Modern Litho-Print: Pushing the Limits
Though publications and directories represent Modern Litho’s sweet spot, the printer is not beholden to any small cluster of clients. A sad and common tale for commercial printers is the lost primary customer that prompts a closure. According to Tomblinson, the company has skated through the recession without having to lay off workers or send people home early.
It’s never been the work, but rather the processes, that Modern Litho felt could be improved after Tomblinson attended the EFI Connect conference three years ago. The company still did its job tickets by hand and, because of the efficiency provided by Kodak Prinergy, the jobs were landing on the plates before the tickets could be finalized. The disconnect between customer service and prepress created delays in jobs due to incomplete information.
Tomblinson saw the value of integrating Prinergy with Planner and worked with developers at both companies, becoming a beta tester in the process. “It’s been 18 months of a lot of work getting this entire suite fully functional and being the only printer in the entire country that is able to push from the EFI Monarch MIS system to plate imaging through Prinergy,” he says. “So, now we are bi-directional with instructions and scheduling to the production equipment and data back to the MIS system. Three years ago, people were talking about closed-loop JDF, but nobody could back it up with their vendors, because everybody was doing their own thing.
“There are significant advantages to partnering with Heidelberg, Kodak and EFI. Customers can now upload jobs online, view and approve a proof, while providing us with the impositions from Planner to push to Prinergy and print directly from the system. We can move jobs so much faster now, and have eliminated touch points, eliminated a lot of redundancy of people entering data two or three times. Now, it flows once through the system.”