Top Software Solutions for In-plants
As the economy swings back into a healthy pace, it can be tempting for in-plants to consider investing in new equipment. While a new machine may improve color capabilities or produce jobs faster, many in-plants face greater roadblocks during job submission or prepress processing.
We often hear about solutions that automate workflows, but which steps in the workflow create the most challenges and should thus be automated? Some in-plants have already addressed their workflows with automation tools. Others need to invest instead in broadening their customer reach and expanding awareness of their services.
To identify the current state of in-plant operations and which workflow investments they have planned for 2014, InfoTrends has surveyed the readers of In-plant Graphics. The survey is part of an ongoing partnership between InfoTrends and the North American Publishing Company (IPG's parent) to monitor emerging market trends.
The latest survey, conducted in January, focused on finding out which types of workflow automation software are currently being used and acquired. Out of the 128 participants, 56 were in-plant managers. The results point to where in-plants are putting their money, and can serve as a guide for operations undecided on which types of workflow automation software would be best for them.
Previous Emerging Trends studies and research conducted by InfoTrends have shown an evolution in what in-plants have focused on when it comes to investing in their workflows. More in-plants are evaluating how investing in software can add value to the existing services they offer, broaden their customer reach within the parent organization and improve awareness of gaps within the production environment. The most recent Emerging Trends survey continues to monitor this evolution of software-minded thinking by showing that there are three key areas of workflow software that in-plants are looking to invest in for 2014 (see chart). We will explore each of them.