Are you STILL wasting time in make-ready?

Posted on by Greg Cholmondeley | 3 Comments »

Jobmaster Thumbnail MediumI am constantly amazed at how much time is wasted on doing everyday types of work in print shops. Yes, I said wasted, because there are tools and automated processes out there which will do much of the time-consuming, mundane work for you. So, if you’re still laying out business cards or postcards by hand, or manually designing, printing and inserting tabs, or anything like that, wake up – you ARE wasting time.

I just finished a product briefing on EFI’s Fiery JobMaster and Fiery Impose solutions – which are really nice products, by the way. The reason for this morning’s rant is that it seems that many people still aren’t aware that there are better ways to do these tasks or, perhaps, they just don’t believe the benefits. This isn’t my first blog on this topic and it won’t be my last as I try to create awareness and understanding of new and better ways to profitably get work out the door.

JobMaster and Impose are two elements of the Fiery workflow suite – which consists of a variety of solutions that can be linked together to cover doing just about everything prior to printing. This includes job submission, prepress, make-ready, output management, RIPping, print queue management, color management and variable data printing. They also link into EFI’s MIS solution set for business management.

This 5-minute video is one of four videos contained in the PODi Fiery JobMaster product briefing available to PODi members. In it, I’ll walk through a quick demo of how these solutions can be used to lay out business cards, handle a variable data, PDF/VT postcard job, and produce a single PDF file containing a set of multi-page booklets. The other videos provide a solution overview and analysis, a demonstration of setting up a bleed edge tab catalog, and a demo of compiling a complex, multi-bank tab manual.

There is a lot of content here and, these short videos are intended to quickly demonstrate what can be done, what the system looks like, and what it would be like to use it. The product briefing also has a link where PODi members can access EFI’s online training normally reserved for Fiery customers. This seems like a great way to make sure these products meet your needs if you’re in the market for something like this. Hey, membership has its benefits.

But even if you aren’t a PODi member, I hope that the attached video gives you an inkling of what’s out there so that you can begin to learn where and how to invest in making your business more profitable.

3 Responses to “Are you STILL wasting time in make-ready?”

Comment from Frans Vanhellemont
Time August 18, 2014 at 1:07 am

Hi Greg

You’re right, still a lot of people are not aware that there are tools to optimize their day-to-day activities.

Maybe a good time to have a look at FreeFlow Core 4.0 that has been released this month. For a similar investment you have an even more powerful system with the advantage that it can drive different DFE’s from one central location.

Kind regards,


Comment from Chris Jordan
Time August 21, 2014 at 3:09 am

If you have worked at EFI or one of their competitors you know that the problem and solution does not lie in the tools. EFI’s and others have been productive and have a great ROI for a long time.
The problem started in the early 2000′s because EFI and others priced these tools far too high.
Today’s challenge that many, including EFI have is that the majority of the Print Production Engine sales staff (at Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Xerox) that are supposed to sell these tools do not know or are not incentivised to sell them. Doing an ROI for most printers for these products is very simple and straight forward, and in most cases the software would pay for itself in less than a year.
In addition as this software is in EFI’s case an option to the purchase of the Fiery, it does not get sold, as the sales guys focus on selling the Fiery and the digital print engine.
Lastly comes training or the lack of it. In the 12 years since I left EFI the capabilities of the Fiery software have increased significantly, and yet their OEM Fiery customers have not increased the length of the Fiery operator training which in most cases is still about 2 hours!

Comment from Greg Cholmondeley
Time August 21, 2014 at 4:59 am

Chris, that is a great observation and one of the reasons why we started the workflow initiative at PODi is to try and get unbiased awareness of the tools that are out there and where they apply. You’re right that the major vendor sales reps and their managers are driven to make plan and are going to focus on selling one or two replacement printers at $100-200k each rather than a single $15-30k piece of software requiring needs and ROI analysis and client education. We can’t rely upon a push model for transforming this industry as long as productivity software is sold by hardware vendors. We need to also create a pull by helping shops see how to use tools like these to improve their results. Thanks for the comment.

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