Dump That Paperwork
by Tatyana Sinioukov
The graphic arts community has gotten very good at digitizing isolated points of the workflow process. Now it's time to connect the dots.
Should publishers have electronic access to the printers' schedules -- and vice versa? How can they exchange files: FTP, EDI, Web sites or e-mail?
Gone are the days of packing FedEx boxes and relying on just the hard media. That said, it takes communication and determination to ensure successful data-sharing between publishers and suppliers.
"There are a lot of advantages to data-sharing," said Brenda Brown, manager, book engineering/preflight, Malloy Lithographing, Ann Arbor, Mich. "It takes some work and partnering to get to the point where you're doing it smoothly and reliably, but it can happen. The technology is available."
Brown made her comments during the seminar entitled "Dump That Paperwork: Data-Sharing Possibilities" at BookTech West in San Francisco. In all, four experts shared their thoughts on the topic at BookTech during the three sessions devoted to discussing data-sharing between publishers and suppliers: two "Dump That Paperwork: Data-Sharing Possibilities" sessions, and a seminar titled "Think Tank: Dump That Paperwork."
Other speakers included
* Orlando Boleda, vice president, marketing and product development, Hart Graphics, Austin, Texas;
* Kevin Coomes, desktop publishing technical supervisor, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.; and
* Bill Lavelle, director, industry relations, Impresse, Sunnyvale, Calif.
How easily and productively printers share data, Brown observed, depends on what they invest in telephony, hardware and software. (Telephony, she noted, includes coaxial cables, T-1 lines, ISDN lines, direct connections, service providers, etc. She defined hardware as the necessary modems, computers, servers, etc., and software as programs, utilities, browsers, and so on.)
With available technology, said Brown, it's possible to request a reprint quote or send a missing font via e-mail; electronically transmit job specs and images; soft-proof; track the manufacturing process; and verify shipments -- all online.