CIM In Action -- Awaiting the Big Payoff
Again, when the company views its CIM initiatives, it is done with progress in mind as opposed to dwelling on the level of integration JohnsByrne is ultimately seeking. Fairley believes that day will come soon enough.
"Two years ago, we basically merged an estimate into a job and used none of that estimate to populate a job ticket," he says. "Today, we use that estimate to populate close to 60 percent of that job ticket with information. Just two years ago, we received all of our estimates on a hand-written form. Today, we're seeing the integration of (EFI) Printer Site Internal start to increase the efficiencies and throughput of our estimating, as well as our order entry process through the Web portal. Before, we did nothing that way.
"When we open a job on the EFI Hagen system, we're already setting up the file folder structure in our prepress department," he adds. "Two years ago, we didn't do any of that. We didn't drive PPF data to the printing press or the profiles to set the ink keys. We were relying on operators to enter every bit of data, so data accuracy was somewhat limited by the capabilities of the operators to do that correctly.
"Today we're measuring that equipment. For the first time, we're gathering info and providing shop floor reports to train our managers how to better manage the facility from an efficiency, and not just a quality, standpoint. And that's an improving process."
In terms of ROI, Uchwat compares the CIM concept to where computer-to-plate (CTP) return stood in its early days, back in the mid-1990s. He is satisfied with the knowledge that CIM has taken some cost out of the printer's manufacturing processes and allowed the company to better manage its day-to-day operations. Future integration could provide that quantifiable return.