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Business Cards Tomorrow Implementing Total Digital PDF Workflow Using GWG Test Suite

Press release from the issuing company

Fort Lauderdale, FL & Ghent, Belgium -- July 26, 2007 -- BCT International (Business Cards Tomorrow), the largest wholesaler of thermographed (raised) and flat offset commercial stationery products in North America, is implementing a total digital PDF Workflow using the Ghent Output Suite, a series of workflow tests developed by the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG), the two organizations announced today.
According to David Kew of BCT, the company recently set a mandate to establish a 100% digital workflow throughout its more than 80 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. These locations provide wholesale service and products to retail printers, mailing centers, office supply houses, form distributors, print brokers, ad agencies, and other retailers.
"Our goal is to be a totally distribute and print mechanism," says Kew. "This means having the ability to send a digital file for print to wherever the requirement is. The digital file can be sent from any of our facilities to be printed at whatever location the customer desires for pickup. The critical component of our business is to make sure all digital Adobe PDF files work as they should through the automated workflow."
In implementing this project, Kew chose the GWG as an important resource for testing all the major digital workflow solutions available in the marketplace.
Why Business Cards Tomorrow Chose the Ghent Output Suite
Since its founding five years ago, the GWG has become one of the world's most respected graphic arts best practice organizations. During the process of developing PDF-X Plus specifications, the GWG found that many of the prepress systems and tools in the marketplace were either not compliant and/or up to date with the GWG specifications or the current versions of layout and design software. As a result, the Ghent Output Suite was developed. This is a set of individual files that can be used to test design and print production workflow processes beginning with layout and proceeding through proofing and platemaking. These tests have been used successfully by many vendors to test software and utilities, and to identify the correct settings to be used. More importantly, they have been used by 'end users' to identify workflow problems before they find out as a result of a job that won't process correctly.
Business Cards Tomorrow's PDF Workflow Challenge
David Kew decided to use the groundwork already laid by the GWG to help him achieve his goal of 100% digital PDF workflow for BCT. Kew sent test pages to his variety of vendors, representing the majority of the industry's major digital equipment suppliers.
Kew recounts that some of the vendors took it seriously and others did not. The results were diverse. "Some came back and said they couldn't do it. I insisted that they could and they worked it out. One manufacturer got every one of the test files to output correctly except for one; so we knew that our test using the GWG Test Suite was valid. The ones that succeeded actually reconfigured their RIPs to handle the files. We knew that those that were successful had a good, knowledgeable operator.
"We had vendors who were actually glad in the end that we conducted this test. Many weren't aware of the GWG Test Suite (www.gwg.org), which is free, and now see it as a great resource. In fact one was so pleased with the GWG test patches that they took it back to their engineers to tweak their solutions and have even set up internal training for their operators on how to use the patches to optimize their workflows for PDF.
Taking the Test Inside
Kew believes that the benefit of using the GWG Test Suite goes beyond building a knowledgebase with vendors. The testing would also benefit BCT internally. With the external testing completed, Kew has moved on to implement extensive internal testing using GWG test patches to test BCT's RIPs at its farflung locations.
"Every single plant fell in love with the tests and the PDF workflow. They are able to submit the test jobs through their RIPs and see how they stack up. Each plant wanted to conduct the tests right away. Getting the PDF workflow portion right is a critical part of attaining our 100% total digital workflow goal."
"When completed, it will be seamless to our customers. We'll continue to be able to deliver what our customers need, wherever they need it and with the high quality that they expect from us."