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Project10X Releases Study: Integrating Printing Plant Operations

Press release from the issuing company

May 13, 2002 -- Washington, DC -- Project10X -- a cross-industry research, education, and consulting initiative that champions hi-performance business practices, integrated processes and "smart" technologies for the graphic arts -- announces the release of a new research study entitled: INTEGRATING PRINTING PLANT OPERATIONS: Management system building blocks for unifying business, production, and Internet processes 150 pages, 25 figures and tables As the Internet becomes a primary infrastructure for printing, publishing, and business workflow, integration becomes key to exploiting networks and databases to achieve internal cost-reductions, cycle time improvements, productivity gains, and structural efficiencies from shared services. In turn, integration provides a platform for external collaboration with customers and suppliers towards "just-in-time" and "first product right" manufacturing as well as cost-effective, value-added customer services. A critical challenge for printing company information technology (IT), information systems (IS), and production technology groups is to integrate the business, production, and Internet aspects of plant operations into a seamless information process. In larger printers, this task becomes the responsibility of the chief information officer (CIO). In the past, printing plant computerization concentrated on automating individual steps in a business or manufacturing process. Today it is necessary to integrate a broader range of functions. The problem most CIOs have inherited is that systems currently installed provide neither the scope of functions, nor the degree of integration that are required. Management's challenge is to select the building blocks and chart a course that will allow upgrading to integrated capabilities in a way that is technically feasible and makes good business sense. Planning and perspective are the keys to making the right choices and being confident in those decisions. To succeed at modernizing the plant information infrastructure and systems, printing CIOs need ready access to reliable assessments and technical information that will help them gauge the suitability of specific vendor print management systems offerings as building blocks for their integrated printing plant operation. This report provides the knowledge forward-looking CIOs need. Its features include: 1 Future of print manufacturing - Concepts and building blocks for integrated business and manufacturing processes for printing. 2 Trends toward integrated plant operations - Findings from over 50 in-depth interviews with leading regional and national printers in North America. 3 Management system strategies for integrating business, production, and Internet processes - Key considerations for printers planning the transition to integrated printing plant information systems and operations. 4 Functional model of integrated print management systems that includes front-end (CRM), back-end (SCM), enterprise (ERM), Internet (portal), and product realization functionality. This framework gives the CIO the tool needed to map vendor capabilities and product directions, and determine the relative coverage provided by specific product offerings. 5 Management system vendor briefs - Business profiles, products and services, and functionality summaries for the top-36 management system companies serving more than 35,000 printer installations. Examines the capabilities of technology providers. 6 Management system feature/functionality tables - Comprehensive chart compares target markets served; print processes supported; solutions consulting information and support provided; IT platform, customer relationship management; estimating and quoting; job order entry, planning, and management; scheduling; sourcing, procurement and purchasing; inventory management; data collection, shop floor, and DMI; fulfillment and shipping; job costing; billing, invoicing, collections and charge backs; accounting (G/L, A/P, A/R); resource management; executive information; enterprise portals (customer, supplier, employee). In addition to benefiting printers, suppliers of printing, publishing, and packaging technology whose products need to interface with digital business and production workflow will find this research fills a critical void. By examining the capabilities of management systems and their relationships with Internet, business, and production processes, the report establishes a productive context for integration planning. In doing so, this research also provides needed perspective for all suppliers planning to deploy comprehensive e-business solutions for customer relationship management (i.e., marketing, sales, and customer service) and technical support for product and service offerings. For more information, and to obtain a copy of the report, contact Mills Davis at [email protected]