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Integrated Workflow Systems Pay Dividends For All Sizes Of Printshop

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga., October 8, 2004 - Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has examined the Return on Investment (ROI) from digital workflow solutions in three customer scenarios that are typical for the print media industry. Depending on the company’s size and the existing level of integration, the ROI period is between 6 and 24 months. Since the framework conditions differ from one business to the next, Heidelberg has calculated bandwidths for the anticipated ROI. The selected scenarios are based on real examples that have been rendered anonymous and have been reduced to those integrated areas needed for ROI calculations. All calculations have been based on the Prinect Workflow from Heidelberg. The results derive from ROI calculations for customers who themselves defined the areas examined.   Scenario 1: Medium-sized commercial printshop optimizes color management for top print quality   This first example (graphic 1: Medium-sized commercial printshop), which looks at a printing business with less than 100 employees, yields an ROI of between six and eight months. The integration solution focussed on color management in the prepress and press stages using Prinect Color Solutions and Print Color Management Services, i.e. on initial calibration of the entire color workflow with support from Heidelberg. Prior to implementation, considerable investment in time and materials was needed to satisfy customers’ high quality requirements. The ROI calculation is based on the following principles:   - The ROI calculation related solely to the investment in the Prinect Color Solution. Costs for project management, training, changeovers and organizational aspects were taken into account. - Not included are positive effects deriving from the extra production capacity made possible by reducing makeready times.   In this scenario, only savings in materials have been taken into account when calculating the ROI period. Customer loyalty has also been enhanced through maximizing quality.   Scenario 2: Industrial-scale printshop cuts throughput times and waste and increases sales efficiency   This example (graphic 2: Industrial-scale printshop) is based on an industrial-scale printshop with more than 100 employees which already had a high level of integration and was able to achieve an ROI of 16 to 18 months for its investment in digital integration solutions. The ROI was achieved in part by faster processing made possible by a greater level of integration in prepress, press, job planning, field service, job processing and savings in waste. To remain flexible in the integrated print media production process, 100% digital processing from job acceptance to final delivery is essential.   The calculation is based on the following factors: - The ROI was calculated for the costs resulting from the integration process. The costs for project management, training and increased workloads during the changeover phase were also taken into account. - All other potential savings by workflow components, for example through reductions in processing times at the individual workstations were disregarded, as were increases in productivity resulting from freed-up production capacity, and also serve to improve the ROI result.   Scenario 3: Small commercial printshop creates room for expansion The example (graphic 3:Small commercial printshop) is based on a conventional commercial printshop with fewer than 20 employees which had already taken the first steps towards integration through Prinect Prinance and Prinect Printready. The company was therefore less interested in achieving a ROI within a specific period than on increasing the productivity of job management and prepress while maintaining the same personnel cost structures, with a view to investing in a further press. The ROI in this scenario was around 24 months.   The following factors contributed to a further improvement in the ROI achieved: - Plates for repeat orders can now be produced in just 15 minutes. - The error rate has been lowered by 15 to 20 percent. - Processing time in prepress has been cut by an average of 30 percent per job. - The time spent on job processing and costing has been cut by around 75 percent compared with manual costing and tracking. - The organizational development of the company has been significantly improved with the introduction of the workflow.   “The three scenarios chosen illustrate that digital process integration pays dividends if the criteria for efficient project management are adhered to and a meticulous vulnerability analysis is conducted. In particular, the example of the conventional commercial printshop shows that even small printers can implement integrated workflows systems successfully if they approach the integration process step by step and in parallel to live operation,” concludes Jörg Bauer, Vice President Prinect Workflow at Heidelberg.