When It Absolutely Has to Be There Over Lunch
"EVERYBODY wants time, but time is a pretty elusive thing to hold on to," observes Lee Stocking, business development manager for remote proofing at Imation, Oakdale, MN, "especially when the FedEx truck left at five o'clock and you still have five pages to complete."
Imation is one of a few companies helping printers, vendors and publishers realize the benefits of time management that are afforded through remote proofing. Overnight delivery services such as FedEx save the industry days and have changed the pace of business. But, despite FedEx's recent addition of Sunday delivery, many companies find that 'till 10 a.m. is too long to wait.
At Phoenix Color, Hagerstown, MD, customers ask for faster turn-around and higher quality, but at lower cost, reports Frank Ervin, vice president of training and technology. But for their demands to be met, he says, publishers need to help. "They have to shave off two days in the production cycle—the time for an overnight courier service to get the job to them and back." And remote proofing is how many publishers are replacing that courier service.
Remote proofing generally involves the digital transmission of files back and forth from one location to another for review and correction. At the destination site, those files may be "soft-proofed" on a computer monitor or output on a proofing device.
"Remote proofing is not a product; it's a process," explains Stocking. And that process, he notes, requires a modification in production behavior and mindset. Print production partners that have successfully implemented remote proofing solutions have re-engineered their workflows to take full advantage of proofing options beyond ground- or air-mail delivery of disks, page proofs and bluelines.
"There is no cookie-cutter solution," remarks Ervin, warning that each remote proofing option can be implemented in a number of different ways. "Every publisher has a unique workflow that needs to be understood before they buy an off-the-shelf remote proofing solution."