Workflow on Parade
"We can help our customers not just in automating their document factories and integrating customer data, but also with integrating downstream logistics and management," Otte says. "That can change the focus of an organization, giving them the ability to offer new services, and reach new customers."
THE NEW FACE OF WORKFLOW
Printers agree: all digital workflow does more than automate the production process. "Printers can begin to change the way they do business, targeting products and services to individuals, corporate clients, or new customer segments," Blanchard says.
Indeed, company officials at Continental Web Press Inc., a magazine insert and commercial web printer in Itasca, Ill., are thinking in exactly those terms. Like Parade magazine, Continental Web is installing Dalim Software's Ficelle and Twist software products.
The plan: to use the all-digital workflow system to better communicate project status with customers. "Our customers, such as ad agencies and publishers, will be able to view project status, and review content prior to file delivery," says Ed Zepernick, Continental Web's director of prepress. "We believe that gives us an edge over our competitors."
It's that competitive edge that's motivating forward-thinking firms, such as Parade and Continental Web, to ante up and adopt early. But if most publishers and printers aren't ready to pull out their checkbooks, a survey found most believe an integrated workflow would help their business.
The survey, conducted by Xerox Corp. at the recent On Demand trade show in New York, found 94% of attendees polled believe fully integrated workflow processes will have a positive impact on their business.
The leading benefits cited by respondents: new revenue opportunities, increased flexibility and efficiency, and improved customer responsiveness. And for printers specifically, creating new applications for publishing clients was cited as a top advantage.
None of this is news to Kingston at Parade. The New York publisher prints at five printing plants across the country, outputting 30 to 70 different versions of its Sunday newspaper supplement. The country's most-read magazine, Parade runs in more than 320 newspapers nationwide.