Spiegel Brands, Inc. Taps Rods and Cones to Design, Build and Implement Multi Catalog Prepress and Production System
Santa Cruz, CA—October 23: Spiegel Brands, Inc., the world’s leading private apparel catalog company and Rods and Cones, Inc., a California based workflow consultancy today announced a major restructuring of Spiegel’s in-house prepress and production systems based on Rods and Cones digital workflow architect design. They estimate that the new infrastructure will save Spiegel Brands over $2.8 million a year in direct costs.
Rods and Cones was asked to actively review the existing production setup and see how combining Spiegel’s current catalog brands into one workflow process could yield greater efficiencies and better synergies among the creative and the new production team. The company’s existing system had been built up organically over the years in order to integrate the work of an in-house creative staff and an external Facilities Management company. The time was ripe for bringing the whole operation under corporate control with a completely new team, equipment and technological interfaces that could grow as the business expanded.
The search for the architects who could design and bring it all together on time and on budget led to Santa Cruz based Rods and Cones, already veterans with Macy’s West, Tiffany, Bloomingdales and over 700 more graphics intensive companies.
“We needed an experienced company that would think completely out of our corporate box and were aware of the latest technologies available to our industries. Rods and Cones took the time, over several months, to talk to all of our designers and management and to review all of our needs. They followed up with a comprehensive program that included not just the technology, hardware and software, but also defined the team that would make it happen and implemented the training that was needed to ensure a smooth transition,” said Geralynn Madonna, Spiegel Brands CEO.
The key was to design a manageable workflow structure built from the ground up to meet the catalog industry’s peculiar scheduling requirements with product selection, photography, pricing and marketing support being implemented to create one of several catalogs. The objective of the whole operation was to meet the strict deadlines of the buying customer and dictated by the major buying periods.
“We are workflow architects; we incorporate the efficiencies, new technologies, and cost controls that result in the optimum solution for large departmental production facilities. We have over ten years of experience in the market, close contacts with the major software and hardware providers and can select the best mix of solutions for each client”, said Erica Aitken, Rods and Cones CEO. “For Spiegel, we took over one floor of their building, installed a network of Apple G5 computers and integrated the new Adobe Creative Suite 2 for retouch and page design. We partnered with NAPC to install a customized media asset management system by Xinet which enables our client to access and use their assets easily and in real time. Because color management is our specialty, we recommended and installed Epson 7800s with EFI ColorProof XF RIPs. Working closely with their printer, RR Donnelley, we developed a contract proof that works with their presses. As part of a PDF workflow, we integrated Kodak Creo’s Prinergy backend workflow for file delivery.”
Rods and Cones developed the job descriptions and assisted with the hiring of a complete department from the Divisional VP of Print Production and Prepress as well as support staff. “They even designed the floorplan of the new department to ensure the most efficient physical workflow patterns,” according to Madonna.
The net result of the new department is to allow Spiegel to get their catalogs in the mail on time and under budget or as is the case in this highly changing market, to allow last minute changes to be implemented immediately and have the changes reflected across the whole company, from creative through accounting.
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