A Supply Chain That Runs Itself
• More accurate billing.
• Better archival services.
The value of these processes to ABC Prepress are:
• Jobs are preflighted before they arrive.
• Information is not re-keyed when the files arrive.
• Job tickets are automatically created.
• The information requires less validation because it comes from the source—the publisher.
• Files are routed to where they should be on the server.
• The job ticket is updated as it moves from area to area.
• Fewer people invest less time in the billing process.
• Billing is performed more accurately.
• Invoices get mailed sooner.
• With the files and the associated metadata already in a work-in-process database, it is easy to move that information into an asset management database for archival.
The results of these changes are:
• Faster throughput.
• More accurate job tracking.
• More productive CSRs, who no longer spend the majority of their time writing job tickets, reconciling information and analyzing job bags.
• More productive operators, who no longer spend time looking for files or filling in paperwork.
• Fewer billing disputes.
• Increased cash flow from quicker invoicing.
• Quicker month-end closings.
• Clients can see the progress of their work without the assistance of a CSR.
In this automated process, systems are talking to each other (e.g., the client job ticket and P.O. being used to generate the tracking ticket), and databases are being utilized (e.g., the work-in-process database) to locate and track items, and move them into archives with minimal operator intervention.
Another component of an automated process is an infrastructure (local area and wide area networks) that can move data and metadata within the enterprise and inter-enterprise. As you are now establishing your supply chain over this network, you had better make sure that it is up more than it is down. Without a managed network, especially the wide area network (WAN), you risk interrupting your supply chain.