Posts tagged: Workflow

The U.S. Print Management Market: Growth through Innovation

Will Morgan
 Jul 9, 2019

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends’ Customer Communications Advisory Service recently published an analysis piece exploring the U.S. print management market, its workflow challenges, and projections for growth. This blog focuses on the growth opportunities. Please read the full analysis if you’re interested in learning more about the workflow challenges.

Sometimes known as “marketing execution services,” “brand deployment,” and “marketing print management,” the print management market is a slice of the broader customer communications ecosystem that sees enterprise clients outsourcing print and related spending to a third-party provider (also known as a distributor or broker) who leverages a network of manufacturers to procure the company’s printed marketing materials and promotional products. Through consolidated purchasing, print management providers offer cost savings and upgraded efficiencies that in-plants struggle to match, as well as a wider array of products, applications, and expertise than a single print manufacturer can manage.

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Xerox Repositions its MPS Business

Barbara Richards
 Jun 19, 2019

Last month, Xerox held a briefing for industry analysts on its service offerings. A key takeaway from this event is that Xerox is re-positioning its MPS brand to “intelligent workplace services.”

Intelligent workplace services are geared toward improving the customer experience, as well as enhancing how employees get more work done. This moves Xerox beyond managing print to helping clients manage their larger workplace. According to Joanne Collins Smee, chief commercial officer at Xerox, “There is a significant opportunity for our clients to automate the inbound and outbound communications, extract value from ingested data and streamline business processes to unlock immense productivity gains”.

Xerox Intelligence Workplace Services

 

That said, two of the three main challenges addressed by intelligence workplace services have a tight alignment with MPS. One is organizations’ need to gain control of their print infrastructure, including equipment, consumables, and associated repair and operating costs. The other is securing the print infrastructure, including printed material, print devices on the network, and collected data.

It is really the third challenge that goes beyond traditional MPS; that is the need to replace paper-based processes with more efficient workflows that boost employee productivity and satisfaction. This is achieved through a combination of analytics, automation, content management, mobility, and more.

Intelligence workplace services falls within the umbrella of Xerox’s horizontal services. Other horizontal services are available for capture and content, accounts payable, digital hub and cloud print, and campaign on demand. Available globally, these offerings are focused on streamlining time-consuming, business-critical processes

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What’s Next for Production Print DFEs?

Marc Mascara
 Feb 6, 2019

A Trip Way Back in Time

On demand production print digital front ends (DFEs) began their competitive march in the late 1990s when Scitex Corporation announced its entry into the print on demand (POD) space by launching the Spontane printing system. The solution was an OEM version of the Fuji Xerox Docucolor 40. During that same timeframe, Scitex also developed a DFE version of its Brisque Prepress system and adapted it for the on-demand market. This announcement started a high-end competitive DFE battle between EFI, Scitex, and to some extent ColorBus.

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Almost 50% of General Office Workers in the U.S. said their Required Color Printing is Increasing.

Barbara Richards
 Sep 19, 2018

According to recent Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends primary research, roughly 50% of 18 to 29-year-olds in general office environments said their required office color printing is increasing compared to 33% for all respondents.   Furthermore, our study found almost 59% of all office workers indicate no change or decrease in their required color printing of work-related documents. Our survey found that companies with less than 100 employees showed a greater increase in their required color printing overall.

For all your required work-related printing is the use of color increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

In addition, 40% of general office workers said that their optional work-related color printing is increasing. Again, this was highest among 18 to 29-year-olds in our survey results, with 55% stating their optional color printing was increasing. Furthermore, compared with our 2016 survey results, in the U.S., color printing of optional documents is growing.

Growth in color output can be directly attributed to the growth of color devices in the market. In fact, in 2017, color EP office devices grew 2.7% year over year. As the price of color printers and MFPs continue to decline more and more people have access to these devices in the office.    In fact, general office users in our survey, said the reasons they have increased their color printing was that it adds more value to the document, makes it easier to read and that color prints are more influential overall.

This is just a sampling of some of the key findings, from our recent primary research survey results. On October 22nd, Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends Office Group Analysts will be presenting a Webinar “Future of Office Print” please select the links below if you are interested in attending.

10AM EST – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5561315912742553345

2PM EST – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1882686456762387457

 

Smart Package Manufacturing: HP One Package Workflow Suite Brings New Levels of Optimization

Pat McGrew
 Jun 25, 2018

Corrugated product producers have traditionally thought in terms of square meters and board feet. The goal: keep corrugated products heading out the door. For corrugators that meant keeping the corrugator online and in production which was managed with a Manufacturing Execution System tied to standard business management software suites. Corrugated board manufacturers often use their business systems to manage their manufacturing requirements, augmented with process-specific tools. The advent of digital corrugated production options adds many more requirements to the production workflow, most of which are closer to traditional commercial printing than traditional converting. With experience born from implementations of both digital liner preprinting ahead of corrugation and digital corrugated board printing (“post printing”) comes the HP One Package workflow suite targeted toward users of all HP PageWide Industrial corrugated presses.

HP PrintOS Site Flow Drives End-to-End Print Production for HP Corrugated

Source: HP

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Packaging Connected at EskoWorld 2018

Ryan McAbee
 Jun 11, 2018

EskoWorld, the yearly gathering of Esko users and partners, kicked off this week with a big “yeehaw” in San Antonio, Texas. More than 500 packaging enthusiasts, from brand owners to converters, packed the event to learn about trends and challenges affecting the packaging industry with additional opportunities to network, engage with supporting vendors, and get hands-on learning. More striking was that 39% of attendees were there for the first time.


Jan De Roeck kicking off EskoWorld 2018
An excited Jan De Roeck, Marketing Director, kicking off the opening day.

