You Printed It — But You Still Haven't Produced It
As hard as it can be for graphics professionals to admit, printing isn’t everything — it’s only one of many things that contribute to the success of a job. On October 10, three industry veterans made the point in a session aptly titled, “It’s Not About the Printing: Project Logistics Case Studies.”
Terry Corman (Firehouse Image Center) noted that printing is part of a “ ow” of connected processes that starts with order entry and culminates in packing and delivery. He said that his company has automated the front end of the sequence to the point where an incoming job “prints itself” after the estimating and pricing, prepress and print queuing have been carried out by software. In this streamlined fashion, he said, the company produces 3,000 to 10,000 art prints per day on 30 different substrates.
Rich Thompson (AdGraphics) finishes and installs the VLF graphics he prints, often on very short notice. He recommended that after the printing is done, everything should be laid out on the oor for close inspection prior to delivery. It’s painstaking work, but according to Thompson, a shop that establishes a reputation for this kind of reliability will be able to “charge handsomely” for what it produces.
“Print is just a part of the deliverable to the customer,” said Brian Hite (Image Options). Like Corman, he emphasized the need to automate workflows. Automation requires always having the necessary “metrics, rules, and tools” in place, Hite said. It can be expensive, and it requires continuous attention to detail. The payoff is that after “the pain point at the front end” has been endured, “the printing is easy.”