William Arthur Fine Stationery, a subsidiary of Hallmark, Inc., has integrated Enfocus Switch automation technology to streamline operations and meet stringent deadlines in its production process. Based in Kennebunk, Maine, William Arthur is widely recognized as a leading manufacturer of fine wedding invitations and stationery.
A Quest for Automation
To maintain its position as an industry leader, William Arthur sought an automation process that would more efficiently handle PDF files, with fewer people touching each job. Given William Arthur's reputation for superior quality and service, a solution that would enhance their process while not impacting the quality of their end product was required. With such a prestigious reputation to protect, the company "does not jump at big changes quickly," according to J Saunders, Manager of Amending and Box Goods Manufacturing.
"We were looking for a single-process solution; automation that could deliver improvements and leaner manufacturing, while integrating with the systems and workflows we'd already established," explains Saunders. "We looked at several big workflow products on the market to assess how we would streamline our operations both for the present and to take us into the future."
After thorough research, the answer was clear: Enfocus' Switch automation platform.
What is Switch?
Enfocus Switch is a modular, open automation platform that gives printers, publishers, ad agencies and other companies higher overall efficiency across departments. Enfocus Switch allows users to accomplish repetitive tasks associated with receiving, sorting, and processing files automatically, thereby eliminating these tasks from the user's scope of responsibility.
Switch's automation of these tasks standardizes processes, reduces errors, and frees up resources, resulting in substantial savings in time and money. By automating those tasks, Switch makes time available for activities that create added value, such as customer service, creative, marketing and sales opportunities, or simply concentrating on core business services.
"We started investigating, testing, and preparing samples and quickly became convinced that Switch was the ideal tool for us," notes Saunders. "And it's done a great job, getting us to our goal of removing 80% of the manual steps from our workflow--and even beyond. We've reached 100% relatively quickly, without entailing an exorbitant financial investment."
The easy-to-use metaphor of a "hand-drawn" workflow in the Switch visual user interface has proven to be very helpful to the William Arthur production team. They can easily "draw" any workflow they need, and allow Switch to test it in rapid simulation phase, with no errors.
Looking to the future with Switch
William Arthur has seen a return on their investment within a remarkable six months, and is now in stage three of Switch implementation, integrating everyday orders, and putting core templates in for the hundreds of orders the company processes daily. Enfocus Switch allows William Arthur's typographers to automatically generate PDFs for multiple output devices, reducing the time it takes to process orders by 40%.
"We've found that Switch is very scalable," Saunders says. "It fits in perfectly with our phased approach. It lets us get in it, get it happening, see some dollar savings, and ultimately plug in any workflow we're looking at. Enfocus Switch has exceeded our expectations. We're very satisfied."