If you’re doing it over and over again, automate

It is not only frustrating to do the same work over and over again, but it costs money in time and resources. Automation with Enfocus Switch will cut your time to print by as much as 70%.

Get there faster

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Eliminate errors

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Save time and money

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About Automation

A properly designed workflow dramatically reduces the number of production hours. As needs increase, the workflow does too because this system grows well. Often, our clients leverage the Switch platform to streamline other processes including the production of hi-res assets by Photoshop. Staff’s valuable time will no longer be consumed with unnecessary tasks like generating variants from the main asset file. RGB and CMYK versions localized for worldwide distribution can be created on demand and swapped into the appropriate designs. Switch and the newly designed workflows are also used as the backbone for a printer’s ordering system, from retrieving a file to final destination.

Automation: Quick, error-free, and liberating!

A properly designed workflow dramatically reduces the number of production hours. As needs increase, the workflow does too because this system grows well. Often, our clients leverage the Switch platform to streamline other processes including the production of hi-res assets by Photoshop. Staff’s valuable time will no longer be consumed with unnecessary tasks like generating variants from the main asset file. RGB and CMYK versions localized for worldwide distribution can be created on demand and swapped into the appropriate designs. Switch and the newly designed workflows are also used as the backbone for a printer’s ordering system, from retrieving a file to final destination.

6 Myths about automation debunked

1. Automation Takes a long time to implement
  • The real problem is that many companies get overly eager, and make automation projects too big and complicated; especially in initial stages. Enfocus believes in easy, feasible execution: Break off little pieces of the whole, and conquer the job one component at a time. Successful steps, however small, are highly motivating for your company and for your staff. Gradual implementation is an important key to success.
2. Automation will make me lose my job
  • Every company is confronted with dull, non-value added tasks; such as the work related to receiving, sorting and routing files to the right person. When you choose to automate those mind-numbing tasks in your company, your team will be able to spend more time on ways to differentiate your company from competition. Focus on value-added tasks: invest in customer service or develop new services.
3. Automation is too complicated
  • Workflow automation systems look complex and require specific technical knowledge.
  • This is indeed an issue if you believe you should acquire the necessary knowledge in-house and implement everything yourself.
  • Must you understand, and be able to adjust, a car’s complicated array of mechanical and electronic parts because you drive one? The investment you’d have to make would not be worthwhile.
  • For this reason Enfocus has surrounded itself with highly experienced ‘Enfocus Certified resellers’: people who are doing many automation projects on a regular basis, and know well the ins and outs of the solution. They also understand where automation projects can hit pitfalls, and help guide you to success.
4. Automation is not flexible
  • The opposite is actually the case! Modular automation is like a box of building blocks, allowing you to build precisely what your company needs.
  • You don’t have to change your way of working to find a solution! Modular solutions like Switch enable you to use only the modules you actually need. Additionally, because the system is open, it can easily be linked to your existing tools and databases.
5. Automation is too expensive
  • Most production automation solutions are big, complex, proprietary, and pricey. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
  • Alternative solutions for modular, open, affordable automation begin with Enfocus Switch, which starts at 1500 Euro / $1900 USD.
  • Open systems are key to finding a future proof solution for your company because they easily integrate with tools you are already relying on today. They protect your previous investments.
6. Automation is only for big companies
  • If automation can be made affordable, this also means it makes it accessible for small companies & shops.
  • Companies can benefit greatly by automating the most basic & simple repetitive tasks and often they’re the ones you don’t think of when implementing automation!

Workflow automation with Honblue – a case study

Honblue’s Big Problem
TabSwitch and PitStop Pro
Results
Everyone pitches in for the larger orders. We assume that Matt’s business model has to do with his life and business on the island. Producing print products cost-effectively in the one of the most expensive cities in the US is difficult. And it’s not only the high cost of doing business, but also the expense of bringing materials such as paper and ink to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. While there is intense pressure from less expensive online competitors, the value proposition is having the right mix of modern machinery, software and people to create a model of “high tech / high touch” that is successful in Hawaii. Quickly, Matt and his team realized that, with four print divisions operating mostly separately, repetitive actions, repeated errors, time-consuming tasks are quadrupled, a huge time drain and a logistic nightmare. In addition, the expectation that orders must be delivered very quickly, and the very low unemployment rate, motivated them to explore automation solutions.

HONBLUE is the go-to company for the AEC community, providing printing, document reproduction, scanning services for archiving, and large format printing for presentation graphics. Over the last thirty years, the company has evolved its print services to serve advertising agencies, graphic design firms, and the travel industry which is so prominent in Hawaii’s economy. They use HP Page- Wide XL8000s, OCE Large Format scanners, and Canon printers. They also have two additional storefront shops, one downtown that shares space with Brue Bar (another HONBLUE holding), and one in Lahaina Maui. In addition to the coffee business, HONBLUE acquired three other companies which are all under the same roof except for the two storefront locations. One provides traditional offset printing while the second offers large format printing. And the third is a web-to-print small format and digital printing company. IT services all of the companies and there is some staff overlap and shared technology.
Jaison VanDenover, Online Operations Director, spearheaded the move to automate HONBLUE’s workflows. Combined with the help of their vendor, Rods and Cones, he and Matt set out to define a vision for the future, where the work would go through faster, a client’s file corrected in no t ime and workflows would eventually overlap. As Matt Heim says, “The best thing Switch does is SOLVE PROBLEMS. Every day we are presented with issues on how to take the “mess” that clients give us and produce a good product efficiently. We can now customize a solution for a particular client giving us better integrity and velocity on the work.”
The first flow Jaison created was a preflighting tool consisting of PDF standardization for 4-color with bleed. The same flow was duplicated and modified to each division’s preflight needs. They are keeping preflight flows mostly consistent between departments with differences just for final output. Some of their repeat projects came with special needs and they created custom flows for them.
They also created flows to handle some tedious prepress functions typical of large format, like adding hems and pole pockets. Also for large format, they created a flow that downsized the images of a project so as to compile a visual presentation of the completed installation. Switch is useful for moving files at certain times on the network and also for backing up their HP Indigo digital press and server settings.
They are extraordinarily independent, learning everything they can on their own, relying occasionally on support from Son Do (Rods and Cones) and from the Enfocus team. They know that their current flows are being utilized by staff and are saving considerable time. Equally important is that the flows help their teams get used to the idea of automation. While some employees mistakenly worry that their jobs are in jeopardy, Matt and Jaison rely on automation to free up time to focus on the really hard work and to give everyone the tools to meet production deadlines and requirements. They are always adding, modifying and adapting current or new flows to meet each department’s needs. In collaboration with their web developer, they have already identified uses for Switch outside of the production environment to assist with the marketing department’s needs as well as with their infrastructure’s goal to communicate between application platforms. As for a vision that further consolidates some of these workflows to serve all departments at once, they are planning to use Switch to replace their current file upload technology. As Jaison explains “Each division has their own upload website which runs on the same technology, same network, same server. We want to use Switch to integrate into our HONBLUE website the capacity to receive the files and route them to the correct department, perform a preflight and standardization to the files, then give an instant response to the client that the files are either OK or changes are needed. We also want to incorporate immediate online proofing for the files that are successively submitted through the departments’ preflight steps.” Although already significantly contributing to efficient production times, they are just starting, and intend to rely on Switch to solidly meet every challenge of an ever growing company.

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