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Commercial print shops

Production specifics

Commercial production is responsible for the widest range of products offered on the printing market. The products range includes simple posters, leaflets or maps as well as more complex products such as punched folders, saddle-stitched or perfect bound brochures.

Machine facilities of commercial print shops currently contain all technologies available on the market. They include traditional offset presses, UV equipped presses as well as Waterless offset presses. High quality of today’s commercial production forces the print shop owners to purchase various types of print finishing machines such as coaters, laminators, foilers etc. The standard equipment of each bindery is also worth mentioning, e.g. trimmers, folding machines or binding lines which cannot be missed here.

The list of raw materials used for printing commercial products nowadays is also extremely long. Apart from the most standard substrates, any types of PVC and PET foil should be named as well as lenticular foil or previously metallised backgrounds.

Problems and Challenges

Print enhancement starting from already standardisUV coating to embossing, foiling or applying special manual operations ordered by the customer are a challenge both for the persons preparing calculations and for the technologists.
 
The main problem of commercial print shops not only in Poland but also all over the World is the necessity of delivering many highest quality products to many customers and in the shortest possible time. The additional factor complicating this task is very low profitability of the orders which forces the print shops without management systems which do not optimise their production to generate loss and causes their dropping out of market.

Many firms offering solutions in the form of web shops promise the print shop owners that orders will come from everywhere. What remains unsaid is that the profit on a single order is very low and the orders scale effect may cause high losses due to complaints or ignorance as to whether the order brings profit or loss. Therefore it is so important that a print shop and its management are supported by an integrated management system.

Solution

Currently, what also counts in a print shop apart from good management is flexibility and quick servicing while maintaining the lowest prices. As a result of connecting the PrintManager and the PuzzleFlow WebToPrint solutions we are able to ensure complex print shop management and the possibility of servicing many clients sending orders through the internet website.

Large number of orders and management tools are the basic success factor of each commercial print shop.

Support of the basic areas of company operation

The basic types of the company operation include: Customer service, Sales, Finances and Warehouse.

Customer service in the PrintManager system is performed using the ContactManager and ProductManager modules.

The ContactManager is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) used for collection of information about the print shop customers, documents management and organising work in the form of projects. The ProductManager is a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) class module supporting the user from the moment of preparing a quotation through automatic generation of offers, placing orders to generating job orders.

The ProductManager module of the PrintManager system allows the user to calculate very complicated works including many elements and parts. The system controls data implemented by the calculating person and uses technological templates unifying the process of the product technology creation. The module automates calculation of the technological surpluses and of materials and tools usage within the order. Automatic calculation of the sheet format and control of minimum and maximum machines formats significantly decreases the number of errors made by the user.

Sales is the module responsible for support of sales in the PrintManager system. The module allows for registering sales documents related to the production orders for customers. The system integration results in forwarding most of data from other modules which significantly simplifies work with Sales module. The module also enables registering purchase invoices and settlement of invoice.

The financial area is covered by the external finance and accounting software. Automated integration with software made by the leading producers allows for simple transfer of all information regarding settlements into the system which then presents the full accounting status of the order.

The warehouse is serviced using the WarehouseManager module. The module offers complex management services for numerous physical and logical warehouses. The system may serve many companies and the number of serviced warehouse documents covers the scope of each print shop warehouse operation in 100%.

Technical preparation of production

The ProductManager module of the PrintManager system allows the user to calculate very complicated works including many elements and parts. The system controls data implemented by the calculating person and uses technological templates which unifies the process of the product technology creation. The module automates calculation of the technological surpluses and the use of materials and tools within the order. Automatic calculation of the sheet format and control of minimum and maximum machines formats significantly decreases the number of errors made by the user.

Production Planning

Optimisation of orders is a necessary condition for increasing the production profitability. The ProductionPlanner module gives the possibility of automatic planning for the whole order or manually for singular operations. Control of substrate levels for an order as well as possibility of interference in the technology by dividing operations, change of a machine or change in the number of servicing staff makes a perfect tool for production management.

PrePress

The PrintManager system automates calculation of printing forms use and also enables automatic addition of imaging operations for registration of plate use and of work time per order in the JobAcquisitor module. Taking into account the printing form durability while evaluating the use and time of additional equipment of the machine allow for cost control of preparing the job for print.

Press

Print operators using the JobAcquisitor module next to the basic information regarding print can also obtain information regarding the defined mutations.  Both for print form and for material. Automatic calculation of the sheet pass number taking into account the amount of defined inks and varnishes makes each pass registered separately in the system. The ability to specify parameters of printing machines such as efficiency, waste paper or the device time depending on many factors, i.e. type and density of the material makes the times adjusted to the given specifics and technology of products.

PostPress

The JobAcquisitor module enables registration of production operations by the operators in accordance with the technology path specified in the order. The module allows for registration of any parameters for operation. Automatic counting of operation time depending on the number of personnel adjusts operation to the given production shift.

Management Board

The PrintManager system allows for exporting all data to the data warehouse in order to perform cross-section analyses from the beginning of the PrintManager system operation in the print shop. Using the key performance indicators the current status of the company can be presented in the form of transparent charts and specifications. Access to many production, warehouse and sale reports is possible from the internet browser level which makes it independent from the system platform. The system also provides the possibility of exporting all the reports into many popular files formats, including MS Excel, for further data processing. It also enables to create own specifications both in the form of MS Excel pivot tables and Microsoft Analysis Services reports.

Solution Advantages

  • High flexibility of the system allowing for its configuration to the print shop needs without the necessity of programming changes
  • Ability of easier modification of interface layout for adjusting visibility of the most needed information for each user
  • Access protection to data supporting assignment of competences among the print shop employees
  • Easy navigation in the system using connections between the objects
  • Control of work in the system using performance paths enforcing the order and enforceability of the particular steps
  • Ability of adding own reports to the system depicting data gathered by it
  • Ability to use applications in many languages

Implementation Benefits

  • Storage of all data in one integrated information system
  • Unification of salesmen work and technology operators work using technology templates
  • Fast and flexible access to data for each authorised system user
  • Integration with external MS Office software within mail servicing and saving, generating serial correspondence or analysing data using MS Excel spreadsheet
  • Delivery of full management information in a fast and simple manner using reports and analyses
  • Helping in meeting the ISO norms by the print shop in relation with work organisation using designs and performance paths
  • Automation during generation of the basic documents for the customer, i.e. the offer, the agreement etc.
  • Access to historic data, technologies and all changes which occurred in similar products in order to optimise production in future as much as possible
  • Cost and margin control within calculations and orders