A complete solution for the production of printed catalogues linked to the web

Flying Colours is an Italian prepress/premedia company based in Verona that has been successfully serving the English market for 20 years. Specializing in the production of mail order and large scale retail trade catalogues, the company quickly felt the need to standardize its production cycle while ensuring the reliable and efficient delivery of files, in order to satisfy the demands of a very competitive market.

However the order placed by Tesco UK would have challenged an “ordinary” system for the production of mail order catalogues. This retail distribution giant has recently decided to use the traditional printed catalogue to promote the items available in stores. The decision needed the support of a cross-media and multi-media solution.
The technological development and the use of tools such as the Internet and e-commerce pushed Tesco Direct management to optimize data and to use several types of media simultaneously. The production of printed catalogues (two main annual catalogues and several different trade and periodical magazines, etc.) can not be split from the central management of data, prices and product images.

All this has required the integration of streamlined MIS/ IT systems, print production tools, web and e-commerce platforms. Hyphen-Italia has delivered the technological know-how and skills – supported by Flying Colour’s deep experience in the catalogue production area – in order to develop a complete system for the integrated management of all three environments: MIS, production and web.

This solution allows the management – on a single platform and with a single interface – of the data delivered by the MIS system and combines it with information and specifications of the printed catalogue (e.g. number of pages, pictures and corresponding sequence, colours, background, etc.) and keeps this data updated for the web. An intensive analysis was undertaken by Tesco Direct, by the premedia service Flying Colours and Hyphen Italia, the manufacturer of the platform.

The implemented workflows address:
– approval cycles of the product images and their combination with the product data
– the management of the product pictures ready to be printed
– automatic conversion of product images for the web
– the management, approval and completion of layout
– proofing management with remote and soft proofing.

The Chalco.net modules developed by Hyphen-Italia have played a key role in the solution, whereas the workflow automation cycles of TWIST offer great flexibility also in terms of integration and that’s exactly what cross-media requires: for example, the automatic conversion of images that have been approved for the web.

DIALOGUE’s features, such as the ability to view and comment on designs and layouts online, are integrated within the system and are very useful for soft-proofing applications.

Germano Dal Negro, CEO of Flying Colours, says: “In this way we change from a simple ‘production department’ of a predictable output (the final files of the printed catalogue’s pages) into the storehouse and supplier of images and data for the web/e-commerce site of Tesco Direct. All this was possible due to the TWIST engine which is flexible enough to produce an unlimited number of different formats that are suitable for the web, in an automated and dynamic workflow”.

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