Why Are We Always Talking About Workflow—Especially in Print?

March 13, 2019
Talk Workflow with Solimar

In the print and digital communications space, we seem to find terms we like and then something interesting happens…it becomes the overarching topic of most conversations. We might direct your attention to some past terms such as Automated Document Factory (ADF), Customer Communications Management (CCM), High-Volume Transactional Output (HVTO), White Paper Factory and TransPromo.

On the whole, there is nothing wrong with any of these terms. Coined by different enterprising people and companies, they were/are an effort to describe concepts—many complex—so that readers who understood the challenges and also had matching needs could engage and find a path to solutions. For example, Automated Document Factory (ADF) is one that you might still see from companies in the print and print management space. This is still the case even though the term has lost favor in a lot of writing today; ADF was an effort to describe the ability to create a set of processes that were automated delivering finished documents without a lot of human intervention. Additionally, it would be trackable and reportable through visibility into the process at any number of stages or points-in-time.

In recent years, we have taken a step back from jumping in and talking about this factory concept right out of the gate… at least in a way. “Workflow” has come into the picture as a precursor to talking about automation or the latest descriptive words: Smart Print Manufacturing. At Solimar Systems, our goal is to be a good steward of the term “Workflow” by consulting with experts in the subject matter like Pat McGrew, Senior Director at Keypoint Intelligence (formerly known as InfoTrends). We also consult with our Customer Advisory Council (CAC), which gives us real-world insight into a wide variety of industries.

Why talk about workflow? It goes back to being illustrative. Instead of saying to someone we would like to talk to you about the processes you have of receiving your print and digital communications work, turning them in to jobs that can be managed, running them through a set of steps and then managing the completion and delivery of this to the intended recipient—we like to simplify. But…indeed there is an inherent challenge with that. Workflow now conjures something different in our hearts and minds; and we suspect it will continue to the more the word gets used.

Back to the question; then why talk about “workflow”. Workflow is defined in the dictionary as:
“The sequence of steps involved in moving from beginning to the end of a working process.”

This is what we want to talk to all of our clients about. With the Solimar Systems Chemistry Platform for print and digital communications, we can positively impact your workflow. In fact, we pride ourselves in being able to send knowledgeable people to help you work through an assessment, something Pat McGrew, Keypoint Intelligence, says you should do at a minimum of every 6 months. And if you haven’t ever completed one, you should plan to and then review quarterly until you have a good blueprint.

If you think about it, the everyday tasks of providing print and digital communications make it difficult at times to step back and make sure all processes are efficient. It is easy to let current processes continue instead of considering the latest automation that would improve time-to-deliver and reduce costs—or better yet, frustrations. This is why we are always carrying the workflow torch for print and mail, as well as, digital communications with electronic delivery. So let’s start with workflow, define what it means for you and then perhaps Transpromo, ADFs and other interesting letters as they come back into focus.

We invite you to reach out to us today and start your workflow conversation. As we understand your environment, we can provide you with tools and processes that will help us, help you, complete an assessment, drive operational efficiency and open the doors to future business opportunities. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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