The Myth of the “Print Ready File” and Your Secret Weapon to Combat it in CCM

May 31, 2017
CCM, Print Ready, Solimar Systems, Customer Communications, Chemistry - Empowering Critical Communications, PDF, Transactional Print, Workflow Management, Workflow Automation, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Canon, Oce, Digital Print, EFI, Crawford, San Diego, Augmented reality, Mary Ann Rowan, Mailer, Industry Association, Jamie Walsh, Jonathan McGrew, Screen, Riso, Ricoh, Transactional Printing, Print, Printing, Xplor

How many times have you had someone deliver to you what they have called a “Print Ready File”? Now, how many times has that file actually been ready to print?

In the Customer Communications Management (CCM) world, communications carry important and sometimes critical, information for customers—think bills, statements and notices; the print ready file means something very different for packaging, direct mail or other commercial printing. In many cases, to make a file print ready you need to know the type of workflow it is being sent to including printer type, cutter and inserter type, as well as, how you are going to presort and household for delivery.  Moreover, you need to know the intended channel—electronic, mobile or print for mailing.

In a typical composition system, even the most advanced, all workflow decisions to make the file print ready would have to be decided up front during the design phase of the template or ad-hoc communication. This is what we commonly refer to as design time. At first glance, designing the communication with the right data, rules, variable content, output formats, images and fonts, while also considering the right channel—electronic, mobile, accessible format—doesn’t seem all that daunting.

Fast-forward…the file you have created and defined months before gets tested and promoted into production. Since it was optimized to run one way, that is the process it must follow when it hits your operations department or Print Service Provider (PSP) production environment. This is where the rubber meets the road; the operations manager knows there may be several different paths the communication can take in the production environment, but it has been predefined. This limits the manager’s ability to optimize the efficiency of the production floor—and this affects both PSPs and In-Plants.

This is the myth of the “Print Ready File”. It isn’t that a composition system can’t design, create, track, send and report customer communications. The challenge arises when you are trying to optimize the fulfillment of those communications during the production process. If it would be more efficient, cheaper and prevent the organization from missing a critical Service License Agreement (SLA), wouldn’t it be better to have the flexibility to modify the job to run down the best workflow path?

That is why Post-Composition Solutions should be considered mission critical to your Customer Communications Management strategy. A fully capable post-composition set of tools will not only allow you to optimize any communication file, whether, for electronic or print channels, it will also give you the flexibility you need to make regulatory and last minute changes. All without affecting the upstream templates and approval process—and without delays and missed SLAs.

As an added capability, a full solution like that from Solimar Systems, allows organizations to adhere to important archiving and accessibility standards while also offering innovation through Augmented Reality (AR). AR is a whole different topic, but as a preview, it can be used to bridge the chasm between print and digital. More specifically, it offers a new way to engage customers with content and information they need without adversely affecting the layout or brand image presented on the communication.

CCM, Print Ready. Solimar Systems, Customer Communications, Chemistry - Empowering Critical Communications, PDF, Transactional Print, Workflow Management, Workflow Automation, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Canon, Oce, Digital Print, EFI, Crawford, San Diego, Augmented reality, Mary Ann Rowan, Mailer, Industry Association, Jamie Walsh, Jonathan McGrew, Screen, Riso, Ricoh, Transactional Printing, Print, Printing, Xplor

The power of post-composition can surprise people even though they probably have used it for many years. Like composition systems, post-composition solutions have been evolving from point solutions that solve one problem at a time to mission critical customer communications workflow management connectors that make it possible to see, track and deliver communications when, where and how the operations department needs them.

Learn more about how to leverage post-composition solutions by contacting our experts at Solimar. We have many examples of customer case studies for a variety of industries—seeing is believing.

Tweet us via @SolimarSystems or contact us through our website.

For more information, call the Solimar Sales Team at +1.619.849.2800.