Written By Melissa Reynolds
iGen Consultant
Xerox Corporation

Imagine this situation:

You walk into your print shop and everything is running like a well-oiled machine.  Sales has captured important new clients for 1:1 Marketing Collaterals, customer service is getting great feedback from clients for delivering excellent products ahead of schedule, prepress and design knows exactly how to send client work to your new digital presses, your digital press operators are cranking out thousands of CONFIDENT color impressions per shift and the on-schedule finishing folks trim, score, fold and box completed pieces.

And then, POOF, you wake up and realize that this isn’t the way your digital shop runs at all.  Is it only a dream?  It doesn’t have to be.  Many print professionals engage outside consultants for a thorough workflow assessment from time to time, regardless of industry.  An in-plant shop can benefit just as much as a commercial printer from an objective professional’s recommendations about their digital shop workflow.

Still think you’re dreaming?  Read on to see what the buzz is about workflow assessments

As a print professional, you have a vision of your digital business, current goals and growth initiatives.  But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just not as simple as getting from “job submission to print”.  That’s okay, because you don’t have to go it alone!  The purpose of a workflow assessment is to provide a unique view of your print shop workflow with pain points (yes, you know what some are already) and soft spots that could be lurking bottlenecks waiting to happen.  The best part is that on a department-by-department basis, your assessment will provide a detailed analysis of what works well, what’s marginal and what could benefit from some improvement.  That means, if your customers could really use a web to print online tool for order submissions, it might be recommended.  Maybe you could benefit from job tracking software, especially if work orders seem to play hide and seek at times.  If your prepress folks need assistance with preflighting and preparing files for digital presses, that can open the door for some individualized training.  Perhaps your digital press operators need to brush up on their color management skills or, even better, you need a solution to color match between your digital presses; all of these solutions can appropriately be recommended to you by your workflow assessment professional.

Achieving a solid, reliable digital workflow takes some planning and effort.  Is there an opportunity for an industry professional to analyze your workflow and make your dreams become a reality in your shop?