Print shops have a range of software-as-a-service (SaaS) models from which to choose. Choice is good, but it can also lead to confusion and inaction. This goes some way to explaining the relatively slow take-up of cloud-based technology in the industry. The productivity gains are clear but perhaps business owners could use some more assistance in comparing rival solutions.
So, what does good look like in cloud-based color-management?
What to look for…
At the very least, print shops should seek software that delivers:
- Smart profile creation and management—ensuring whatever the output, it is consistent to a brand or print standard
- Intelligent re-calibration of devices to keep consistency across the output
- A single workflow/ripping solution that delivers across the whole organization
- Dedicated profiles (no canned profiles)
- Standardized printing for zero-effort job handling
- Company wide integrated RIP workflows
- The ability to ‘pre-flight’ jobs automatically
- Implicit color management that delivers consistent color regardless of the output, while utilizing intelligent ink saving
- In-built quality assurance (QA) and job certification—across the entire solution with centralized reporting
- Smart integrated workflow, ideally one job ticket created in the MIS which drives the entire production workflow
- Automated or semi-automated tool set that boosts job prep productivity (pre-press)
- Integrated automated and semi-automated finishing (post-press)
Crucially, any system should be easy to configure and operate.
Investing in an expensive team of engineers, or relying on developers to drive the software defeats the point. After an initial set-up and upskilling period, the day-to-day delivery should be designed to ensure frictionless management by the existing in-house IT or production teams.
Over-engineered solutions are out of step with the industry 4.0 movement. Simplicity and intuitive operation are paramount. That means the cloud-based workflow should remove all complex choices from the operators, automating to reduce the potential for human error wherever possible.
Where do we go from here?
How are automation and cloud-based solutions revolutionizing the print industry? How can businesses take advantage of the productivity gains on offer, while keeping ahead of the competition?
These are some of the questions answered in the new report: Redefining wide-format workflows to realize revenue at every opportunity.