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24 Jun 2021

Five reasons to automate your print production workflow

Automation is taking the business world by storm because of its potential to increase productivity, reduce errors, and take on the tedious, manual tasks that people don’t enjoy. It frees up staff members to focus on more valuable work and it lets organisations complete tasks faster so they can take on more business and improve revenue and profits.

Print businesses are exploring automation options to improve their bottom line. Print workflows that streamline operations and help control costs can provide a significant advantage in a highly competitive market. And, by eliminating manual steps in the workflow, printers can complete more jobs in less time, improving margins.

The rising need for automation

Increasingly complex print technologies are delivering high-quality outcomes for customers, helping printers to build new business. However, these technologies require a variety of workflow processes for file preparation, print production, and finishing. The more complex the finished product will be, the more workflows you’ll need to manage. The cost and time involved in this adds up.

By automating the workflow, you can remove the human element. The less input your workers have to provide, the faster you can move your jobs from preparation to finishing and out the door. And, because you’ve removed the human element, you’ve also significantly reduced the potential for error, enhancing your reputation as a reliable, high-quality printer.

The benefits of automated workflows

For printers, key workflow components include job management, prepress, web-to-print, variable data publishing, and cross-media publishing. Automated workflows can deliver benefits including:

  1. Reducing errors, wastage, and quality management costs.
  2. Reducing lead times.
  3. Raising customer satisfaction.
  4. Coping with an increasing number of small-value jobs.
  5. Reducing staff costs per order.
  6. Freeing up staff time for more challenging tasks.
  7. Managing multiple workflows.
  8. Connecting current islands of automation, avoiding the human intervention that’s still required when portions of workflows are automated yet don’t connect to each other.

Modern workflows handle a mix of digital content and technologies, and smooth out and simplify the steps in the production process.

Five reasons to automate workflows

The right workflows can make your business more competitive. Automating those workflows can deliver substantial benefits. There are five strong reasons to automate your workflows:

1. To become more productive and profitable

Automation delivers increased speed and accuracy, while reducing the amount of human intervention required to complete jobs. This can deliver significant operational cost savings for printers, letting you do more with less, faster. The result is higher productivity and a more profitable business.

2. To expand your business channels

Customers increasingly prefer to do business online and via self-service channels. By automating your workflows, you can integrate online ordering so that your customers can place their order online at their end. Once they’ve done that, the job can automatically start at your end, resulting in a superior customer experience, faster turnaround, and a frictionless process that will win you more work.

3. To broaden your offering

Being able to print on demand, personalised, and digital content can open up new revenue streams for your business. Workflows can handle content that needs to be repurposed for the internet, an array of mobile devices, and a variety of different print technologies from offset to digital and wide format. If you can offer all of these options, you can expand your customer base and add to your profits.

4. To remove bottlenecks in your processes

Wherever people have to become involved in a workflow, bottlenecks can occur. Whether it’s because people take too long to complete tasks, or because tasks back up because people are too busy, or because errors creep into the process creating a need for re-work, these bottlenecks incur costs and delays. By removing people from the processes through automation, you can eliminate bottlenecks and reduce costs.

5. To scale the business and optimise the use of your printing equipment

As your business grows, your workflows can scale with it by simply adding software modules. This can speed up the process of printing, route jobs to the most efficient or available machine, and optimise the way you use your printing equipment so you can reduce turnaround times and increase throughput without investing in additional machines or staff members.

Where to next

Automating your workflows can make it easy and enticing for your customers to do business with you. Konica Minolta offers print workflow and automation solutions that will let you:

  • receive orders 24/7
  • streamline prepress work
  • speed up printing and finishing
  • manage an on-demand print business
  • increase profitability
  • offer new services and attract new customers.

To find out how we can help you, contact the team today.

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