Produce More Jobs
November 11th, 2013
Written By: Nancy Chetron, Worldwide Marketing Manager
Production Customization/Workflow & Solutions, Xerox Corporation
Print Service Providers continually wrestle with the challenge of maintaining consistent color on their digital presses. The problem is not the color management technology, it’s the lack of automation and the reliance on multiple players in the print process to determine color outcomes. What if this process could be simplified by using a single color management solution for an entire fleet? What if you could remotely access and respond to the status of your presses, greatly increasing the efficiency of your workflows?
Well, these desires are now a reality thanks to a new cloud-based color management solution, which provides centralized automation of printer monitoring with a pre-defined workflow and customer-specific recovery procedures. The solution, called IntegratedPLUS Automated Color Management, uses web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) technology to eliminate the need for running local color management packages at multiple sites. The solution provides access to the iGen fleet’s embedded inline spectrophotometers (ILS) to quickly and easily monitor presses.
With a new interface that Xerox has introduced to its strategic color management partners, a color expert can submit and print targets and within seconds know the status of a press and whether it’s “in” or “out” of spec. This check is done using a partner tool such as CGS ORIS Certified // Web which connects with software in the cloud to perform the color check.
The Xerox® IntegratedPLUS Automated Color Management can:
- Improve productivity and reliability over current manual processes
- Simplify multi-engine/multi-site color management
- Cut costs by making color management far more predictable and efficient
- Reduce manual errors and eliminate wasted time and materials
- Increase the efficiency of your workflow
Think of the efficiencies gained by having the ability to run your entire color process remotely in a single, consistent workflow—even from multiple locations. Since this solution leverages your current technology, no new IT investment is needed – which means you can reduce costs and streamline your color management, allowing you to focus on getting more jobs through your shop.
The solution includes Xerox Professional Services support. This team of experts provides color and workflow support, helping you configure and set up the right level of print specification tolerances for your shop based on your color and productivity requirements. Whether you print color-critical graphic communications jobs such as auto brochures, or internal newsletters, Xerox Professional Services will help you to set up a recovery process to fit your needs.
How could an automated, integrated, and cloud-based color management process impact your business?
The solution is one of the technology solutions available as part of the portfolio. For more information go to http://www.xerox.com/IntegratedPLUSColor
October 1st, 2013
Written by Tod Viniski
Worldwide Marketing Manager, Workflow & Solutions, Xerox Corporation
The print marketplace is maturing. Print technology is getting harder and harder to differentiate. So what are your business strategies and priorities for the next 2–5 years? How can you truly stand apart and be in the best position for future success?
In a mature market, operational efficiency is a great place to start. If you are going to outlast your competition, you need to produce better output, quicker and cheaper. But how? What tools are available that can deliver higher quality output, higher productivity, all while reducing costs?
The answer is… Xerox® FreeFlow® Core.
Today we announce the worldwide launch and availability of the newest software offering from Xerox®: FreeFlow® Core. This browser-based solution intelligently automates and integrates the processing of print jobs, from file preparation to final production. To put it simply, it does the work for you…automatically.
Imagine simply dropping a 1-up PDF document into a Core hot folder and then without any other intervention the file is pre-flighted for key quality levels, modified to meet shop requirements, imposed to match desired output, fully programmed and sent to the printer with a custom banner page identifying unique finishing and routing instructions. And all this happens automatically.
Maybe you get a list of orders from your website or a key customer account. Core can be customized to read and process your order manifest. Once the system is configured, simply drop the data file with your orders and Core will do the rest. Picking up files from remote repositories, merging multiple files into a single document, imposing, programming, and printing each job. Imagine hundreds of short-run jobs going from your order system to being distributed across your fleet of printers in a matter of minutes. It’s all possible today.
Core takes touch points out of your prepress and press operations. This reduces the variability in your process thus delivering more consistent quality. Your productivity increases because time consuming manual steps are eliminated. And finally, you reduce costs by eliminating expensive manual labor and processing.