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HP T-Series for Corrugated: Up to 6 Colors & 1,000 FPM Speed Options

Bob Leahey
 Jun 5, 2018

In the crush of news from last month’s FESPA in Berlin is one corrugated story that merits extra attention: HP’s PageWide Industrial division, which pioneered the high-speed CMYK pre-printing of corrugated liner media with HP PageWideT400S and 1100S in 2014, announced at the show the introduction of two new versions of the 110”/2.8m wide press, the HP PageWide T1170 and T1190. Each prints six colors (CMYK plus Orange and Violet), extending the color gamut to meet brand colors, and also feature HP ColorBoost technology. The presses feature HP A30 water-based inks do not use UV-reactive chemistry, so the products printed are food safe. The T1190 also offers a big increase in productivity to 1000 fpm/305 mpm, up from the 600 fpm/183 fpm of HP T1100S. Both the T1170 and T1190 presses are suitable for both coated and uncoated media, from 80 gsm to 350 gsm. They are available now, either as new installations or as on-site upgrades to the twelve T1100S installations that exist today worldwide.

 

HP PageWide T-Series

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Making Efficient Workflows: 2018 Solimar User Conference

Pat McGrew
 May 13, 2018

San Diego is known for being a hub of invention, from inkjet development to dynamic software solutions. Solimar Systems is embedded in that innovation hub, with 27 years of providing solutions to companies with workflow challenges. Their 2018 User Conference in San Diego (May 8-10) brought together their top users to share their solutions, learn about new features and provide feedback to the Solimar technical team. I am a huge fan of user conferences for the networking opportunities they bring for both the solutions staff and the customers. Face to face is always the best way to gain trust among users and for users to develop all-important relationships.

This year’s event began with a Customer Advisory Council meeting that included a Keypoint Intelligence Keynote: Like Childred, Your Workflow Needs Attention! The council consists of 23 Solimar users who meet on a regular cadence to provide guidance. The goal of the keynote was to talk through the power of workflow automation in driving efficiency and profitability. We are advocates of workflow assessments, as are the team at Solimar Systems, so the presentation walked through a ten step review of workflow processes, with supporting data from the latest Keypoint Intelligence North American Software Investment Survey.

The most interesting takeaways from the Customer Advisory meetings was the diversity of issues faced by Print Service providers of all sizes, and the variety of approaches they take to move toward efficiency. We heard from companies that approach workflow with multiple solutions and some that approach with a single-threaded workflow approach, all using the Solimar products to add efficiency to their production processing.

The Solimar User Group encompasses the Advisory Council and an extended group of Solimar Users. The event included presentations from partners, including Konica Minolta, SCREEN, Ironsides Technology, Reality BLU, BCC Software, and RISO. Customer panels included deep dives into Operational Efficiencies, Differentiated Services, Compliance and Security, and Customer Experience, allowing customers to share their best practices.

Two keynotes touched on tangential workflow issues. The first was the Keypoint Intelligence presentation by Pat McGrew: The Workflow Revolution: Are You On Board? The goal was to provide guidance on how to approach workflow as a moonshot, moving toward the best level of optimization possible. The theme was that operational excellence requires an executive commitment and an open mind to allow change. The goal is Smart Print Manufacturing that embraces automation.

The second keynote came from Tim Cooper, Chief Enterprise Architect at Harland Clarke. If you have not heard a Tim Cooper presentation you have missed something special. Tim has decades of experience in workflows and is a deep thinker when it comes to optimization and breaking down barriers. His presentation was A Discussion on Workflow Facts that Can Lead to Wrong Conclusions. He walked through how looking at data in a vacuum can lead to the wrong architecture and implode operational efficiencies.

Tim shared how he arrived at his philosophy of workflow, and how using the Solimar solutions he was able to wrangle multiple, disparate workflows in to a single workflow, and reduce processing time from more than 3000 hours to under a couple of days. That drew gasps from PSPs in the room struggling with the same challenges.

The true value of user group meetings comes from the networking and sharing, as well as guidance that analysts can supply to provide guidance for decisions about the next investments and architecture changes need to be made. The Solimar team did an excellent job of tuning the mix of technical sessions focused on products and solutions with partner presentations and announcements, and customer panels.

Solution Focus: Corebridge – A Modern Management Solution for Wide Format

Ryan McAbee
 Apr 25, 2018

Look around. What do you see? Chances are good that you see signage used to promote, inform, or direct. The ubiquity of signs makes it an attractive product for print service providers looking to capture a piece of a growing market. Due to advancements and growth in digital printing equipment, print shops can get started quickly at many different price points.

Buying the equipment is only one part of operating a successful print shop producing wide format applications. How will customers know what you offer, get pricing, and confirm their order? How will they upload artwork files? Once the order is confirmed, how will accurate job details flow through each department of the shop? What happens when there is an issue and how will that be communicated internally and externally to the client? As you can see, managing a wide format print operation has a lot of moving parts beyond just printing. Read more »

Highcon Releases the Euclid IIIC

India Tatro
 Mar 5, 2018

Highcon, developer of the revolutionary “Euclid” digital cutting and creasing technology for paperboard, recently announced the commercial release of a new machine, Euclid IIIC, which can cut and crease thicker media, in particular several grades of corrugated. The new machine features can work with single ply paperboard, laminated stocks, and N, F, G, E, and B-flute corrugated from 1mm to 3mm in thickness (40-120 points). The Euclid IIIC thus allows the Euclid series to expand further, thanks to the new printer’s ability to finish thin to medium grade corrugated media. That media category has grown quickly in the past few years because of is use in packaging, in particular for primary packaging such as small but sturdy boxes for cosmetics, consumer electronics, and home furnishings.  Read more »

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