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Lessons Learned from Automating a Century-Old Print Shop

Friday, September 26, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Lawton Printers and PressWise Share Advice on Implementing Workflow Tools 

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – Lawton Printers in downtown Orlando, Florida reports that implementing PressWise by SmartSoft (www.presswise.com), the all-in-one Print MIS and Workflow Automation solution, has resulted in 60% of their digital jobs, including custom and one-off jobs, completely bypassing prepress at the 114-year old print shop. According to Tyler Koon, vice president at Lawton Printers, reducing the prepress stage and automating the ordering process has eliminated most of the overhead costs for each order, reduced turnaround times, and greatly improved the print experience for Lawton Printers’ customers, which include local and national creative agencies, professional sports teams, theme parks, and non-profits. “We can now process more orders of all types through the shop and profitably process orders with a smaller dollar value.” says Koon. 

In a new case study published by SmartSoft, published on the PressWise website at www.presswise.com, Koon discusses how the six-million dollar business has implemented the cloud-based PressWise platform and shares advice with  other printers who are considering implementing an MIS, storefront, and/or workflow automation system. Tyler and his wife, Kimberly Lawton Koon, are the fifth generation to take the helm at Lawton, one of the oldest, continuous family-run printing businesses in the US. In the case study he shares examples of how their commitment to technology investment has enabled Lawton Printers to launch new product lines, such as their Mr. Scratch Off! site for custom scratch-off tickets, and increase and solidify revenue from existing customers. 

Koon recalls that implementing PressWise was “a great opportunity to evaluate our processes and change them going forward.” He recommends that other printers form an employee team to map out their workflows and the problems they want to solve before they begin implementing a system and then build the system out step-by-step to resolve existing issues.

Koon advises giving employees a time limit on how long they should spend trying to figure out a solution themselves before turning to the vendor for help. He encourages his staff to review training videos from PressWise and then to reach out to PressWise for assistance as soon as they start to struggle with a problem. “PressWise has been extremely responsive and easy to deal with.  They have shown a real willingness for us to be successful,” says Koon.

Koon also notes that using PressWise has helped some of his employees better understand how the print industry is changing. When some have been hesitant about the company adopting automation, he has reassured them that “automation is for competitive reasons, not job displacement.”  At Lawton, automation has meant that employees have been freed from many repetitive tasks and now can focus on more fulfilling, revenue-producing activities. Koon says that after working with PressWise his staff has come to understand “how we are a progressive company that can offer a better print experience than a lot of our competition.”

In addition to the Lawton Printers Case Study, PressWise also recently sponsored a white paper entitled Prioritizing Software Investments for Improved Profitability: Which Comes First, Web-to-Print or Workflow? This paper, written by renowned author and print industry commentator Cary Sherburne, uses real-world stories from three different types of print service providers to explore the pros and cons of various approaches and provides actionable ideas about how businesses might choose to proceed when making software investment decisions. There is no registration required to access the White Paper, which is available at www.presswise.com/white-papers.

PressWise by SmartSoft will be exhibiting in booth #352 at GraphExpo in Chicago,September 28th to October 1st 2014. To find out more about PressWise, read the Lawton case study, or to schedule a one-on-one product demo at GraphExpo, please visit www.PressWise.com or contact SmartSoft on 888.227.7221.


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