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HIFLEX recognized for their contribution to education

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Ashland NY - HIFLEX representatives traveled to Clemson, South Carolina to attend an educational forum at Clemson University and accept the Clemson Corporate Appreciation Award recognizing contributions that the MIS & Web2Print software provider has made to the prestigious University. Clemson selected the HIFLEX Management Information System (MIS) last year and has already begun to take full advantage of this cutting edge JDF Workflow System by using it to expose students to the concepts of advanced MIS systems and automated JDF workflow, a subject rarely taught in educational institutions.

Clemson Print Leadership Forum
The Clemson University Bill Treadaway Print Leadership Forum was headlined by a number of print and marketing professionals who gave their insight into the future of the industry. Cliff Hollingsworth, Vice President Workflow Systems of Consolidated Graphics, Christopher Wright, Eastern Regional Director of Sales for Rastar a Transcontinental Company, Brad Wolff, Sales Consultant of Integrity Graphics and Jeffery Stewart, Chief Technology Officer of Trekk Cross Media were just a few of the speakers in attendance at the event. All of them had a positive outlook on where the print industry is heading, but with words of caution for employees and companies who do not continually strive to evolve and adapt to the growing demands of their market.

Clemson Corporate Appreciation Award Presentation
Gary E. Marron, HIFLEX North America President & CEO, personally attended the Forum and accepted the Clemson University Graphic Communications Corporate Appreciation Award. "This is an important event for both HIFLEX and Clemson University. It is imperative that we expose future print professionals to the role and importance of the advanced concepts of JDF Automation as used in the HIFLEX Management Information System, especially as the responsibility of MIS continues to grow in this rapidly evolving industry of print." Dr. John Leininger, Professor of the Graphic Communications department at Clemson who teaches the classes that utilize HIFLEX, shares Mr. Marron's sentiments: "The US isn't as far ahead as Europe or Japan in JDF workflow, but it is definitely the future of where our industry is going. The graduates of Clemson are going to be uniquely prepared to help implement the systems because our classes, like the ones which utilize HIFLEX MIS, help students understand the concepts of not just software, but workflow as a whole."

Samuel Ingram, Professor and Department Chair of Clemson's Graphic Communications Department added "Our program and students have benefited from working with real production tools to solve problems both common to and as complex as those in the industry. With the collaboration of industry partners, students and faculty are paving the digital dirt road for print in the 21st century. HIFLEX MIS was chosen by Clemson as we view this system to have some of the most advanced JDF integration capabilities available, allowing us to teach our students the cutting edge and best prepare them for the future."

Leininger's Travels
Dr. John Leininger actively searched for an MIS system, using a variety of benchmarks to decide which MIS would be the best to teach his students on. At the top of his list of criteria was the requirement for a technologically advanced system with boundless integration potential via JDF compatibility. "I don't think there is any doubt that the future of virtually any viable printing company, whether they are digital, conventional litho, or for that matter, flexography or gravure, is going to have to be dealing with JDF. This means they are going to need a viable MIS system that will interface with other JDF compatible software and equipment."

"I've been a judge of the CIP4 CIPPI awards for the last 4 years and as I read the award applications, I kept seeing HIFLEX users come up, receiving the top awards every time. Not just in one location either, the winners seemed to be from all over the world." HIFLEX customers have won 15 of the distinguished CIP4 CIPPI trophies since the awards inception in 2005. As a leader in JDF technology, and having the most customer confirmed JDF connections on the JDF roadmap, HIFLEX went above and beyond Dr. Leininger's criteria to become the premier choice for an MIS system at Clemson.

Looking ahead, Dr. John Leininger understands the importance of providing a future-proof education to his students. "I think that the progressive companies are definitely looking at JDF. The companies that look ahead are definitely the ones implementing these workflows. The other companies are going to have to fall in line, or they'll go out of business." Preparing students for these changes in the printing industry is his top priority.

Learn by Doing
The experience students receive with a real MIS system will be invaluable for their future careers. They not only learn about the software itself, but gain a deeper understanding of surrounding concepts, such as the importance of a streamlined workflow.

Dr. Leininger comments on one of the exercises he performs with HIFLEX: "I have my students go through one assignment where they estimate a job longhand and then they go back and use HIFLEX AutoPilot feature and see if the system would have estimated the job significantly different. I would say about 50% of the time they get pretty close, and the other 50% there is a significant difference. Students start to understand the benefit of using an MIS system which is going to be much more consistent and faster than a traditional estimator."

For every action, there is a reaction and Dr. Leininger has seen the positive effect that exposure to an MIS system provides students who have only been exposed to the theory of efficient workflow. "They're having these revelations and I'm sitting there really enjoying the teaching moment because my students are really starting to understand the big picture. They are starting to understand how it goes together, how pricing works, and the different steps that are required. It is a really positive experience." It is these types of moments which Dr. Leininger and the entire Clemson faculty strive for, and it is the reason HIFLEX has taken on the initiative of helping to educate the printer's of the future.

Quote from the Dean of Clemson
"Corporate partners like HIFLEX are vital to our students' success. Because of their involvement with our graphic communications program, our students graduate with the skills they need to be valuable to the marketplace from day one," said College of Business and Behavioral Science dean Claude Lilly. "We are grateful to HIFLEX not only for their support, but also for their vision for education and its impact on the graphics industry."




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