ONLINE INTERFACES -- Printers Set Sites on Clients
The printer originally developed its own online quote request forms, which are specific to the product, Madsen says. Its envelope request, for example, lists all of the common sizes of envelopes, and folded products are shown as drawings to aid less knowledgeable buyers.
"We are working on a new service for two of our clients that will enable users to pull up 'approved' versions of templates for their letterhead, business cards and other documents. They then can type into changeable fields, view an online proof and place their order," Madsen notes. "This is for a couple of our corporate clients with offices all over the country."
Rapid Press has been running elements of the ePace print management system from Pace Systems Group. In the time since the printer developed its own online quote forms, the MIS vendor has developed some very similar customer interaction functions in its product.
"For that reason, and for continuity, we are planning to purchase the full ePace system. This will greatly simplify the learning curve for our clients," he says. Online capabilities offered in the system include ordering, order status checking, inventory management, shipment tracing and more.
To handle online job submission and remote proofing, Rapid Press has implemented Creo's Synapse InSite Internet portal solution, he continues. That system is also capable of supporting job approval and status reporting.
The printer is now adding the Creo Synapse Director collaborative workflow component and looking to enable its customers to use Rapid's portal site for remote proofing with their clients (the customer's customers). "It's a big step toward 'lights out' prepress," Madsen asserts.
"We tend to go for systems, like ePACE and Creo Synapse, that offer full solutions," he continues. Trying to piece together a system is too disorganized of an approach for Rapid and tends to result in a clunky solution, the company exec believes.