Last but not least, the software is modular, configurable, and scalable. Core is made up of 3 modules; the base software as well as optional Advanced Prepress and Advanced Automation modules. This provides you with a range of choices. Start small with the base software and let the solution grow by adding functionality as your business expands over time. Or jump right into the fully featured configuration for the most powerful automation engine in the industry.
How do you view the importance of workflow to your business? What benefits do you see from a flexible, scalable, modular workflow system?
August 29th, 2013
Written by Derrick Doi
Vice President, Quick and Franchise Print Segment, Xerox Corporation
Sir Speedy Orlando counts on the local economy for nearly all of its business, about two-thirds of which comes from the metro area’s healthcare, hospitality and conventions industries.
These industries continue to rely on printing, and Sir Speedy Orlando delivers. The company is on track for a second consecutive year of 10 percent revenue growth, driven largely by digital color printing and wide-format printing of signs and banners.
The digital color growth was somewhat in jeopardy a short while ago, as the company’s workhorse digital color press grew less and less reliable. In seeking to replace it, Owners Laurence Nye and Mike LeVangie elicited recommendations from other Sir Speedy franchisees, which led them to choose a Xerox Color 800 Press.
The Xerox press has delivered a number of new capabilities to Sir Speedy Orlando. Printing on heavier stocks and synthetics has given customers more choices for restaurant menus and collateral. Clear toner has provided another creative wrinkle to business cards, menus and other pieces. And increased processing power has made variable information printing more productive.
But, Nye and LeVangie said, “What really has made an impact on the business is the Color 800’s ability to produce the work. We have basically no down time with this machine.” It put an end to what had been a very difficult time, they said “We had a good amount of work, but we weren’t always able to produce it because the machine was down. The Color 800 has made a big difference in our business—and in our lives.
Their great experience with the Color Press has opened them to additional opportunities for replacing their aging black-and-white devices with Xerox printers. See and hear Nye and LeVangie make additional observations about their business and their new Color 800 Press in this video.
Is print still driving growth in your operation? If yes, what types of printing are delivering? If no, where are you finding growth?
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August 13th, 2013
Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant, NAPL
There was an interesting question posted on one of the LinkedIn Forums recently. The question asked about the pros and cons for University in-plant printers who get the right of first refusal for the printing. Typically the right of first refusal for an inplant printer means that all the work goes to the inplant and they decide which work they will do, based on how busy they are and how their charges compare and decide if they’re going to do the work themselves or outsource the work.
I’ve sat down several times and written a response to this question and each time written a different answer. Why? While the question doesn’t seem complicated at first, if you have experience in the subject, you know that it can be complicated. At first blush, there is almost no downside to the right of first refusal because it increases the volume of work. And let’s be honest– more work can overshadow a host of financial issues.
But there are a few potential downsides. Although rare, sometimes a mandate to send all work can overwhelm the department. If that’s true you would have to take some quick action to try to avoid late deliveries or even the hint that you can’t keep up with demand. You need to immediately create an overflow strategy such as outsourcing until you can keep up. At the same time, you need to start researching new hardware / software, additional staff, or splitting shifts.
A second potential problem is the is resentment it can cause. It’s not always recognized but a mandate to send any kind to any specific supplier can create resentment. This is especially true when customers have long-standing relationships with outside vendors. These feelings of resentment can result in complaints about “losing the ability to competitively bid.”
Of course those specific words can be dangerous, because even a hint of uncompetitive pricing is a red flag for administration. That is why the leading inplants create a strategy to battle those claims.
This means creating a system to monitor competitive pricing. Different inplants used different strategies. Those that can afford it may invest in commercial bidding software such as P3 Software, while others who can’t afford it build their own.
At one of the University inplant peer groups I heard Abbas Badani from Penn State describe how he created his own bidding system. Abbas described how to program the system and years later I saw a version of that system at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
The point however is that there are tremendous advantages associated with the right of first refusal, but there are some potential issues to watch for. First and foremost, you have to make sure that you can fulfill the demand. Second, you need to watch for possible resentment and build a strategy to overcome possible complaints about competitive pricing.
