Workflow on Parade
"We can have several different versions of Parade depending on where the advertiser wants to appear. If an advertiser just wants to be in Los Angeles, we'll print a version for that area," Kingston says.
Dalim Software's products help Kingston track and manage those different versions. "If I get a call from the plant about a particular version on press, I know I'm looking at the same version on the screen. Before, it was very hard to look at the live pages."
Like many magazine publishers, Parade has been using digital technology for years. But different processes existed as "islands of automation," Kingston says. For example, traffic, book makeup, information systems, desktop publishing and layout, and imaging departments all had their own digital systems.
"I didn't want to change every step," Kingston says. "We decided to tie all those processes together, across all our plants, so we didn't have to spend time tracking different jobs." To accomplish that goal, Parade installed Dalim Software's Ficelle and Twist automated production workflow packages.
Ficelle is a Web-based project management tool that provides display, tracking, and administration of print production. It stores and manages production states in a central, shared database, and provides access to that information over a secure Web site.
Twist is a digital production workflow package with modules that let users work on, view and approve pages, and check production parameters.
Dalim Software's solution was developed to be scalable, meaning publishers and printers can start small, but think big. They can implement the software on a small scale, and grow it as their requirements increase, says Blanchard of Blanchard Systems.
"We've been able to bridge all those islands of automation with the software," Kingston says. "Now our plants can access a file and check information, without having to involve someone here [at headquarters]. It's saving a lot of time, and certainly prevents phone tag."