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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 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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