Snap sees prepress savings with EFI

Snap West Melbourne has automated its prepress work with EFI JobFlow, finding that 80 per cent of jobs can now be processed by customer service consultants.


The remaining 20 per cent, says Al Babicka, co-owner of the store, can be processed by skilled operators, when the files need to be touched.


Babicka says, “Ten years ago, 80 per cent of our business was traditional offset printing. Today, that represents 6 per cent of our turnover. The rest is all digital. We run high-end digital machines, driven by EFI Fiery, coupled with a commercial bindery.


“In the digital space we do lots of small jobs with fast turnarounds. We get a job in, and sometimes within an hour or two, we need to turn that around and deliver it.


“We spent some time looking at different workflow solutions. Fiery JobFlow is a part of the same workflow family with Snap’s web-to-print solution, EFI Digital StoreFront. Digital StoreFront also integrates into the back end of our operations, which is EFI PrintSmith, and to the Fiery servers that run our digital machines. We wanted a seamless flow from client order, to putting it on the machines, to print.”


Babicka says his part of the Snap Franchise Group does a lot of corporate and government work, and describes competitors as price focused.


Addressing productivity is the way his Centre is working to bring down the cost to manufacture. “When a job is on the press and we are printing, that is the area we do efficiently and quickly.


“Often, the delay is getting it on to the machine — getting the artwork print ready. The other component of that is getting the client to sign off on the proof.


“If you cannot handle fast turnaround, you are not going to survive in an ever-increasing competitive landscape.”


Babicka says EFI Fiery JobFlow provided the missing productivity piece needed, while the first implementation phase was to learn the steps required to assess a file.


Babicka says “This is often, no bleed or crop marks, the file comes in as a spread instead of a one-up, or we get a file that has set up for the wrong size paper.”


“We identify the actions to fix those, and that is our workflow.


“We found we could use about half a dozen Fiery JobFlow workflows for practically 80 per cent of the work we do.”


Since a lot of Snap Melbourne’s regular customers send files by email, the customer service consultant selects the correct hot folder and puts files into that JobFlow workflow. According to Babicka, the whole process, from receiving a file to getting a proof to the client can take just a couple of minutes.


Before, Snap Melbourne operators would have printed the job ticket, stored the file, and sent the job to prepress to check and impose. Once that was done, they would then the PDF back to the customer, through the consultant to approve, following which they would send the job to the presses.


Babicka estimates, “In the typical scheme of things, that could take half a day to a day because of the time the job spent in process queues in the Centre. So there are substantial savings in the turnaround time to get a print-ready proof to the client.”


He uses an example of a client that sends a job every month with on average 110 different files. It used to take 4 hours to set all the files up. “Now I have workflows set up for the different kinds of products in that order,” he says.


“Today, I process that job myself — and I have no prepress skills. But I can process all 110 files in about 4 minutes. It is brilliant.”

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