How Automation Software Improved One In-plant’s Workflow Efficiency
The topic at the third of IPI’s successful in-plant forums at PRINTING United veered away from the hardware that dominated the Dallas show and instead focused on the less tangible topic of software — in particular, how workflow automation software can enable “fantastic growth.”
That’s what happened to the in-plant at Frisco Independent School District, located about 40 minutes north of Dallas, after it implemented Web-to-print and workflow automation software. Not only did jobs flow more seamlessly into the in-plant, they moved through the shop’s Xerox digital presses with barely a touch from operators. As a result, the in-plant is now able to process some 2,500 jobs a day in its two-shift operation.During a lunchtime forum sponsored by Rochester Software Associates, RSA’s Elisha Kaskinskas asked a panel of three managers from Frisco ISD about the workflow at their operation. Joining her were:
- Jason Almand, manager of print services and operations
- Sabrina Steinberger, graphic sign specialist
- Sherri Broderick, manager, print, mail, and sign services
The in-plant implemented Web-to-print software in 2011, and in the ensuing years added new automation software on top of it to improve workflow efficiency. Today the shop uses RSA’s WebCRD, QDirect, and ReadyPrint solutions.
Almand noted that WebCRD utilizes a dashboard to improve production management, and job tracking to manage ongoing projects. This workflow software has allowed the in-plant to produce more jobs at faster speeds.
“When we first launched WebCRD we were probably doing about 400-600 jobs,” said Almand. “Now we’re doing about 2,500 a day.” That’s about 400,000 impressions per day, he added.
WebCRD’s catalog feature ensures the correct version of the project is ordered, and the reporting tool manages day-to-day tracking and validation.
“You can generate reports for finance and billing, you can generate reports to ... break down what your production is like,” Almand said. “So if you want to run a report for how many tape binding jobs [you] do for the month of April you can build these customized reports.”
According to Almand, output management with QDirect enhances automation and batching, improving print status communication and enabling faster turnaround times.
The in-plant implemented RSA’s ReadyPrint makeready tool in 2016. Broderick explained how ReadyPrint helps the in-plant improve workflow efficiency. The software effectively integrates with WebCRD, and maintains ticketing efficiently.
The Frisco ISD Sign Center has also implemented workflow software. Steinberger explained how online ordering through the shop’s WebCRD site has streamlined efficiency, accelerated turnaround times, and increased work volume. Jobs flow to the shop’s two Roland printers to the tune of about 1,000 signs a month.
Broderick spoke about how the in-plant’s Web-to-print and workflow software has brought many benefits, including cost savings, increased productivity, better reporting, and an overall improvement in customer satisfaction.
“Teachers are able to focus on teaching and not waiting to make copies,” she noted. “You can order 24/seven — in your jammies.”
Related story: In-plants Share Growth Strategies