PIP Triad has long produced yard signs and similar flatbed work. But in the fourth quarter of 2012, it added an HP Latex 26500 roll-to-roll machine that enabled it to expand into new areas, says owner Jimmy Brumley.
“It’s latex ink, so it’s got a great green feature to it,” he adds. “These products can be put in hospitals, nurseries, and schools, and there are no harmful effects. Lots of universities want to be green, and this product truly is.”
The 30-year-old company is an EFI MIS user, adopting EFI PrintSmith about two decades ago. Before that, “you would do tables and that would leave you vulnerable to pricing errors and scheduling products,” Brumley says. “We did everything by hand.
“We certainly needed control of our costing and scheduling. As we got busier over time, it gave our production manager a truer look into efficiencies.”
Today, the software is more helpful than ever. With PIP Triad recently adding a second location, the software can inform management whether one store is getting full, so work can be transferred to the other location to better meet customers’ needs and expectations, Brumley says.
“We’re busy, and we know when departments are at capacity. We can monitor our calls very effectively, and add efficiencies and productivity with the software. It allows us to better manage both our human resources and our equipment.”
HP customer Tower Litho has an HP Designjet L25500 printer, and uses HP SmartStream Director for its workflow.
“Part of our digital strategy is implementation of Web-to-print,” says Andre Soriano, the company’s IT and digital manager.
“It is something we can’t do without, especially since the printing trade is moving towards a more digital and technology-based model.
“We have researched and tried several Web-to-print solutions—from zero startup cost to fully MIS integrated Web-to-print. We find HP SmartStream Director attractive for several reasons, [including] HP support, full control of the servers, quick storefront development requiring 10 minutes to create a brand new storefront, and very low technical/IT competency requirement, which we all know is one of the critical resources in the printing industry.”
Tower Litho developed its own Web-to-print for one client. It is still in use today, but cost of development and maintenance was so high the company stopped further development. “We have not offered it to other clients,” Soriano says. “We will eventually move that client to HP SmartStream Director.”
Addressing the question of how the software helped increase sales and profitability, Soriano says the company knew from the very beginning that Web-to-print is a marketing tool. Thus, the company is not measuring the profitability nor expecting it to be a profit center. “However, it has opened doors to new clients, strengthened our relationship with existing clients and increased our productivity by using HP SmartStream Director for print jobs that require very tight deadline and after hours prepress and press requirements,” he adds.
Tower Litho has integrated HP SmartStream Director with its existing offset devices by means of automation, he adds. As a result, prepress does not have to be in the plant after hours waiting for rush jobs that may not take place, and that virtually eliminates the need for prepress to set up and impose files and make plates for the litho press, he reports.
“This is the same model we use with our HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press, which is also integrated with HP SmartStream Production ProPrint Server,” he adds. “And it is also how we drive large-format jobs to our HP Latex 250 Printer, formerly the HP Designjet L25500 Printer.”