Founded in 1970, Oklahoma City-based Printing Inc. has over 38 years of dedication to quality printing. With extensive experience printing telephone directories, catalogs, weekly newspapers and tabloids, the company is ready to print any job. Its specialty is one to four color printing on uncoated paper stock and up to six colors on coated cover stock. The company’s 60 employees -12 in prepress- help feed two web press lines and one sheetfed press.
Printing Inc.’s strategy has always been slow growth. It watches its finances carefully, and would rather have 5-7% annual growth rather than unpredictable, unstructured 25% growth. It allows other companies to be the technology innovators, allowing systems to prove themselves before they invest in a technology that may change.
The methodical growth did present some challenges.
As publishers have become more sophisticated and have grown on a national scale, Printing Inc. still had a film-based PDF workflow and would send paper proofs to their customers. Unfortunately, when printing for national customers, courier delays, weather problems, and holiday seasons could impede delivery of proofs. “We’d receive a job on our ftp server, create a proof the next day, and send it in 24 hours to the customer, who would mark up corrections and ftp corrected files. However, we’d have to wait for the proofs to return to compare changes before going to press,” remembers Bret Leach, Printing Inc. vice president. We were losing 48 hours, minimum, and as many as 4 days, just on proofing. When we started working on directories eight years ago, giving a company a three-week turn was great. Now, the standard is 2-3 weeks, and some are asking for as little as 10 days. Four days for proofs was costing us work. We wanted to continue our structured growth and sign new customers, but that meant we needed an electronic answer.”
At first, Printing Inc. purchased a workflow system that was inflexible, and set up for smaller jobs, not four-color 1,000 page phone books. It didn’t work the way they had hoped.
Then, the company heard about DALIM SOFTWARE from one of its clients. Quite simply, they visited the DALIM SOFTWARE web site, found a dealer, and gave them a call. “The thing we liked about DALIM SOFTWARE was the flexibility. In a minimum amount of time, PRINTEMPO – which included TWIST – could sort a job, put the pages in order, and process them,” says Leach.
“Technically we like the flexibility of the TWIST workflow,” says R Jay Hansen, electronic prepress specialist. “It will do anything we need it to do. Everyone we met was willing to work with us to meet our specific needs – compared to our previous experience, where we had a ‘vanilla system’ that couldn’t be altered for anyone. Before, we had to mold our customers’ workflow to fit the system, rather than with DALIM SOFTWARE, who said ‘Here’s how it works. We can adapt it to fit the way you work’. For example, the way the system uploads files did not suit several of our customers’ requirements. A customer uploading 1,000 pages had to rename each file to correlate it, in order, with the flatplan. They had to open each file, confirm the pages that the file started and ended on, and rename the file to fit the order. It took a lot of time. With DALIM SOFTWARE’s help, it’s now a drag and drop process. The order that files are uploaded to us is the order in which they fall in the flatplan. If we hadn’t been able to adapt our system, we were at serious risk of losing a considerable amount of work.” Since PRINTEMPO has been installed, Printing Inc. has cut turnaround time for directories by two to three days.
Printing Inc. likes the flexibility of the system. They can use the PRINTEMPO interface to upload and approve black and white previews, DIALOGUE for color proofs, and then impose pages and send files to their platesetters. “Our publishing clients – advertising, editorial, sales and production people – appreciate PRINTEMPO,” says Leach. “It works 24/7. If customers want to go home at the end of a long work day, they can upload pages from PRINTEMPO at home and do their reviews from there.”
Printing Inc. is not spending hours, manually sending proofs. Instead, they focus on prepress technology. They receive and proof jobs in hours rather than days, easily taking 2-3 days off their turnaround time.
“We were at risk of losing a major customer if we weren’t able to decrease our turnaround time by at least two days. Using our DALIM SOFTWARE system has more than solved the problem,” explains Leach. “During the fourth quarter alone, we increased business significantly, solely due to a faster turnaround.”
“Everybody has to deliver quality. Turnaround is key,” concludes Leach. “It provides publishers more time to canvas the market for sales and still publish a book within the promised time. If they need three more days to maximize ad space, that’s more opportunity for them. With the help of our DALIM SOFTWARE system, we’re now able to help them achieve their goals, making us a much more valuable partner.”