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Sandy Alexander Chooses MetaCommunications' Virtual Ticket Production Platform

Press release from the issuing company

PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 CHICAGO (PRINT 05) - September 12, 2005 - MetaCommunications, Inc., a leading developer of business management and workflow solutions for the graphic arts industry, today announced that Sandy Alexander, Inc. has purchased and successfully implemented Virtual Ticket(TM) at its headquartered production facility in Clifton, N.J. Sandy Alexander uses Virtual Ticket for process specific order entry, prepress project management, centralized electronic job tickets, and production digital asset management. Sandy Alexander, the largest independently-owned, high-end commercial printing company in the U.S., services a wide variety of customers, including many Fortune 100 companies. Sandy Alexander began its search for a system to augment the capabilities of its existing financial print management system, EFI's Hagen OA system. Serving the needs of a broad array of vertical industries, including advertising agencies, healthcare, fashion, and consumer goods companies, Sandy Alexander required a flexible solution to adapt to varying clients and types of jobs. With a growing workload and an increasing need for shortened production cycles, Sandy Alexander was not only in search of a system in which to convert their diverse paper job tickets and quality control forms into a centralized electronic repository, but also a system with integrated workflow and in-process production file management. At the same time, the goal was to leverage the information and benefits already being realized with Hagen OA. "We needed an intuitive system which could quickly and easily computerize our manual job ticketing system to facilitate better communication and process control," said Howie Swerdloff, Vice President of Production and Prepress Services for Sandy Alexander. "Virtual Ticket was the only solution we found which was flexible enough to accommodate our environment without locking us into a customized system that would be costly to maintain and impossible to upgrade." After evaluating the range of solutions on the market, Sandy Alexander selected MetaCommunications' Virtual Ticket software in January of 2005. Within 30 days, Sandy Alexander's staff replicated their paper job tickets in Virtual Ticket, configured the software, and seamlessly integrated it with Hagen OA. By using MetaCommunications' integration toolkit, Sandy Alexander was able to automatically populate Virtual Ticket with information collected in Hagen OA, resulting in the elimination of any double entry. Today Sandy Alexander is in the process of implementing integration of Artwork Systems' prepress workflow product Nexus with Virtual Ticket to further the automation of their entire prepress operation. Since fully deploying Virtual Ticket in June, Sandy Alexander has successfully trained its employees and has already begun to experience real results. By centralizing all job instructions and image information in Virtual Ticket, Sandy Alexander is able to better manage complex projects. The company has also realized a reduction in file remakes resulting in lower expenses and improved turn time. These projects typically have images coming in piecemeal during the time prior to a project's deadline. Each image can have many different attributes, instructions, and quality control requirements. Sandy Alexander must keep this information organized, accessible to production, and maintain its accuracy. Instead of relying on memory, sticky notes, and faxes, this information is now tracked right along with the files in Virtual Ticket. The power of Virtual Ticket's scripting capabilities has greatly impacted Sandy Alexander's users by automating once manual, time-consuming tasks. For example, the loose color proof process often took several hours to complete but now is done in minutes with Virtual Ticket. From Virtual Ticket, images are pushed automatically to the server. After being scaled by Sandy Alexander employees, the images are then automatically sent to the proofer where a proof is generated for client approval. "Virtual Ticket has more than exceeded our expectations," said Swerdloff. "This cost-effective system is having a profoundly positive impact on our order entry and production workflow by allowing us to automate many tasks that were once performed manually. As we continue to learn more about the capabilities of Virtual Ticket we feel the possibilities are limitless. Already, the tremendous results achieved have enabled us to fulfill our ultimate goal to take on more jobs and meet our clients' current and future needs."

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