For in-plant printers, remaining competitive and achieving sustainable growth demands the ability to accept and turn around more work more quickly. This includes complex large format technical documents that present unique challenges. In many cases, the best way to meet these objectives is with large format digital print and workflow solutions that capture more printed pages with fewer resources.
Canon Solutions America, Inc. has outlined four steps to help improve large format technical document workflow and maximize productivity when serving internal customers.
Transition to Flexible Digital Equipment: Many corporate print shops find their productivity is severely hampered when internal customers require sophisticated large format technical documents, such as floorplans, renderings or schematics; especially if they have tight deadlines. By transitioning to large format multifunction digital print equipment that can concurrently process, print, scan and copy any original document (color, monochrome or mixed), operators can measurably reduce project turnaround time. In addition, advanced large format systems ensure renderings, maps or photos incorporate seamlessly into larger sets with plain-paper, high quality full-color printing.
The newest large format, multifunction devices also present a viable economic advantage by allowing operators to produce monochrome and color volume on one machine to reduce equipment, supplies, service and administration costs.
Implement Workflow Solutions: Print management software can further eliminate waste and downtime. Support for automatic job distribution to the most suitable printer, load-balancing of larger jobs across multiple devices, scanning without interrupting print production and centralized queue management for all incoming orders can significantly boost productivity. And powerful workflow software enables simultaneous processing of various file types (DWG, DWF and PDF) commonly associated with large format technical documents.
Workflow solutions can help corporate print shop managers meet stringent cost controls. Those with built in accounting features that track jobs ensure print costs are assigned to the appropriate project or division, while accurate print preview capabilities reduce costly reprints.
Support Sustainable Initiatives: Companies of all sizes are striving to become more environmentally conscious and in-plants are in a unique position to help organizations shrink their carbon footprint. Implementing proactive steps such as converting to online project management for document viewing and sharing can decrease the overall environmental impact of print operations. But, most importantly, corporate print shop managers should seek out sustainable-minded print equipment vendors. ENERGY STAR®-rated equipment or that which features low ozone and heat emissions, quiet operation, minimal toner waste and very low energy consumption can help ensure a much cleaner print services environment. In-plants should also consider eco-conscious equipment that supports printing on FSC-certified or recycled paper.
Optimize Existing Internal Resources: Productivity gains can also be realized by getting more out of the internal workforce that is already in place. Investments in advanced, digital hardware and software solutions can automate the print process – increasing ease of use, reducing user errors and eliminating the need to hire new internal resources. Operators also benefit from a “what you see is what you print” capability, so they can be sure the job will be done right the first time, reducing costs associated with multiple prints or errors.
As outside companies offer faster, cheaper and more convenient service, the competitive advantage afforded to internal prints shops is declining. While many cannot afford complete overhauls, the incremental steps outlined above can provide the boost needed to improve productivity and customer satisfaction.