The world of book publishing is changing dramatically, and no one knows that better than Lehigh Phoenix, an industry leader in the education, trade, and professional/reference markets. Books and accompanying products are often manufactured in a matter of days, not weeks, and there’s no margin for error.
To meet the daily challenge of producing high-quality book components at rapid-fire turnarounds, Lehigh Phoenix—with the help of DALIM Software (Booth 229)—has crafted a prepress workflow in its Hagerstown, MD, facility that gives it a competitive advantage and helps the company maintain its leadership status.
An early adopter of DALIM’s TWIST and LITHO technology, installing both in 1997, Lehigh Phoenix reaps the benefits of an automated workflow and high-end PDF editor, ensuring a streamlined, high-functioning prepress process. Nor is the company standing still: in 2010 Hagerstown installed DIALOGUE, taking its soft-proofing workflow to the next level.
Lehigh Phoenix’s Hagerstown site produces book components, such as inserts, covers, dust jackets, and case covers. An additional site in Rockaway, NJ, which also uses LITHO and TWIST, manufactures heavily illustrated multicolor books, while the Milwaukee, WI, facility prints on plastics as well as on metallized finishes, synthetic papers, and other unusual substrates.
DIALOGUE was brought in to automate the soft-proofing workflow—the previous workflow was creating a bottleneck. “We had a problem with our existing proofing software setup. It was very cumbersome for our customers,” says Chad Keener, Senior Network Engineer. “They could only see low-resolution PDFs—which were sent as attachments or were server-based—that they had to download. It took too long and our customers weren’t seeing accurate files. The system was causing more problems than it was answering.”
DIALOGUE lets Lehigh Phoenix’s customers see high-resolution print files with color renderings that match the end result as soon as the file is ready for viewing. There’s no waiting around, and clients are assured that what they are seeing is accurate—there are no on-press surprises.
“Now customers see exactly what we are going to press with,” says Garry Kaiser, Color Management & Pre-Media. “DIALOGUE provides our customers with a much more efficient high-resolution proof. They are able to do online approvals or rejections—they don’t have to wait for files to download. It’s streamlining the approval process, so we are able to meet our daily deadlines much quicker.”
Also streamlining the process is DIALOGUE’s automatic notification process. “Our CSR is automatically notified when a customer is viewing the proof,” says Kaiser. “Once it is approved, an email goes to our CSR. We can proceed with job. It cuts down on extra emails, for us and for our customers.”
Nearly 50% of Lehigh Phoenix’s customers are using DIALOGUE. “We are rolling it out to as many as we can, installing new setups every week,” says Keener. “By the end of this year we will have all our customers using it.”
On the docket for the future is educating customers on how to use DIALOGUE’s collaboration tool.
Doing more with less
In short, says Keener, the DALIM SOFTWARE products have allowed Lehigh Phoenix to do more with less in shorter periods of time.
“There are so many jobs we get that our customers say, ‘We need this job out the door today because it needs to get to the distributor,’” he notes. “We have a high demand for quick turnaround, and the reason why we are able to do it is because of the DALIM technology.”
Years ago, graphic arts shops would customarily take a week to 10 days to get a job out the door.
“Now, we have one-day turnarounds for proofs—that’s standard operating procedure,” says Kaiser. He adds, “There’s no downtime—one-day turnaround is very much expected of us. If it’s a rush job, it’ll come in the morning and be ready for printing by the afternoon. We do whatever it takes to make our customers happy.”