Solution Focus: RSA’s Vendor Neutral Options

Pat McGrew
May 9, 2017

Getting to an automated workflow requires the right tools and workplan. In some organizations the solution is to rely on the hardware vendor who brought the hardware in to recommend the most efficient workflow tools. In other organizations the policy is to do an independent search to find the tools that will work best. In either case, the burden is on the workflow team to understand what is available in the market and how it might improve their overall efficiency.

One approach is to look for vendor-neutral workflow options that support the major hardware vendors and open interfaces to share data and reporting. The same criteria will always apply: great user interface, easy-to-use tools to automate, and an organization that will back up the tools with great training and support.

Rochester Software Associates (RSA) meets the brief with products that provide the workflow infrastructure that an organization needs. And, while best known for supporting the in-plant and corporate print environments, digital print-for-pay companies will find that the combination of ReadyPrintTM for makeready and job submission and QDirectTM for output management provides an excellent infrastructure.


The characteristics of a good prepress tool include a user interface that makes key functions easily accessible. Before bringing in a new tool, look at how your team is handling job ticketing, imposition, color, and job submission. Is it as efficient as it can be? Is it easy for them to handle input from multiple types of input sources, including scanned pages? Is there a path to automating repeated steps? With the Pro version of ReadyPrint the team at RSA ticked all of those boxes and for an added bonus included a visual templating tool to ease setup. Add the Preflight Pro module to manage preflight functions, including color conversions and adherence to specific PDF standards and ReadyPrint becomes a powerful, manufacturer agnostic makeready tool.

QDirect is a print shop production automation tool that can eliminate much of the job handling that often happens with digital print. Once set up it can interrogate incoming jobs and use the established rules to route jobs to the most efficient production option. When needed, you can modify batches of jobs waiting in the production queue. The ability to edit content in the spool can be a time saver in a production environment where changes can happen up to the point of print.

Bundle it with the RSA WebCRDTM to add front end automation with a web-to-print solution that automates job onboarding and you not only normalize how jobs arrive and what job information is captured, but you free valuable human resources to deal with exceptions in real time.

Top 5 Workflow Issues

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We know from our most recent North American and European Software Investment surveys that in-plant providers continue to struggle to find ways to grow their revenue, or at least keep the revenue they have. They offer fewer value-added services than their print-for-pay counterparts, and they spend less on software. But both groups identify a growing number of smaller jobs as their top bottleneck. This is where the automation offered by a seamless collection of automation tools can prove extremely valuable.

The production workflow solutions from RSA should be included on your review list when it is time to either add new workflow automation or when it is time to do a review of current capabilities against best practices in workflow.

If you have stories to share reach out to me! @PatMcGrew on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or Pat.McGrew@KeypointIntelligence.com all reach me.

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