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New print workflow tool opinions needed

Posted on Fri, 4 Jun 2004 at 8:06



I'm considering using a piece of online software to automate my print workflow. I deal with a lot of large print run jobs but over the years these have got less & less as the print industry gets more and more competitive. My customers are telling me that they want a complete solution for their print, my customers typically being brokers or large corporates. Basically if I want the big tastey stuff I have to print the fiddley annoying stuff i.e. business stationery (My pet hate).

So I've looked around and seen many workflow options around but they all use PDF barring one, as far as I can see. Don't get me wrong PDFs are great for emailing customers complex self contained artwork, just for electronic approval but I hate editing the messy little buggers. Acrobat is too limited and Illustrator can make unexpected changes when you resave them. I wanted quark files as thats what I've got in-house anyway. Quark is great and a necessity but its expensive, so if I've already paid for it I am damn well gonna use it. This solution I've found uses quark so that one problem solved.

Secondly I didn't want to spend £1000s on buying a system and hosting a solution blah blah blah I wanted minimum TCO as would anyone. This solution I've sourced has little or no setup cost. Plus it plugs me into an existing print network with numerous print brokers onboard.

If/when I get an account I use quark to create online templates of my fiddley work. The broker, their clients or my direct customers do all the necessary typesetting. My admin person goes online and downloads the jobs in a batched up (crops and all) format. The mac operator imports into quark and hits print. 5 minutes is their claim. I've tried ordering a few myself it is admittedly fast, especially when you have several orders for one template.

Has anyone else come across this solution & what did they think.

The service provider 'Print network' is called www.printevolved.co.uk. I've spoken to their main guy there called Ivor Jacobs & he 'seems' to know what he's talking about. However although I'm pretty certain I'm going to get on board with this solution I'd like some feedback.

Thanks in advance

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Comments

Anonymous says: I've seen this too! I like the look of it to be honest. I've tried their corporate demo on their other B2C example site, www.cardcorp.co.uk. I called their company on their Leeds office number and spoke ...

I've seen this too!

I like the look of it to be honest. I've tried their corporate demo on their other B2C example site, www.cardcorp.co.uk.

I called their company on their Leeds office number and spoke to a Jeff Birch. He explained all the possible avenues we could go down, including a few revenue streams we hadn't even considered. Like you we want it to automated the labourious stationery side of our business, but when we've got that running smoothly we may expand into other areas as well.

I've noticed that from one of your other postings you have an Indigo Digital Press. We are purely Litho. If we both get onboard with this Print Evolved system maybe we could kick start our own community spirit by exchanging suitable work. We are always getting in 4 colour work and turning it away. Have you got a 6 colour Indigo?

One good reason for me to get onboard anyway is that 3 of my Brokers are already using the system and have nothing but good things to say about it.

I'll mention you the next time a full process job comes through the door.

posted on: Fri, 06/04/2004 - 7:20am
Anonymous says: I saw the Print Evolved system and for the first week I was kicking myself for not getting there first. To be honest though even the smallest website costs 1000s of pounds to put together and when you ...

I saw the Print Evolved system and for the first week I was kicking myself for not getting there first. To be honest though even the smallest website costs 1000s of pounds to put together and when you include dynamic pages the starting price goes up ten fold. So I've stopped kicking myself & decided that I may register myself instead of trying to roll my own. I'm a printer, I'm a good printer so thats what I'll concentrate on!

Print Evolved's solution lets you use your own domain name so my customers will think its my web server they are accessing.

In my opinion James (You probably already gone for it) you should try it out. It still only costs £50 to get an account and you can start dabbling in ecommerce straight away. I have several customers that fax me around 20 of orders a week each, I'm going to get them online first, that'll save me almost 37 man hours week every week, so I'll be saving £300 quid a week straight off! I can't wait to get rid of all the proofing my team do on a daily basis, it'll be nice to bin the fax machine, I still use it for quotes though but in this day and age I should be emailing those anyway.

Happy Ecommercing James

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