To reach the summit of Mount Everest, climbers need the proper training, experience, and tools. Somewhere around 26,000 feet, most climbers, regardless of experience and tools, need another critical element—oxygen. Without oxygen at these elevations, the body and mind rapidly deteriorate, forcing climbers to power through the pain to reach the peak. 

Printers also experience the pain of peak—that time when capacity is at its limit, and even minor issues become significant. For many, it is the last three months of the year where the seasonal demand for printed books, labels, packaging, and marketing collateral is at its peak, and production schedules are stretched to their breaking point with shipping deadlines before the year’s end. Nearly every print operation contends with this seasonal pain, especially when producing books-of-one, labels, packaging, and other mass customized products.

You may be climbing the mountain of more jobs with lower volumes, more jobs with larger volumes, or an increase in required throughput across all the work you do. As you leverage your experience in dealing with changing order types and schedules, as well as the equipment you run to get the work done, you may be missing the oxygenrequired to propel your print operation to the top. You need a software platform that automates processes from beginning to end, while providing tools to effectively manage the production floor and track the work to meet business goals.

HP Site Flow is the cloud-based platform that can remove the pain of peak production by:

  • increasing automation, from job onboarding to shipping
  • dynamically scheduling work to balance equipment efficiency and ensure SLAs/due date completion
  • outsourcing work to other Site Flow-enabled print service providers to temporarily scale your order capacity 

Onboarding print jobs is messy work. It’s time-consuming to capture the specifications, data, and artwork, plus there are ample chances for error. Depending on how the order originates, onboarding can be completely manual, completely automated, or a hybrid process. Any of these methods can result in job specifications missing key elements. That inconsistency forces customer services people to chase the order and the production expectations, losing valuable time.

Many solutions force their customers to use specific methods and pathways into the print production workflow, potentially introducing more errors. HP Site Flow takes an agnostic approach because there are many ways jobs arrive at the print shop. Instead, it uses connectors and application programming interfaces (APIs) for print shops to connect their web-to-print, MIS/ERP, DAM, and other business solutions to the workflow. HP Site Flow takes the job and automatically preflights, batches, and imposes the work for printing based on preconfigured rules. Every job gets a barcode, and a work-to list is created for each operator to track the job along its production path.

Dynamic scheduling is often impossible outside of a platform solution because disconnected and disparate software solutions silo critical pieces of information needed for real-time scheduling. HP Site Flow makes scheduling dynamic, eliminating that pain point. No more daily production meetings resembling auctions where the highest and loudest bidder wins production time. Gone is the need to constantly update and move jobs along a whiteboard, peg system, or shared spreadsheet. HP Site Flow automates the initial planning based on due dates/SLAs, receives updates as work progresses through the shop, and allows operators to make late-stage changes if the need arises. It also brings a holistic approach to scheduling with situational awareness of due dates while leveraging batching and smart imposition optimization possibilities. If plans need to change, its unique end-to-end platform approach enables assigned users the ability to modify tasks, replan, and reschedule the job with just a few clicks.

As a cloud-based platform, it also provides a critically important feature that is difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish with traditional on-premise software—scalability. Ramp computing power up in an instant to support periods of peak production and then ramp down when volumes decline. HP Site Flow will process 100,000 orders per day as seamlessly as it processes 500 orders, eliminating a point of stress in the workflow.

One more advantage is that when equipment and printing capacity become the bottleneck, HP Site Flow Outsourcing is the easy-button connection for Site Flow Enterprise and Pro users to outsource work to other Site Flow-enabled print shops. The originating and fulfilling PSPs can see the tracking and status against the SLA, just as Brand buyers can see the status of their jobs within HP Site Flow. There is no more black-box uncertainty about the status of the outsourced work and whether the SLA will be met.

The benefit of a cloud-enabled solution is support for virtual or remote work requirements. Companies now have firsthand experience with the benefits of business-critical software accessible remotely. During the pandemic, remote work became a tool to keep employees safe. These solutions will be tools to retain existing employees and a draw for recruiting new ones for the foreseeable future. 

HP Site Flow provides sales and CSRs insight into their customers’ orders. Planners, schedulers, and supervisors have access to a constantly updated, holistic view of capacity and production. Prepress teams can take corrective action for any ad hoc work not already set up for automation. And, because it is a cloud-based platform, printers have the scalability that best positions their print shop for today’s work environments and labor challenges.

HP Site Flow is a solution originating from a modern print shop to meet the needs of modern print shops that face the pain of peak production every season. It supports a wide range of printed products, printing equipment, and the support processes required to prepare jobs. Created as an automation platform, it has advanced functionality like barcoding, batching, smart impositions, and dynamic scheduling. Yet, the greatest advantage comes from its cloud platform design. With the benefits of scalability, remote operation, and outsourcing, HP Site Flow enables participation in a vast print network and ecosystem. Before you go through another season of peak production, make sure you have the oxygen to fuel your success.

To find out more, go to HP