ColorDynamics is a third-generation commercial printer, founded in Niles, Ill., in 1922. In 1986, the company moved to Allen, Texas, with the goal of becoming the premier commercial printer in the Dallas metropolitan area. Today, ColorDynamics is recognized in the southwest as a leader in providing its Dallas-based and national clientele diverse services and innovative solutions for their commercial printing needs. With approximately 150 employees, ColorDynamics offers full-service digital offset, sheetfed and web press capabilities.
With a continual focus on excellence to meet the challenges of today's commercial print environment and its clients’ ever-changing needs, ColorDynamics realized that its data workflow processes for the web presses had become cumbersome and time-consuming with its legacy print software, limiting growth. As a result, the company began looking for a new software.
Needing a Reliable and Automated Workflow
"A big frustration we were experiencing is that were doing time-consuming file manipulation with our legacy software just to produce a proof for the customer," said Cheralyn Ballantyne, VP of Enterprise Solutions for ColorDynamics. "After showing the proof, we had to adjust the layout for our web presses. On top of that, the software we were using would often crash. It was a real headache that resulted in a tremendous amount of duplicated effort and lost production hours. It became clear that we needed a better approach."
ColorDynamics evaluated a range of software solutions, taking every aspect into consideration, from features and capabilities to service, training and support. With speed being important in a web printing environment and the need to integrate with current systems, the company conducted a proof of concept with the leading candidates and ultimately chose GMC Software’s GMC Inspire.
"Our criteria for selecting the new software included reliability, speed and the ability to easily write and accurately execute conditional logic," said Ballantyne. "A typical example of our work is a corporate client that has five subsidiary companies, each with its own logo. We needed the ability to reliably program and produce jobs with conditional logic for text and graphics that varied per page. The solution also needed to be able to consistently keep pace with our web presses, which can run up to approximately 24,000 impressions per hour. We were sold when we saw GMC Inspire could easily handle all of these capabilities."
Gaining Versatility, Efficiency and Expert Support
ColorDynamics’ wide variety of clients and applications require the company to generate direct mail for retail, insurance, medical and various publications mailing in the US and worldwide. The company is now using GMC Inspire to run these applications, including variable data production on inkjet equipment, multiple web presses and its digital presses. It also makes extensive use of GMC Inspire's design import package, production formatter, content manager and repository; emitting IJPDS, PPML and PDF output to various print engines. The software’s versatility has proven invaluable as ColorDynamics does not run transactional print jobs and, therefore, very few of its production formats are duplicated.
With GMC Inspire in place, ColorDynamics has realized an immediate positive impact on its workflows. "We recently created and produced labels for a 30 million piece web run," said Ballantyne. "Prior to implementing GMC Inspire, this was a highly manual process that involved creating files and file structures, sending the files to output and physically supervising the entire process. Overall, it took up to seven working days. With GMC Inspire's auto re-sizing and batch print features, we can run the exact same job in just two hours. The process improvements from automation speak for themselves and the speed in which we can get projects out the door allows us to meet even the most stringent deadlines. Our clients really appreciate that.”
Ballantyne is also pleased with the level of support and training that GMC is providing. "When we adopted the software, we sent our main data programmer off-site for training and he literally came back, set up a 16 million piece retail direct mail job the same day and we were running it the next day. There was one adjustment that was required in order to interface with our legacy software, so GMC's engineers told us exactly what to do to fix it. After that, the job just flew."
Capabilities That Scale with the Business
ColorDynamics installed GMC Inspire just as the volume of its business began to grow dramatically. "Our volume has expanded 55% during the initial 6 months of utilizing GMC Inspire. We've had a series of jobs from about 4 million to 30 million records. The software smoothly handled them one after another and that has made it possible for us to take on this new work and get it right. We have so much more control and our clients appreciate that we aren't keeping them waiting. GMC came on board at just the right time."
Looking ahead, Ballantyne anticipates moving more and more of the company’s work to GMC Inspire. ColorDynamics has completed the first level of GMC's training with three additional employees and plans do more advanced training after that to extend its understanding of the software’s robust features, which will help it migrate more jobs, including digital, to the GMC Inspire platform. Ballantyne feels they have just scratched the surface of what the company is going to be able to do with GMC Inspire. In addition to getting a better understanding of the many features they already have, they are looking at implementing the solution’s multichannel designer capability, which has the potential to move the company into a new area of business offerings with its retail clients.
Ballantyne has received nothing but positive feedback about the improvements GMC Inspire has made possible. "It's really made an impact across our entire company. The technical staff loves the ease of use of the solution. As a company we can handle more business and produce it more efficiently and quickly. That makes us happy. Most important it makes our customers happy. Everybody wins."