Summer Strategies for Your Print and Digital Workflows

June 5, 2019
Solimar Summer

Early June marks the start of summer and for many families Summer Break. If you are creating printed materials, you probably don’t get a “break” unless you schedule a nice vacation. Whether you are in transactional printing (bills, statements…the informative stuff), direct mail or in an area like commercial, wide format or carton converting/packaging, business carries on. The thing that does change coming into the summer, typically, is the amount of industry trade and customer events. Back to the kids are out for the summer.

For many companies, year beginning planning starts this time of year and for others on a calendar year-end, it is a time to regroup and plan for the second half. Either way, many have an eye on the fall events that are known in the print and digital communications industries. And this year we have plenty of events to choose from including PRINT 19 and Printing UNITED, which are both in October this year (more info via our events page). So, what is your strategy for this Summer…Do you know?

The middle of the year, and summer as it happens, is also a good time to take a step back and look at what you set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year. Now we know your fiscal planning may not line up to this perfectly, but many of us feel a fresh start in January and now is an excellent time to review. Here are some thoughts from within the four walls of Solimar on some strategies to leverage the summer prior to some pretty impactful print and digital delivery events in the fall.

1. Walk your print and digital delivery workflow

This may seem simple, but sometimes simple is good. Start at the beginning of where you receive information from your customers. The place where the ball gets rolling. Then try to follow that through your processes to final delivery of the requested print or digitally delivered item to your client or their customer.

Along the way, take note of any areas that still have manual intervention or people touching or doing things to the print or digital file. Where are there slowdowns in the process, bottlenecks or what happens when something goes wrong…then what process do you follow?

Understanding the steps or processes your production files go through will give you some target areas for where process improvements should still be made. And you can look back and see if they were things you set out to solve in January. Best of all, if you would like some assistance, our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at Solimar are always happy to help.

2. Review your last production workflow assessment

Assessment is a term that has come back with a vengeance lately. It can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. It can also mean a lot or a little bit of work depending on the vision. At Solimar, we have a multistep process that encompasses starting with a questionnaire clients fill out on their own, then a review, next steps, an onsite visit, and final findings. If you have done any of these in the past with or without Solimar, pull it out and dust it off. Take a moment at this review point in the year to see where concerns were in the past…and see how they line up still a few or many months later.

No assessment you say? Drop your friendly Solimar team a line and we can start a conversation with you on how it could help. And trust us, more software is not the immediate answer, sometimes you need to leverage what you have more or differently. We would love to assist.

3. Evaluate your product mix

On this front, we want to keep it simple. On the whole, we are talking about what you are able to offer and if your clients are purchasing. When taking a step back this summer, see what you are selling and what you aren’t. Then match that up to what your organization wants to sell. If there is a delta, then there is an opportunity to make improvements.

Solimar and workflow can be a significant help here. Product mix can be greatly impacted by what you can do with your print and digital production files and how fast you can do it. In our client’s experience, the best way to accomplish this in a flexible, measurable and efficient process is through making changes after a file is created and put into the production stream. We tend to call this post-composition or document reengineering/enhancement.

No matter what we call it, the point is that you may not have explored the possibilities of how you may provide different offerings to your clients or customers with simple and easy to implement software strategies. Moreover, you might already own the tools to do it! And we can help you chart a path to the future.

We invite you to leverage the above suggestions and document the areas where you would like to see improvements. Then, if Solimar can be of help, contact us and we will make sure we get you in contact with the right SMEs in our organization to help you transform and manage your print and digital output. Plus, we have a great blog discussing why we are always talking about “workflow”, which can help put software technology and the value proposition into perspective. We look forward to hearing from you and until then in the wise words of all the stickers you see around the world, “Keep calm and keep printing.”

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