For the last three years, with the combined assets of TWIST, MISTRAL and DIALOGUE serving as its production backbone, Creel Printing has produced the Christian Science Monitor, a weekly newspaper with a circulation of 63,600.
This past winter, the Christian Science Publishing Society (CSPS), the Monitor’s publisher, expanded its relationship with Creel, basing its decision on the printer’s ability to consistently meet the complex production requirements of its flagship publication. Creel is now the society’s exclusive publishing partner, handling prepress, printing, versioning and distribution of its print, mobile and flipbook editions.
“Our performance and our turnaround—using the DALIM SOFTWARE platform and with the help of Blanchard Systems played a big role in acquiring the additional CSPS publications,” says Allan Creel, president. “That familiarity and satisfaction and being happy with the product played a role in acquiring the additional work.”
Family owned and operated Creel Printing has been a Las Vegas mainstay since 1953, focusing on the printing needs of locally-held conventions and trade shows, as well as national publications. It also produces direct mail, catalogs and newspapers.
History in the making
“This is the first time in 50 years that all of the society’s titles have been under one roof—and that was when they were producing the publications themselves,” says Allan Creel. “This is an historical event for them, and for us. It’s a big deal for both of our companies.”
The society has transformed from an internal prepress facility handling its entire prepress page processing to an external operation with Creel.
The DALIM workflow completely automates the prepress tasks using JDF, explains Chris Evans, VP of Pre-Media and Customer Solutions, from file submission to preflighting, to color management and imposition, allowing customers to see the flatplan imposed for each job, complete with trim and press marks.
“The speed at which we can process pages, plus the ease of use of approving pages, has really streamlined the workflow process,” says Evans. “We used to push through 100 pages per hour – we can now process up to 600 per hour if we have to. The DALIM platform has drastically changed the way we do business.”
JDF integration is key
Creel also publishes the Daily Racing Forms, which is benefitting from the DALIM platform. “We landed the DRF using the DALIM SOFTWARE,” says Evans, because of the DALIM platform’s ability to automate all the prepress tasks. The automation allows Creel to receive files at approximately 3:00 p.m. daily, and be on press at 5 p.m. By 8:00 p.m. the product is printed; delivery is completed by 6:00 a.m. the following morning.
In addition to the publication work, Creel prints a lot of short-to-medium catalog and direct mail projects. “We have numerous makereadies every day,” says Evans. “Our run lengths are typically around 25,000-100,000, so we are under a lot of pressure to produce jobs quickly without errors and get plates to the pressroom fast. Our DALIM platform has also really assisted in this process as well.”
Because of the streamlined workflow, says Evans, Creel didn’t have to add additional personnel after it acquired the new work. “The system has allowed us to maintain our head count, and be able to produce twice or three times as many pages in past, even more; six times if we need to.” This ability, says Evans, was also a big part of “our presentation when we met with CSPS to acquire their business.”
Looking ahead, Evans explains, “We are in the process of upgrading to ES 3. As part of our agreement with them, we will move the page approval process to mobile platforms, such as the iPad, using DIALOGUE Touch.” Adds Evans, “We are looking forward to upgrading to ES internally, as well. This will allow us to provide all of our customers with the ability to review, collaborate and approve pages via their mobile devices.”