Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How Automation Benefits Mimeo

Automation is critically important to what we do at Mimeo, and touches every aspect of a job—even when there are manual processes involved in producing parts of it.  The automation begins with the customer on our web site, and extends to the delivery of their job.

Automation delivers many features and benefits to them and to us.  Every document we produce originates as an order placed on our website. The customer brings their content and uses our interface to tell us how they want their print product produced— organizing the content, telling us what paper and binding they want, specifying finishing options like folding or covers.  As they create their piece on the screen, we show them exactly what it will look like, and provide them with their price in real time. 

Automation means the website can look at the choices they are making, and determine when we can produce the job, so we can tell them during the process “Submit this order by 10pm Eastern for delivery as early as 8:30AM tomorrow”, or conversely telling them that a particularly option they’ve chosen might take us an extra few hours to produce, so will not be able to be delivered until the next day.

When the order is placed, we already know how much it will cost to produce, and how much we’re selling it for.  We’ve often already collected the money.  The best part is: it automatically goes into production (although some jobs can be automatically routed to preflight or prepress, if necessary or desirable). In many cases, a job could literally appear on the workstation of a press operator seconds after the customer clicks. People throughout the organization have visibility of the job’s status at all times. Once printing is complete, the job moves through the plant for finishing, then on to shipping. 

Once the job is finished and shipped, a number of different groups throughout the company take advantage of the data we’ve collected about the job and our performance to make decisions and continuously improve our products and operations.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

drupa every 4 years, but always once in a lifetime

I returned from spending a week in Germany at the every-four-years drupa trade printing and paper trade fair.  I was there with HP and  Dscoop. We had more than 1,000 Dscoop members present at the fair. HP played an amazing host and kept us busy with events and tours throughout the week.  They were showcasing several new presses including their new B2 presses, the 10,000 20,000 and 30,000, to which our group had been introduced in March at the Dscoop7 conference in Washington, DC (see previous post here.)

Here's a quick video from Whatheythink.com that editor Cary Sherburne and I shot while I was at the show.

This show always surprises, and this time around was no exception. I saw a tremendous amount of exciting technology, and had a lot of really great conversations with industry colleagues.  I am hoping to take a few minutes next week to catalog some of what I brought back from the show next week.