Like many around the globe, the print production and digital delivery industries continue to feel the winds of change in 2021. For those running printing environments — also called print shops, print factories, or print service providers (PSPs) — the challenges of managing print production continue. These challenges include unplanned variation in the volumes of work as well as staffing and facility access issues. In addition, clients are seeking new content and messaging capabilities while being better able to monitor the status of their work.

The shift to remote working in the last 12 months has been easier to manage for workers that typically do most of their work from an office; however, the print industry has requirements for operators and skilled workers to be onsite working with equipment on the production floor. Staffing challenges have forced some companies to change their hours of operation.

Even before the dramatic shifts to the work and print environments in 2020, our teams had recognized an opportunity to leverage workflow software technology to improve production visibility and worker flexibility. Those capabilities for print production include:

· A productized, configurable, and mobile-friendly web-based dashboard

· Access to the dashboard by end-customers and print business employees

· Many available languages for the web-based dashboard

· Tracking, reporting, alerts and the ability to release work (whether in an office onsite or working remotely)

· Proof and approval capabilities for both production facing staff and external customers

· Notation for jobs, and pieces within them, for better operational communication and efficiency

· Integration with manufacturers for ink and media reporting by job for cost-estimating and cost-control

· Modular, scalable and flexible solutions to meet today’s needs while making it possible to easily grow or transform your print production and digital output and delivery goals

In 2021, the Solimar team is in our 30th year providing workflow software solutions for volume print production and digital communications delivery. With our experience, we believe there are two key things every print production environment should consider. First, an organization should be able to select and get started with a modern and flexible print management solution without needing a significant investment in professional services. Second, an organization should be able to efficiently integrate PDF workflows to support forward-looking revenue opportunities for both printing and digital communication.

Your next step? Walk your workflow — spend a moment to revisit how work, orders, and jobs come into your print production environment. Track how jobs are received and processed (both manual and automated steps); how problems or concerns are resolved; and how work is completed and delivered via print and electronically to the final customer. We imagine you’ll find opportunities where having more automation, visibility, remote control and reporting would be very beneficial to your business.

Jonathan Malone-McGrew is Senior Director of Engagement, Solimar Systems. Discover more in our recent print management and visibility dashboard video. We think you’ll find great ideas and see how our solutions could benefit you. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your needs with our workflow specialists.