Can you think of anything else? Have you seen other pros and cons for inplants that get the right of first refusal?
Looking for similar topics? Check out these other Digital Printing Hotspot Blog posts:
- 5 Keys to On-Call Staffing Strategy
- Three Things In-plant Printers Must Do To Survive
- How the InterContinental Hotels Group Was Able to Cut through the Clutter
- The State of In-plant Printing
Howie Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL as well as a paid contributor to this blog. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity, and adding digital and value services through customer research. For more information click here.
August 8th, 2013
The following is an excerpt from Matthew Parker’s Seven Myths of Print Sales series:
If you throw enough mud some of it sticks
This is a saying that I hear a lot when I’m talking to print salespeople. They are focused on creating as much activity as possible. They are contacting as many customers as possible as many times as possible.
The main object is to get a lot of quote requests. These salespeople work on the basis that the more prices they give out, the more work they are likely to book in.
You have to admire these people. They are slogging away in a difficult market place, day in, day out. It is certainly hard work. The trouble is, that this sort of activity tends to generate revenue, not profit.
Being constantly on the phone is not necessarily a sign of creating profits People who challenge this myth tend to create better customer partnerships. They are moving away from commodity sales and into a more profitable value-added sale. These customers tend to buy solutions that mean they stay with the same supplier for longer. So the printer is in control of their sales pipeline. And they achieve better profits.
People who believe in the activity myth find it harder to generate profits. They tend to end up with commodity sales and commodity customers. They don’t have the same control over their sales pipeline. They are not achieving their full potential.
However, people who believe in the activity myth refuse to believe this.
Activity equals sales
Sometimes this is true and sometimes it isn’t. To demonstrate this I would like to quote some research from a book called The Challenger Sale. This research is based on profiling over 6,000 sales people from a variety of business sectors.
The profiling shows that there are five clear types of salesperson. One of these is the hard worker. The hard worker can get results. In fact, in commodity type sales, the hard workers form the biggest percentage of high performing salespeople.
However, when it comes to high complexity sales it’s a very different story. Here only 10% of the high performing salespeople were hard workers. There were other types of salesperson who performed much better.
In general, we should draw a slightly different conclusion than activity equals sales.
Activity equals commodity sales
Many of the hard work salespeople who focus on activity are winning work on price. They are focused on getting the orders in. But the rate of their activity means that it is hard to spend too much time on one sale. It’s hard to work on getting a decent profit margin from the customer when you are this active. It’s also hard to sell anything more than a standard print job.
That means we should also draw another conclusion about activity.
Activity equals disloyal customers
Because busy salespeople are winning work on price they are also more likely to lose their customers. Chances are, that as their customer chose on price, they will continue to do so. So as soon as another print sales person comes along with a lower price the customer will be off to a new print company. The busy salesperson has to stay really busy. They need to replace all the customers that are leaving.
To continue reading this post from Matthew Parker, click here.
Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably. Find out more about Matthew on his site.
March 13th, 2013
Written by Ed Gala
VP, USCO Marketing & Communications, Xerox Corporation
In-house printing may not be a hot topic at your next cocktail party, but if you work in a large organization or Fortune 1000 company, you may have an under-leveraged resource hiding in plain sight. At a recent Focus Forward event in Dallas, Texas, in-plant printing managers and industry experts got together to explore ways to transform in-house print shops into high-powered marketing machines that bridge the paper and digital worlds and leverage social media, multi-channel communications and big data trends.
To combat outdated perceptions and remain competitive, Ed Spears, manager of business support services at the Fort Worth Independent School District said he forged tighter ties with communications and branding colleagues as well as other potential power users. He and his team uncovered internal redundancies, saving $200K by better utilizing existing assets and eliminating a dedicated machine previously used only for printing report cards. Savings are being reinvested in other strategic priorities.
Sherri Broderick, supervisor of Print/Mail/Sign Services at the Frisco Independent School District shared a similar experience. Her group made a list of all the ways they could increase the efficiency and relevance of their operation and found 40 hours of time savings while increasing daily jobs from 50 to more than 300.
