At SGIA Expo, Hybrid Software showcased its range of Order Lifecycle Management (OLM) software solutions. Developed to provide easy, comprehensive connectivity between web-to-print, MIS, and production systems, OLM software solutions can help streamline production and improve production efficiencies.
As print buyers reduce inventories and employ just-in-time practices, the wide format industry is seeing reduced job run lengths, along with a concurrent increase in the number of individual jobs. The acceptance of digital print (by both printers and customers) has accelerated this trend, and has also increased the need for jobs to be processed as efficiently as possible to assure profitability.
At the same time, the nature of orders for premedia and print has evolved. In addition to traditional quotations and print bidding, companies now receive orders from sources such as web-to-print portals, online search engines, and computerized EDI procurement systems. Hybrid Software’s OLM products address the entire production workflow, from online ordering to delivery, integrating with most popular MIS systems, databases, and production systems. Rather than requiring extensive, customized software development from IT consultants, Hybrid Software solutions provide “integration as a product”: all the tools to make the process easier for inhouse IT departments to map data and implement cohesive production systems.
New applications featured at SGIA Expo
Hybrid Software’s announcements at SGIA Expo included the worldwide launch of Pipeline v2.0, an integration application that allows users to easily share job information from a wide range of otherwise disparate and disconnected print production systems, such as web-to-print portals, MIS/ERP systems, and premedia workflows. Pipeline v2.0 connects directly to third-party applications that use databases and makes it possible for users to share data from each system to avoid duplication data entry. By interfacing directly with all production systems, it ensures that a change in one system—such as a software upgrade or database schema change—is self-contained and does not affect other production systems.
Hybrid Software will also demonstrate its new Taskforce Scheduler, a highly configurable scheduling system for prepress and graphics production that integrates with MIS and ERP systems to download a feed of jobs and due dates. It then maps available resources to insure that the jobs are produced on time with the available manpower and equipment.
SGIA Expo will also feature a demonstration of Proofscope Live, an online tool for remote softproofing and, uniquely, remote file corrections and last-minute changes.
Complete OLM product line on display
In addition, Hybrid will also demonstrate all of the other pieces from its complete OLM product line:
- Facelift is a web-based custom job ticketing and automation application providing transparent integration between otherwise disparate production workflow systems, MIS/ERP systems, third-party websites, external databases and other sources of digitally-held data. Facelift can act as an intermediary tool to quickly and seamlessly map data, while providing a customizable interface for production operators. It offers CSRs (and customers) total transparency of what is happening to a job, between the initial order and its delivery. Users can create their own templates to encompass every stage of the order’s lifecycle, regardless of the printing process or product being produced.
- Frontdesk is a web-to-print portal offering a user-friendly and optimized interface between printers and their customers. With Facelift, customers are given powerful file upload and download services, plus comprehensive job interaction from on-line ordering through all stages of tracking, proofing and approvals to delivery of the completed work. Optional components include Proofscope, which provides integrated softproofing and annotation via its powerful HTML 5 architecture, and Proofscope Live.
- Fileforce connects multiple production or print sites within an enterprise, allowing print providers to benefit from the enormous efficiencies that can be obtained by load balancing and file sharing between sites. Fileforce does not require a centralized file server or DAM system, but instead works in conjunction with local file servers at each location.
“While there are many effective premedia, MIS, planning, accounting and administration systems available, the challenge printers face is making them work well together. It requires mapping data between the systems. Even if they are JDF-ready, it is still a tedious job. Hybrid Software offers printers an affordable, flexible and extremely powerful solution for integrating and streamlining the entire production process. Rather than requiring an IT department to build the links between these islands, Hybrid Software provides solutions that not only make it much easier to build communications between the systems, but to assure that new systems in the future can be easily introduced. All of our products operate via web browser technology and provide vendor-independent solutions for Order Lifecycle Management, based on industry standards such as JDF/JMF and SQL,” explains Mike Rottenborn, President & CEO at Hybrid Software. “Our products unite previously-isolated systems and move them into an easy-to-use, device-agnostic environment that streamlines production, reduces internal costs and improves profitability. Most important, our products provide software-based solutions for the integration needs of all printers, which is far more stable, easy-to-implement, and supportable than custom software development. It’s why so many printers, large and small, have reached out to Hybrid Solutions for help.”