Piece Level Management & Trackingin SOLitrack 2.3


SOLitrack is Solimar’s dashboard and workflow that provides visibility and tracking of jobs as they process through your overall production print workflow. Along with visibility, SOLitrack provides reporting on current and historic activities. In addition, SOLitrack drives print workflows with direct integration to printers, including JDF support for job status and ink/media use reporting. It also supports inkjet printer optimizations such as job scheduling and batching. As a workflow monitor, it has SLA visibility and robust event notification to alert users of what information they are interested in, such as problems during processing or the success of jobs.

SOLitrack has traditionally supported job level tracking and our indexing, document re-engineering and archive workflows have always supported mailpiece level management. In SOLitrack version 2.3, we’ve combined these capabilities so tracking and additional controls for individual mail pieces within a job is now available.

In addition to the new piece level tracking functionality, SOLitrack’s most common usages include:

  • Providing a central console for event notifications, tracking and visibility of Solimar’s Chemistry platform components as well as non-Solimar stages in your overall workflow.
  • Recording of processing activity in a database which provides a history of workflow activity that can be viewed and reported on for current and historical information.
  • Serving as a job distribution solution that can manage when, where and how jobs are processed. This is particularly powerful in inkjet environments where job scheduling, digital commingling and batching is important.
  • Monitoring production workflows to show when things are running smoothly, but sometimes more importantly, notifying appropriate users when things are not going as expected so action can be quickly taken.

Piece Level Tracking

Traditional job tracking provides information about all of the mailpieces within a file as one item, where piece level tracking or PLT provides information and control for each record or mailpiece within the print file. While the file is still in digital form prior to print, the piece level tracking is controlled by indexing information for each record. Once the file is printed, the mailpiece tracking is provided by cameras scanning unique barcodes on each record. The cameras can be installed on printers, finishing equipment for automation or be hand-held scanners for manual updates. SOLitrack’s piece level support is accomplished by integrating with these systems to update the item-level information in SOLitrack’s database. SOLitrack has an open API so that any physical or digital process can provide it with piece level status information.

SOLitrack still enables users to see files at a job level, and with the piece level tracking addition you can now drill down into the job to see and manage all of the individual records. This expands SOLitrack’s workflow capabilities in several areas that includes item level reprints, integration with camera systems, a proof and approval workflow to suppress or approve records, tracking the status of each mailpiece and more.

Why is Piece level tracking (PLT) important?

For some transactional documents, having piece level tracking is essential and required. For example, you don’t want private healthcare or financial information getting mailed to the wrong person or other high value pieces getting misplaced.

Problems can arise at various points in the production process from the digital side before printing and after printing during the mechanical processes. These could arise from customer data issues, human production or IT errors and machine challenges such as the wrong setup or damaged pieces during insertion. Not catching problems with the final output can be especially costly if there are SLA penalties, data privacy violation fines or the loss of customer confidence.

While jobs are processing, PLT provides several capabilities such as tracking and reporting on piece level events, viewing the pieces, changing the status, attaching files or delivery information links, tracking with the camera systems and manual or automated reprints of spoiled pieces.
As jobs are processed, the status is updated through the integration with software, cameras, scanners or manual updates throughout the various tracking points in the overall production process. Within SOLitrack the steps each file goes through are sequenced into a workflow so you can easily monitor the progression of the job and pieces during their lifecycle.

After the jobs are processed, having PLT information provides a history of each piece’s activity. This helps with finding out what happened to a piece when asked by customer service, production or compliance reviews. Overall, PLT can help alert you to issues early which can mean the difference between missing and making tight SLAs or avoiding mailing bad output in the first place.

The system also supports storing and retrieving content with each mailpiece that is needed but is not part of the work itself. Users can add, update, view and delete the associated files and notes through the dashboard.

In addition to the piece level control, notes and associated files can be managed at a job level as well. For example, a manifest, resources needed for the job, special directions or link that’s used to indicate shipping status, a webpage that provides further information about jobs or pieces and any type of URL can be assigned to each job. Having the associated information for jobs and pieces available makes it easy to include USPS and shipping vendor links. This enables users to track pieces during delivery and provide it to customers if asked.

The features related to mailpiece and job level associated content and tracking helps make SOLitrack a centralized system of record for your jobs. You can think of this of digitizing your paper job bags and adding them to SOLitrack to be a digital job bag. That way all of the related information is available to everyone who needs access to it and not just the person holding the job bag.

SLA Tracking

SOLitrack 2.3 also introduces additional SLA tracking features that provide an overall view of every job’s status, or you can setup filters for different displays for each work area, device or building. The view automatically refreshes so is ideal for a shop floor’s big screen display. Along with SOLitrack’s alerts, this can help with your overall production awareness and status. Customers also like it because it provides a good impression about their production processes when giving site tours.


There are many ways mailpieces can be damaged during production by hardware or there could be processing errors that require the job to be reprinted such as bad formatting, the wrong stock loaded in the printer or jams and so on. SOLitrack 2.3 provides expanded automated and manual reprint controls for Solimar’s Chemistry platform. This is especially important for companies that have applications that need to have 100% delivery of communications and accountability for each piece.

For automated reprints, the process is integrated with camera systems. Control files are created for the camera system, and as pieces are identified as being damaged, an exception file is created that SOLitrack reads in to identify what pieces to reprint. The piece status is updated automatically and the process repeats until all records are complete. The reprinted records can be run individually or batched into a single job. The reprint files can be run on the main production printers or sent to a smaller printer so the main production devices can continue to run larger high-speed jobs.

For manual reprints, users can search and select records from within SOLitrack or use a hand-held scanner to identify what pieces to reprint. With SOLitrack’s reprint processing you don’t have to go back to the host system or composition process to regenerate the output which saves time and effort.

In summary, SOLitrack provides an open-architecture to seamlessly integrate into any production hardware and software environment when tracking your digital and physical workflow at a job or piece level is critical. SOLitrack helps with completing your work on-time and streamlining various processes such as reprints, proof/approval, job management and reporting. Utilizing SOLitrack’s job batching and scheduling improves production efficiencies and enables cost savings strategies such as white-paper factory and postal savings.