(June 2005) posted on Fri Jun 03, 2005
Orlando VUE/Point Conference stresses workflow, variable data, and more.
By Gregory Sharpless, Stephen Beals
Other VDP pointers:
- Design has become more crucial to
Minnick's operation as a result of VDP, he
said, "Because if a customer delivers a
design and says, 'We want to do this,'
but the design doesn't work, we have to
redesign it in-house to accommodate
- "Once you have a customer's data
from one VDP job, they will rarely take that
data"?or those jobs"?elsewhere," said Tim
Tyler, manager of DocuLink International.
- The most successful VDP jobs are
the most creative jobs, said David
Rosenquist, president of Creative Type.
- Keep in mind that some VDP software
is geared to larger jobs and operations,
while some VDP software is
geared toward smaller jobs and operations.
There is no need to over-buy.
Loving' that RGB
At the "How I Learned to Love RGB" session,
there were clearly some naysayers
in the audience who opined that RGB color
management was more myth than reality.
The panelists however, strongly maintained
that an RGB workflow can indeed
lead to great efficiencies without sacrificing
quality and control.
In fact, they agreed that an RGB workflow
allows greater control over color
rather than less. Although color retouching
with RGB files did require operator
retraining and some operators have trouble
making the transition, they said, their
own experience was that once operators
became comfortable working with RGB,
they preferred that color space. Panelists
also pointed out that many retouching
techniques can be done only in RGB.
These points on a variety of topics
stirred some interest:
- Sales: Dave Harding, CEO of SPG
Graphics, advocated that shops should
have customer focus groups to get their
input as to what services to offer. In
addition, he said, in-person visits to
clients are invaluable when it comes to
ensuring that your clients know the
entire range of services you offer. Don't
leave it up to marketing materials, no
matter how good these may be.
- Adding technologies: When it
comes to bringing on additional digital
profit centers, one way to determine
which digital technologies to take on is
to evaluate how it will "solve customer
pain," as one panelist said, in the "Transitioning
to Digital" session.
- "Soft" printing aspects: When looking
at which print shop to contract with
for jobs, said Charles Richard, Kodak's
director of imaging services, he often
analyzes the "soft" sides of printing, not
just the printing numbers themselves.
In the "What's Driving Print Customers"
session, he pointed out that a US print
company now does a job Richard had
previously sourced from China because
the US company researched the entire
job"?not just the printing itself"?and
showed him how he would save on shipping
and other costs that weren't quite
- Fulfillment: Considering taking on
fulfillment as well as the actual output
of a job? Be wary, said Al Kennickell,
president of Kennickell Print, in the
"What Kind of Business" session. His
company is now storing and shipping a
variety of items for clients, including
leather bomber jackets, air purifiers,
and more. As a result, he's had to look
closely at insurance issues and costs,
and add extra space to handle larger
items like these.
- PDF: In the "PDF Today" session,
Benson Young with Knight Abbey Printing
indicated that it's sometimes a good
thing when clients believe that your
shop is the only one that "can do the
magic" when it comes to delivering PDF
files. If clients feel that they can do their
own PDFs or any other shop can deliver
PDFs, they won't see your shop as so
integral to their own operation. In addition,
he said, using a PDF workflow will
only save you time if you only have to
deal with a customer file once; if you
have a lot of back-and-forth to adjust
and correct a customer-provided PDF
file, you're not truly saving any time.
- Finally, one of our favorite audience
quotes: "We don't call our prepress
department 'prepress' anymore"?we
call them 'forensics'.