect to manage his entire fleet of devices and internal order processing systems.
Now, his six employees are running a business that is averaging 60 million clicks annually in 2016 with five-day turnaround—all because of the automation features of Canon’s PRISMAdirect solution.
Automating time-consuming steps enables users to produce work more efficiently and effectively. To help ensure the continuous flow of communication between the print service provider and client, PRISMAdirect allows businesses to update customers regarding the status of their orders via personalized or automatic event triggered emails.
Additionally, the extensive reporting and accounting capabilities of PRISMAdirect can help users gain more insight into their operations.
Able to acquire orders from a variety of sources, PRISMAdirect simplifies the production workflow by combining job submission and order fulfillment in one centralized solution. Whether customers submit orders in the form of an email, USB drive, hard copy, via network folder, FTP folder, uniFLOW or a supported web shop, PRISMAdirect delivers a reliable, unified channel to help process incoming print and non-print orders.
“The PRISMAdirect system lets us process orders faster. The order interface on our internal side takes the workflow down to a common platform so I’m not using five or six different editing programs or prepress software,” said Tanner. “That single system can manipulate files and controls all our sheet-fed devices and it brings speed and simplicity to machine operation, which gives me more capacity. At the end of the day, I have less head count and more capacity and it’s all possible because of the PRISMA solution from Canon.”
The solution also comes standard with an order processing and management dashboard. The optional web shop provides a convenient, online purchasing experience for buyers, allowing them to submit orders for both print and non-print items 24/7. PRISMAdirect users may create an unlimited number of virtual storefronts, and modify each one to reflect the print provider’s or print buyer’s individual corporate identity.
Even though Tanner’s in-plant is strictly a sheet-fed digital press shop, the need to outsource offset jobs does come up. According to Tanner, about 10% of their total volume is eventually outsourced, but for the customer everything is the same as if they were using Tanner’s in-plant directly. “The customer uses the web-storefront included with the PRISMA system and we will pull the files down. If it’s something from a volume standpoint, or from a complexity standpoint, or because of scheduling we don’t have room for it, the customer doesn’t see that. All of the jobs still flow through the same systems even though we engage an outsource.”
The order processing and management dashboard offers two views: the order view and job view.
- The order view provides detailed progress status information, allowing users to manage the workflow of orders from creation to finalization.
- The job view provides a clear overview of all jobs and connected printers, allowing operators to preview, edit production settings and process jobs assigned to them.
The make-ready process can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of production work, but PRISMAdirect in combination with PRISMAprepare offers standard imposition templates. For more elaborate page programming, the solution is designed to integrate smoothly with Océ PRISMAprepare solution, an all-in-one make-ready solution that helps accelerate preparation from composition through production and reduce costly and non-chargeable print preparation time. PRISMAdirect can even allow for page-level editing in third-party PDF-based applications such as Adobe Creative Suite without leaving the PRISMA application, and can be easily integrated into existing workflow systems utilizing standardized JDF/JMF interfaces.
PRISMAdirect protects customers’ previous investments by driving not only Canon systems but other third-party printers that accept PDF files for example in mixed brand fleets. For Tanner, “the PRSIMA platform allow me to interface with all the devices in my fleet—including the Canon imagePRESS C800, Canon varioPRINT110, Canon imageRUNNER 9280, Ricoh C751EX, Canon imagePROGRAF 8400S, Océ TDS 750, and Mimaki JV 150.”
As a print provider or in-plant, you face increasing challenges in running your business efficiently while also trying to grow it: shorter print runs, more diverse jobs and managing numerous order submission channels, to name a few. PRISMAdirect helps with all these challenges and more, so you can run your operation successfully, day to day, while seizing opportunities for future growth.