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ADF – Part 1 Overview, Benefits, and Strategies

(Length: 9:21)

In the world of high-volume transactional printing, businesses continuously seek ways to improve efficiency in their production workflows. Implementing an Automated Document Factory (ADF) solution is an increasingly popular approach.

An ADF provides centralized tracking, control, and visibility across the entire lifecycle of the document – from composition to finishing to final delivery. As Gartner first defined, an ADF removes traditional vertical silos that have historically plagued production environments. It instead promotes an integrated, collaborative workflow connecting data, staff, hardware, and processes.

The overarching goal is to add value and drive productivity at every stage. Facilities implementing an ADF solution have reported a diverse array of benefits:

“We almost immediately recognized a 33% savings in processing time, resulting in great cost savings. The automated workflow leaves very little room for error.”

“PBMS is very strict about maintaining quality standards. Solimar enables us to achieve the same high quality while increasing our production volume and efficiency.”

Connecting the Dots with “Any-to-Any” Workflows

A hallmark of an ADF is facilitating device and format-agnostic workflows. This means seamlessly bridging composition platforms, printers, and finishing equipment. Converting data streams on-the-fly. Preserving image and font fidelity across hardware. Accommodating last-minute changes to print devices. This “any-to-any” environment provides unprecedented flexibility.

“From one terminal, they can run everything and customize to meet needs.”

The key is open integration without proprietary limitations. Companies can selectively build best-in-class connections throughout their process. An ADF then ties these components together into a holistic, modular solution.

Centralizing Tracking, Visibility, and Control

An ADF also crucially enables real-time job tracking, scheduling, and management. Production supervisors gain a centralized interface consolidating the entire workflow – accessible at a glance:

“Solimar’s modular design and open architecture also allowed us to customize the configuration to meet specific needs.”

This unified visibility paves the way for balancing workloads, meeting SLAs, and optimizing throughput across equipment. Data-driven alerts notify managers the moment process bottlenecks or jobs go awry. Automation further minimizes the need for operator intervention.

Security settings tightly control job and data access. Digital reprinting safeguards maintain compliance policies. Reports provide audit trails detailing the lifecycle of each document or mail piece. This accountability drives integrity from start to finish.

Cradle-to-Grave Visibility

An ADF solution connects into every phase, bridging gaps typically creating headaches.
On the front end, pre-production review tools allow last-minute validation of formatting, page counts, and record accuracy. Online approvals facilitate version updates on the fly. Back-end postal documentation verifies sortation and enclosing prior to entering mail streams.

Powerful data analytics spot trends around campaigns, lists, and customer behavior to optimize future efforts. Custom dashboards deliver real-time business intelligence to executives.

In postal processing, specialized capabilities surgically split jobs to align with weight classes, inserting parameters and postal discount qualifications. This prevents waste and ensures the most cost-effective mail preparation and entry.

The Solimar Advantage

With over 30 years of enriching production solutions for thousands of clients, Solimar Systems offers a uniquely adaptable ADF option through its Chemistry Platform. The platform comprises modular software components that have organically evolved to solve even the most complex workflow requirements.

“From our first conversations, Solimar understood our environment and vision for an open, non-proprietary solution.”

The graphic user interface approach gives print professionals ownership to configure and control the exact workflows their organization needs. No proprietary skills are required. The outcome is a rapid return on investment by putting automation and visibility directly in the hands of those running production floors each day.

Key Takeaways

Implementing an ADF solution for transactional print facilities ties composition, equipment, and staff into a truly automated production line.
The result is unprecedented transparency, control, and consistency from job inception through final delivery.

The cohesive workflow provides the bedrock for reducing overhead, improving the use of assets, and ultimately driving profitability in today’s complex print environments.

Mary Ann Rowan

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