SOLitrack Production Proofs and Approvals: Streamlining the Workflow

In the world of print production, efficiency and accuracy are paramount. Every step in the process, from job creation to final production, requires careful oversight to ensure that the end result meets the highest standards. That’s where SOLitrack’s Production Proofing workflow comes into play, offering powerful tools that can save time, reduce manual intervention, and ultimately save money for businesses that require meticulous control over their print jobs.

Streamlining Approvals

SOLitrack’s Proofs and Approvals module is designed to simplify and enhance the job approval process. With this feature, users have the ability to either approve jobs for production or cancel them, putting them into a canceled state where they won’t be produced. The module allows for a comprehensive review of jobs before they are released into the production environment.

Complex Approval Workflows

Approval processes can be intricate, often involving multiple approval steps that can occur in serial or parallel. SOLitrack’s flexible workflow setup enables jobs to be sent to multiple approvers simultaneously or to individual approvers who must sign off before the next approver is notified and can review the job. Approvers can be individual users or groups, and email notifications can be sent to ensure timely reviews.

Automation and Piece Level Tracking

SOLitrack takes automation a step further by allowing jobs to be auto-approved based on predefined rules or schedules. For instance, if a job isn’t rejected by a specific time, it can be automatically approved and routed into production. This automation not only saves time but also reduces the risk of delays.

Piece Level Tracking (PLT) adds another layer of control. With PLT, users can modify the entire job and attributes for individual pieces. SOLitrack provides an intuitive search feature that makes locating specific pieces for review and modification easy. Piece attributes can be changed to alter the behavior of individual pieces, such as suppressing print or delivery for specific pieces.

Production Proofing vs. Design-Time Proofing

It’s essential to distinguish between Production Proofing and Design-Time Proofing. Production proofing occurs in the live production environment, ensuring that jobs are error-free before they enter the production queue. On the other hand, design-time proofing focuses on testing templates used to create production work from variable data, typically using sample data sets.

Enhancing Control and Flexibility

In summary, SOLitrack’s Proofs and Approvals and PLT modules enhance control and flexibility in print production. SOLitrack streamlines approval workflows automates processes, and offers the unique capability of piece-level tracking and modification. Whether users need to approve jobs with complex approval processes or make last-minute adjustments to specific pieces within a job, SOLitrack provides the tools to ensure the right communications are delivered accurately and efficiently.

SOLitrack’s Production Proofs and Approvals and PLT modules empower businesses to maintain quality standards, reduce errors, and keep production on track in a fast-paced printing environment. SOLitrack is a valuable asset that delivers flexibility, visibility, and operational efficiencies for small, midsize, and large print factories.

SOLitrack does a lot of great things. One you may not be familiar with is the production proofing workflow. While not every customer needs this capability, those that do find it saves a lot of time, manual touches, and can save money. Proofs and approvals is a licensed SOLitrack module that allows users to approve jobs, releasing them into production, or cancel jobs, put the job into a cancel state where it cannot be produced. Users can view the job, add notes, attach files, links and more.

Approval processes can be quite complex, having multiple serial or parallel approval steps. A workflow can be set up that sends the job to multiple approvers at the same time, or individual approvers who must approve the job before others will receive notification and be able to view the job. Approvers can be users or groups and can be sent emails to be notified of approval needed. Jobs to be approved are essentially put on hold and placed in a queue where the user can find and view the job, change job attributes and then choose to approve or reject it. Jobs can also be auto approved based on rules or schedules. For example, if the job is not rejected by a specific time, it is automatically approved and put into production.

Let’s try to settle any confusion concerning production proofing and design time proofing. Let me start by saying that production proofing, which we’re talking about today, is completely different from design time proofing. Production proofing is done in the production environment. While design time proofing is done with composition tools in the design environment or using PDF files, and email. Production proofing allows further review of jobs before releasing into production. Design time proofing focuses on templates used to create production work from variable data. Production proofing is done in the production environment on live jobs, while design time proofing is done in a test/dev on sample data. Production proofing is done after live data is merged into templates. While design time proofing is usually done with test data to test different variations of that design. The purpose of production proofing is to prevent incorrect or unwanted pieces from being produced. The purpose of design time proofing is to ensure the proper behavior of the template. Making sure that it looks and acts correctly with test data sets. Again, completely different.

If the job supports piece level tracking, things get really interesting. Job level proofing is still the same, but you have the ability to modify not just a job but also attributes for individual pieces as well. SOLitrack provides an easy to use search capability that allows you to find specific pieces you want to view and modify. Piece attributes can be modified to change the behavior of the job with regard to specific pieces. For example, you can suppress print, suppress eDelivery for pieces so that they are excluded from those outputs. You can even define your own piece level status and use it in your own process. As you are processing pieces you can take special action on specific pieces flagged in this way. Combination of job and piece level capabilities gives organizations a really powerful tool to help them ensure that the right communications are delivered. After making piece level changes, the job can be released for production or canceled.

So, with piece level tracking, when the job is being approved, job level and piece level data can be changed. This gives you a lot of control over the job and even specific pieces prior to releasing into production. You can also do this in an automated way at both the job level and piece level. Upload a file to a directory containing pieces and statuses for those pieces for SOLfusion to pick up automatically and apply it to the job. The same goes for job level attributes.

Here’s a sample screen that shows the organization of proof and approval jobs based on the internal or external user’s rights. This user can see all of the jobs needing approval in one tab and the specific jobs needing their approval in another to approve or reject a job or record. A user simply views it, if desired, and then selects the approve or reject button. When rejecting the job, a note as for the reason can be optionally added that gets logged as a job message along with the rejecting user name. Approved jobs will continue processing in the workflow. This screen shows the approval state of each job and the associated pieces as part of the status tracking. Users can filter the list on piece level attributes, including approval, information. SOLitrack proof and approvals is a feature available with or without piece level tracking. Without piece of or tracking, it allows whole jobs to be viewed, approved or rejected. With piece level tracking, it also allows for pieces to be viewed for their status to be changed, and that status can be used by downstream processes to control handling for those pieces.