The JDF Advantage
Every print producer has a unique process for converting a customer's job order into printed material, and getting it out the door.
For many it's still largely manual. For those using automation, they tend to have several separate systems in different parts of the production process.
Often these islands of automation can't communicate, requiring human intervention to move a job through the process.
Of course, each time there's human involvement, especially in the form of re-keying data from one system to another, there's opportunity for error.
There's a difference between data and information. That difference is context and meaning. If an employee enters a list of names and addresses in the system it is data.
Unless the names and addresses happen to be those of people that employee knows, the employee has no context for the data, and no way to tell if each entry is correct.
However, if the individuals enter their own name and address, they are entering information. They know the name is spelled correctly, and that the street address is right.
In the context of their personal details, the entries have meaning to them. In the print industry, the way to take advantage of this is to ensure the print production process has as little data entry as possible and that, as often as possible, information is entered into the system by the people to whom it has meaning.
To make this feasible, it's necessary to provide the customer with the ability to enter information about themselves and their job directly into the print production system.
This first step can be achieved with a combination of an Internet-based interface to the print producer, along with graphic design and publishing tools that help the non-print-professional specify the job.