Flagship Press achieves efficiency and sustainability with Kodak

Uses Prinergy, Colorflow Pro, and Insite horsepower

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The Kodak Prinergy Workflow with rules-based automation (RBA) has been their new workflow solution. Photo Kodak

For over 70 years, US-based Flagship Press has served its customers with the highest-quality print products. They did everything from books to direct mail, large format to promotional products with their range of offset and digital equipment. As their offerings expanded and their volumes grew, their existing workflow struggled to meet demands. Every task, including color management and correction, required a different software application, and there was no path to streamline automation. As work volumes grew, the only answer was to add more staff, adding cost and complexity that wasn’t sustainable. 

As business more than doubled, they were processing more than 2,500 plates a month with hundreds of jobs moving through the workflow. Their processes took too long, often up to 30 minutes to get a single plate ready initially, and the same again if any changes were needed. They needed more efficiency to break the cycle of adding people to processes. They turned to Kodak for an integrated solution. 

Efficiency through automation

The efficiencies gained with the Kodak solution eliminated the requirement to add people for new work. The new, slim team is six people where there had been 12, and each is handling 25% to 50% more work due to automation. Growing the business no longer means expanding the staff to keep up, driving more revenue to the bottom line.  

The Kodak Prinergy Workflow with rules-based automation (RBA) has been their new workflow solution. They added Kodak Colorflow Pro for color management to support their G7 program, Kodak Preps to create their imposition and ganging layouts, and Kodak  Insite Prepress Portal and Creative Workflow to create a closed-loop file approval process with their customers. 

Meredith Nichols, director of Technology Development, stated: “The proof is in the numbers. For Flagship Press, Prinergy balances the playing field between the newest and most experienced operators. Experienced staff learned what they needed in less than three days. The previous workflow servers were unplugged within a month of the Prinergy installation, eliminating duplicate server and licensing costs. Some of the staff already had experience with Kodak solutions from previous jobs, leading to rapid acceptance. Everyone was involved from the start, contributing to the definition of rules for the workflow. Everyone had ownership, removing the fear of the unknown.” 

The addition of Kodak Colorflow Pro allows them to do their color management upfront before any other processes begin. They decided on Colorflow Pro because it integrates into the workflow and honors the client’s color profiles. As a G7 shop, they have a process to follow to ensure that every job meets specific color guidelines, but the files arrive from clients and their designers in many states with many color models. Colorflow Pro automates the normalization processes so they can print the best color based on the substrate and the output device. And they can print it consistently within the job, as well as for every reprint, regardless of the output device.

Colorflow Pro also saves time and money by dramatically reducing the number of color corrections needed for each job. For customers, that means an equally dramatic reduction in color correction charges and faster time to print. 

Savings in every step

By integrating Prinergy and Insite with their PrintMIS, Flagship Press enabled file uploads through the portal. Customers can now preflight and correct their files, and soft proofs are automatically available as jobs move seamlessly from Insite through prepress. No one touches a file unless an event triggers an email to the production manager to say something needs attention. Today it takes as little as five minutes to get from job entry to production-ready versus hours with their previous workflow. Waste is eliminated, operator time is reduced, and there is no more risk of mismatched job specifications.

Customers are happy, too. Firing up the Insite portal saves Flagship Press hours of interaction. Flagship Press made adoption as easy as possible by building quick start guides and offering demonstrations to show customers how the portal benefits them. 

Moving to a PDF-centric workflow enabled by the Insite portal, inbound PDFs now arrive ready to print. Working with Flagship Press is more accessible for clients because they have any-time access through their desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone to approve files for production. 

Flagship customers have embraced the power of the always-open communication portal and the savings they get from reducing the number of proof and approval loops. Now there are fewer calls and emails, leading to faster progress into production. Every aspect of the Prinergy, Colorflow Pro, and Insite implementation brings savings to Flagship Press that will continue for years to come. 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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