Like Ed and Sherri, the 30 other leaders I met in Dallas were not only excited about in-plant printing, they were also celebrating successes and sharing war stories over cocktails. And guess what? There wasn’t a dull moment.
Interested in learning about other in-plant successes and how these print shops are finding cost-efficiencies and optimizing production capabilities? You may want to check out:
- How the InterContinental Hotels Group Was Able to Cut through the Clutter
- Increased print capacity and efficiency saved Highmark $5M, Personalized mailers increased member engagement by 400%
- How Wedding Invitations and Personalized Discount Codes Drove $2.5M in Revenue Growth for Printer
- Penn State’s on-campus print center upgrades its capabilities on a tight budget – and boost its botton line by more than 50%
A Focus Forward event may be coming to a city near you! Check out our tour schedule to see how you can hear these stories firsthand. Can’t make the event? Browse our extensive library of past speakers and topics.
February 1st, 2013
Written by Brian Segnit and Chris Irick
Graphic Communications Marketing Managers, Xerox Corporation
What an exciting day for Xerox Corporation! After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce new additions into our production portfolio, with today’s launch of the Xerox Color J75 and Xerox Color C75 Presses. Both the J75 and C75 are available immediately in North America, with worldwide availability beginning March 1, 2013.
The Xerox Color J75 and C75 Presses were designed with many production environments in mind, including in-plant operations, quick printers, commercial printers, creative agencies, photo specialty retailers and departmental environments.
Both press’ tout impressive features, including the new Simple Image Quality Adjustment (SIQA) toolset, which empowers the user with alignment and registration accuracy by automating registration control and density uniformity, eliminating the need to involve a technician. Also new to the J75 and C75 Presses is Intelligent Fuser Tracking technology, allowing users to designate commonly used paper sizes to specific fuser rolls, and alerting them if there is a mismatch between the job being printed and the fuser setting. This helps to minimize wear and extend the life of the fuser.
Xerox Color J75 Press.
For commercial print shops producing high-volume, high-value applications, the Xerox Color J75 Press offers enhanced productivity by running all paper stocks, including heavyweight up to 300 gsm, at full rated speed of 75 pages per minute (ppm).
It can easily match corporate and industry colors through its embedded Xerox’s Automated Color Quality Suite (ACQS). With ACQS’ inline spectrophotometer and color management tools; accurate, reliable color can be achieved through automated calibration and profiling, all while limiting operator involvement.
Adding to the press’ productivity are Xerox FreeFlow solutions, including templates and automated workflows that simplify job prep and production of applications ranging from postcards to booklets. To help printers create high-value applications, Xerox’s Variable Information Suite and XMPie make it simple to add personalization, whether one name or a robust cross-media campaign.
Xerox Color C75 Press.
The Xerox Color C75 Press makes it easy to start, or expand, a digital printing business. With the ability to run up to 75 ppm on uncoated stocks and up to 51 ppm on coated – the Xerox Color C75 can help open new opportunities to produce more profitable jobs.
In addition, the press features advanced scanning and copying capabilities, allowing auto-duplex scanning up to 200 images per minute (ipm). These workflow efficiencies are huge for businesses entering the digital marketplace. This versatile press even offers optional mobile and cloud solutions, providing printers with new ways to do business as jobs can be submitted and printed securely from smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops.
We gave a sneak-peak of the Xerox Color J75 Press to attendees visiting the EFI Connect Users’ Conference on January 15. In attendance was Jyske Bank, the 3rd largest bank in Denmark, a company whose built a solid reputation by delivering excellence in quality, service, security, and privacy…extending all the way to their in-house print operations.
Impressed with the Xerox Color J75 at first sight, Jyske Bank purchased two presses. Jyske’s Print Shop Manager, Carsten Gaarde, stated:
“Print is one of the ways we build and maintain our customer relationships. The J75 offers many high-end press features in a smaller footprint with very impressive print quality.”
You can see the Xerox Color J75 Press on display at Graphics of the Americas, in Miami, FL, Feb. 21-23, 2013.
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