DUO Display, a Montpellier-based company, designs and makes exhibition stands, and distributes them worldwide. They also have sites in Montréal, Chicago and Düsseldorf. Their unique selling point is the design of a patented aluminium modular stand, with the graphic section printed on taut fabric using dye sublimation. This allows them to deliver turnkey solutions to a network of dealers (since DUO Display does not offer direct sales). This industrial production process is aimed at exhibition service companies and communication agencies, who can then work with the end client in terms of proximity, logistics and distribution…
What issues were you experiencing before you started using TWIST?
Nicolas Crestin, DUO Display Marketing Director: We receive a lot of files to print, but we used to do press proofs manually, a process that was both risky and time consuming. That is why we decided to automate it. When it came to choosing a solution, our requirements were a little bit different, since our main objective was not to increase productivity, but to add value to the service provided to clients (our dealers). We had peaks of activity, with everyone sending their file between 2 and 4 pm, and expecting an answer right away: “Will you be able to print my work?” By automating all that, we’ve been able to spread out the times we’re receiving files.
Do you have other examples of value added by TWIST, in terms of service provided to clients?
Our dealers are now made aware of the stage their work is at, either through automated emails or by logging on to XPO Center, our TWIST platform. A set of green, amber and red indicators show them if their files are on schedule, are being processed or if there is a problem. We also give them the possibility to store all their stand-related files for two years, which they can access from their order history or dashboard. It means they can rely on a dealer portal tailored to their needs. Since we do a lot of export business, we send press proofs in many languages, which is one major benefit of the TWIST platform for our international clients.
In Europe, emails are sent in French, Spanish, German and English, with the system automatically choosing the right language. As for Canadian clients, they can choose between English and French for their communications.
What other advantages of TWIST have you experienced?
We have still seen a significant increase in productivity. We are dealing with more and more files, and it’s a big plus to be able to automate the process, for cost-efficiency reasons. When we’re dealing with big stands, for example, this leaves us more time to produce more basic products, such as small pull-up banners and pop-up stands. We’ve also been able to keep the same team but instead of having them work on repetitive manual tasks, such as creating press proofs, we can now have them talking to clients on the phone, advising them and answering their questions.
Has it had an impact on your relationships with clients?
At first, following the new procedures was a bit annoying for our clients. Historically, they would send us huge files via WeTransfer and just wish us good luck, since we accepted everything. Now we have to warn them to be careful, explaining that this platform won’t accept such big files. You should never underestimate the impact of change, external or internal, and that’s why the added value is incredibly important. Some people say it’s more complicated than it used to be but when we ask them: “what should we do? Do you want us to get rid of it?” they say, “No, no, don’t do that, it works well!” Now, everyone can see the same things on the platform: clients, prepress, client services, and that is really quite lovely.
Have you got ideas for how you want your use of DALIM SOFTWARE to develop in future?
I think we are done with the development of the downstream phase of the order, i.e. managing press proofs and dealing with files. Our next priority is to focus on improving the upstream phase, which is related to order taking. Also, with regard to TWIST, we acquired a third productivity driver last December (TWIST Hardworker) to be in line with our product name, as we noticed a peak at 2 pm (Paris time) when Canada was beginning its work day. For wide-format projects, we would sometimes get non-compressed 1 GB files, which could clog up the system. We’ve got plenty of ideas for improving flow management, and we want to get more skilled at using TWIST with the help of Galilée, our systems integrator. We also really appreciated Carol Werlé coming to visit us at DUO Display. He is so enthusiastic and really took the time to listen to our client services and prepress teams. DALIM SOFTWARE and Galilée have such brilliant staff, and we have a very constructive dialogue with them.
Interview conducted by Didier Destabeaux