Print operations and production floor management are changing as the printing world moves from analog to digital technology. From how orders are received to the methods by which they are filled, print service providers (PSPs) must adapt their businesses to process greater volumes of short-run jobs from varied locations. Web-to-print, management information system (MIS), and front-end tools enable customers to develop digital storefronts that generate orders automatically, from single pieces to thousands of copies. But, this industry shift leaves more room for error within orders and can result in stressful operations management without the right solution to streamline workflows.
This is especially true for PSPs that are seeing their overall number of jobs increase dramatically, as the expanding number of jobs that need to be generated, tracked, produced, finished, and delivered can create an operations tracking nightmare. PSPs need to ease the workflow process and ensure reliable services to keep customers coming back and stay competitive in the market. HP SmartStream Production Center makes it easy to do just that, providing new levels of job status visibility and automatic alerts to avoid bottlenecks and boost productivity.
The system fits with nearly any production environment and works across various production technologies, including both digital and analog processes. Printers can install the system and begin streamlining work processes without changing their current printing configuration. HP SmartStream Production Center operates on several levels to provide seamless information and production management with end-to-end automation. The system will automate a job’s complete printing process, including finishing.
HP SmartStream Production Center (Booth 1241) works by receiving jobs from various sources, including Web portals and prepress tools. The jobs are then catalogued and routed to the appropriate machine or production platform, keeping track of order volumes so that one print system doesn’t get overloaded with work. If any issue arises, the system reroutes orders and alerts operators to ensure the highest level of productivity.
The system follows orders in real time from start to finish of the printing process. By using different tracking methods like barcodes, manually entered data, or job definition and job messaging formats (JDF/JMF), the HP SmartStream Production Center allows managers to comprehensively view all active print status and process urgent requests. This ensures that important orders are filled on time and can bypass long-run orders that might impede speedy production.
The real-time system monitoring tool enables operators and managers to keep a running tab on press status including print speed, volume and press issues. With orders increasingly generated from automated systems and inclusive of complex requests, such as VDP, a reliable platform providing real time views into production and job status is crucial. HP SmartStream Production Center provides this insight, enabling PSPs to keep up with and profit from growing job volumes and complexity, even as pages-per-job decline.