Just the Ticket
Miceli says that the software now essentially works as a repository of instructions for each completed project. Other metadata captured and used for reporting includes quality-control measurements and customer notes.
Working the same way that paper once had, Miceli says that rather than finding a ticket in a file cabinet and then walking across the office to hand it off to the recipient, production operators can now log into the system and share information online.
Digital files can be dragged and dropped from the Virtual Ticket database to the native application, allowing NCL to quickly repurpose its assets to other projects.
"With Virtual Ticket," elaborates Matt Buisson, technical advisor, NCL Graphics, "all job information—instructions, film specs, alterations, etc.—is online, accurate and up-to-date, reducing questions in the production workflow."
Instantly accessible job tickets benefit the sales force immensely, says Buisson.
"Our entire sales force was given [Macintosh] G3s to enable them to enter and access critical job information, right from their desktops," he concludes.
Cataloging for catalogs
Mark Guthart, director of sales and marketing at MetaCommuni-cations, agrees that one of Virtual Ticket's most attractive assets is its ability to create customized production instructions.
"Within one page," he explains, "you'd have information about printing schedules and proofs. If you go into [the program] and want to see everything about page two [of your catalog], you can see the progress [of each job assigned, completed or in process]."
Guthart admits that while some people prefer paper to a computer monitor, the margin of error on the screen versus misplaced hard-copy job tickets is noteworthy.
Each phase of the job can be tracked to better evaluate where time is lagging and where work is most productive.
In the end, says Miceli, being able to quantify workflow productivity has helped his company reinvent processes and streamline operations.