Since 2011, the ES server has united all of the principal parties for every type of publication at the Council of Europe’s Service for the Production of Documents and Publications (SDPD). Its staff looks forward to version ES3.
Mr. Kretz, could you tell us a bit about the SPDP?
Gérard Kretz (Head of Department): The SPDP is part of the Council of Europe’s logistics division. We are prepress, printing and document shipping service providers for all of the entities within the Council of Europe’s departments.
The SPDP has 80 employees, and 35 of these work in the prepress-printing section. This division also works with outside suppliers, who communicate with us through a system managed by our IT department.
What prompted you to change this system?
G. K.: I’ll let Pierre Weiss, the project manager, talk about this in greater detail. Let’s just say that the former system did not always offer complete satisfaction in terms of ergonomics or functionality.
Pierre Weiss (Head of the prepress-printing division): We developed our system internally in 2003 and it was cumbersome to evolve further, as it was managed by IT staff who did not have the same business-segment language as ours. It offered us services, but was more like a ‘job conveyor belt’, working from stage to stage. In comparison, we see the DALIM SOFTWARE server as a management tool, a statistical tool, which lets us manage our activity and resources more effectively.
What specifications did ES meet? What advantages does it provide?
G. K.: We wanted genuine document management, which could bring together files from different units into the new system, into one same database that everyone could access. The ES system offers this very important benefit.
P. W.: In the past, files were circulated in parallel by email, USB etc. They are now part of the new system, giving us the immediate added value of options for annotation and correction, versioning, etc.
G. K.: Another advantage is that we can include our external suppliers into the system. Our customers criticized us for having an excessively long workflow, because we had to dispatch files or paper proofs. Today, our outside proofreaders and printers can act directly on the files through the extranet. This offers definite timesaving.
Can you quantify the time savings offered by ES?
P. W.: That is difficult to evaluate, because we are involved in relatively long and complex manufacturing processes.
Where does the speed gain in response time exist in terms of validating files?
P. W.: The time savings there is obvious, even if it is just the number of return trips to get stamps and final proofs that are saved. The concept of a ‘group’ is another major advantage in the ES. Anyone who is part of a group has access to the same jobs, which was not the case in the past. This led to major problems during holiday times or when someone was absent. So, there is a timesavings and an obvious improvement in the quality of service. In particular, our customers can access the tool very easily.
What are your expectations for the personalization of ES?
G.K.: When the planning system with alerts is established at the start of 2012, it will decrease ES’s response time even further. The integration of administrative management will also enable us to reduce this work. We’re eagerly looking forward to the implementation of workload charts for each unit, so we can better manage their priorities. Finally, there is also a new feature for us: re-invoicing of prepress work to our customers. Until now, only outside work was invoiced.
P. W.: We’ll decide whether the job should be done internally or externally, but it will be transparent to the customer.
Will ES make this re-invoicing of internal work possible?
G.K.: Yes, because we did not have access to all the data with previous system. We did not purchase the DALIM SOFTWARE system for that, but it helps us to set up this type of functionality.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
P. W.: Yes, outside the purely system and product aspect, we met an attentive and extremely receptive team at DALIM SOFTWARE. Proximity is an advantage, but beyond that, we had contact people who spoke the same language as us, which was not the case with the other service providers.
G. K.: We sent our request for proposals and specifications to ten potential suppliers. We shortlisted two of them and put them through an oral interview. There was no ‘photo finish’ between DALIM SOFTWARE’s presentation and the other provider’s.