5 Benefits of automating the print production process

July 07, 2020

Almost 90% of respondents to a piece of research by the global management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman, claimed that business agility was highly important to the future success of their companies. A further 96% of chief innovation officers said they needed to become more agile in the future, according to the research, called Organisational Agility.

This got us thinking about how critical agility is to the print industry. How can businesses streamline processes, react faster to change and incorporate technology in such a way that productivity increases alongside quality and performance?

Automation can be applied to very many industries. In our latest report we have outlined five ways that the print process can be streamlined, automated and improved. If business agility is on your agenda, read on:

1. FASTER APPROVAL

Changes, edits and errors will always exist in the print industry, and the businesses that can react fastest to these when they crop up, will be more productive and, ultimately, successful. Automation software can transform the final stages of print and help printers to reduce the amount of times artwork is send back to the client.

Just at the point artwork is going to print, automation software puts the project on a ‘hold state’, and a low-resolution PDF is automatically produced for sign off. No back and forth emails with attachments, everything in one place for all parties to sign off via an ‘approve’ or ‘decline’ button.

How does this streamline processes?

  • No need for studio team to create a PDF for sign off – all done automatically
  • Less chance of errors making it through to final print

2. LESS ERRORS

Can you imagine working with a system that automatically spotted errors in artwork and amended them without you even knowing they were there in the first place?

When designing for print, it’s wrong to assume that the colours you see on the screen will remain true-to-life when printed, which is often the result of images being in the wrong format.

Automation software has the power to immediately change or flag any issues that arise prior to printing, minimising this risk.

How does this streamline processes?

  • No longer need someone checking every piece of artwork for errors
  • Zero chance of print-related errors making it through to final print

3. COMPLEX PROCESSES, AUTOMATED

We’ll explain this one with the help of a typical scenario in a printing business:

  • Files arrive at the print studio
  • Studio team take it down from something like an FTP server or WeTransfer
  • They go through an uncompressing process and store on local servers
  • They have to rip it to pieces and work out which files are okay, or not
  • Files are then loaded into their system ready to print

A really simple piece of artwork becomes complicated, complex and vulnerable to errors. With automation software, this is all completed in less than five minutes. 

How does this streamline processes?

  • Less people-hours for simple tasks
  • Less chance of error as the route from client to print is less complex

4. SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

Automation software can seamlessly integrate with other systems and platforms that are being used to increase efficiency. Take booking systems, for instance, they can be automated to communicate with printers and efficiently manage tasks from clients, ensuring there isn’t a backlog of work.

If we can debunk any myths in this report, it should be this: Automation software can’t integrate with other systems and we’ll just end up with an even more complex system than we already have.

This simply isn’t the case, be smart with the software you select, and you’ll be able to benefit from joined up technology that is driving up business performance.

How does this streamline processes?

  • More systems talking to each other = greater efficiency

5. BETTER ALLOCATION OF TIME

It’s an obvious one but an important one, because one of the key advantages of automation is that it can help to improve efficiency which reduces time and resource required to complete projects.

With less time required on projects, you have the freedom to support the growth of the business and the revenue the business generates. It simply allows for a better allocation of your time.

The cost savings are also generated from having a slick system that removes those avoidable errors that cause projects to slow down, drag and reduce the revenue being generated.

How does this streamline processes?

  • Less time on production, more time on business development
  • Less resource required in production

We hope you found the ideas explored in this report valuable.

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