Here’s a Sweet Solution to Streamline Print Production from Konica Minolta

Posted on by Greg Cholmondeley | No Comments »

My last blog started a discussion about the value print providers viewing their operations from a manufacturing perspective. Simplify unnecessary media or size options from mainstream products. Batch and gang work together to reduce waste and setup times. Automate workflows where possible.

I had the opportunity to review a workflow automation product from Konica Minolta called EngageIT Automation that takes this manufacturing perspective and runs with it. It’s a bit different than other solutions in that it focuses on automating repeat types of work rather than trying to automate every job that comes in. So, if the manufacturing model could work for 50-80% of your jobs like tri-folds, brochures, business cards, postcards, mailers, booklets, manuals, and so forth – you probably ought to read on.

EngageIT Automation is based upon real-life print shop management experience and LEAN manufacturing principles. It provides a web interface making it easy for clients to reorder jobs or to upload ad hoc files for common job types. It then places these orders into predefined automated workflows. It can gang and batch jobs to reduce production submissions and setup changes. It even automatically produces scaled and impositioned job tickets so that batched and ganged jobs can be tracked, distributed and packed into the right orders.

The results from doing this can be dramatic, for example, by reducing the number of touches required to get a trifold brochure produced and out the door can drop from 50 down to 10.

The other powerful attribute of EngageIT Automation is that it manages production workflows from reception all the way through shipping. Most workflow solutions focus on automating prepress … which is where the most time savings can be achieved with automation. However, if you gang jobs together, or batch print components of multi-part orders, you’ll need to combine the results into their proper orders to ship. EngageIT helps manage workflows past printing with job ticket barcodes that can be scanned at each station so that jobs can be tracked throughout the shop. This means that department managers can see what is in their area and what is coming. Shipping can know when multi-part orders are ready to pack. And everyone can see when job elements are at risk of being late so they can react accordingly.

So, if you find that your staff is doing repetitious tasks setting up commonly produced jobs several times a day, EngageIT Automation can be an efficient way to automate, gang, batch and manage these workflows without having to spend a lot of time programming or administering automation systems. EngageIT Automation is a well-thought-out approach for shops who want to automate their core, digital job types without wanting to invest in automating their entire operation.

To learn more, view this product briefing overview video. Of course, if you’re a PODi member, go to http://www.podi.org/Workflow-Solutions/Workflow-Product-Briefings/ to read the full briefing including videos demonstrating EngageIT Automation’s submission, automation and programming functionality.

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