In-plants Must Find New Roles
In-plant managers should be on the lookout for ways to improve document management, storage and output in their organizations.
In-plant managers can and should play a leadership role in developing their organizations' document management and storage systems.
• They can work with information systems (IS) managers to evaluate software and set guidelines for the production process.
• They can help set and enforce standards-such as TIFF, PostScript, PCL and PDF.
• In-plants can recommend that documents be stored in a print-ready format.
• They can assume responsibility for indexing and archiving, and act as a resource for users who are searching the system for desired information.
In-plant managers can also help design print workflows for distributed printing. Deciding where to print a document has been largely at the discretion of the user. The primary factor was convenience, not cost reduction. Today document management software will direct network traffic to the most appropriate printers, based on preset parameters that include cost, as well as convenience. In-plant managers can play a role in setting these parameters, ensuring that their low-, mid- and high-volume devices achieve maximum utility.
In addition to control, the newest generation of document management software also provides greater flexibility. Users will gain scanning capabilities and the ability to index and store scanned documents on a server. It will be easy for users to locate and incorporate scanned pages into business documents and repurpose that information.
The need for customized sales and marketing materials has spurred interest in variable data printing, and in-plant managers are in the best position to champion its advantages. One way to implement variable data printing is with third-party software. Planet Press, marketed by Objectif Lune USA of Rutherford, N.J., gives in-plants the ability to offer variable text and graphics on affordable, networked printers.