Print Buying Made Easy
New software automates everything from bid solicitations to delivery.&012;"Time, time, time is on my side," said Mick Jagger. If only that were true for print production professionals, life would be so much simpler. In this era of compressed production schedules and tight budget restraints, few print production people have enough time to do all that needs to be done. There is no shortage of talented and qualified printers to tackle any print job, but developing the print specs, getting pricing and scheduling the various steps involved can often take more time than the actual printing of the job.
In an attempt to accelerate that often painful and time-consuming process, a Massachusetts-based software company has introduced a printing-specific software that promises to automate and expedite all of the print-buying functions:
- communicating with print suppliers,
- receiving and analyzing their price proposals,
- awarding the job to the best printer for your project, and
- initiating the project.
And, it does so using standard e-mail applications. It also automatically alerts the unsuccessful suppliers that their proposals were declined.
"We looked at what people really do, and engineered the system to follow the process, simplify it and automate it," says Caleb Tower, CEO of P3 Software, maker of P3Expeditor. "We believe software should make the process easier. P3Expeditor doesn't require buyers to jump through hoops to get the job done."
Detail-Management Made Simple
Users of the software have praised the attention to small detail in the programming, such as the ability to verify that the job specs specify the output format, proofing requirements, bleed instructions and bindery details. It has a calendar to deal with the various project milestones: bids due, job due to printer, proofs due and delivery due dates.
"It is indeed very well thought out," says Mike Matekovic, a production manager for Aramark, a global food and facilities management services company. "If you are creating a folder where you are going to have a color brochure and insert or card, it's easy to automatically break those out as individual jobs. When we have a very complex job, it's a lot easier."