- Automation through digitisation brings profitability and heightened efficiency.
- When Quickeasy BOS ERP is connected to Enfocus Switch workflow platform, it minimises human intervention and leverages automation benefits.
- Here’s how: Enfocus Switch uses the work ticket from Quickeasy BOS Pro to drive the job through a Preflight, Check and Fix, Approval, Impose and Final Output. Automatic, real-time, with absolutely minimal user touch points.
- This saves significant pre-production preparation time, reduces errors, ramps up production, and keeps everyone informed.
The printing, signage and packaging industry and digitisation
Digitisation in printing and packaging has been a global trend for some time. However, what does this mean for South African printing companies? Well, one thing it doesn’t have to mean is robots in the warehouse and artificial intelligence in the boardroom. Perhaps finding a hybrid solution that combines all the advantages of digital technology with traditional technology is the first and best place for companies to start.
“Digitalisation and innovation in the sector should be a tool, not a goal,” says Anton Oosthuizen, commercial director of QuickEasy BOS, the trusted ERP system for the printing and packaging industry in South Africa for the last few decades. “The reality is that digitalisation not only impacts on technology, but on the way that people do their jobs. For example, imagine that print estimators stop individually and manually quoting on printing and packaging jobs, and instead use computer-generated estimates in minutes. This is at the heart of digitisation.”
Benefits of automation and digitisation in printing
With digitalisation in the printing industry, it is possible to increase efficiency in operations and processes, to improve data transparency and, more importantly, increase profitability. It also makes it possible to do the same task with fewer people, since many of the jobs that were done by people with traditional methods can be done by the software. These resources can then be allocated elsewhere to support the business in other, more profitable areas.
Some other benefits include:
- Customer-centric decisions. Big data and analytics are the life-blood of digitisation, automation, and ERP-efficiency. The result of this is customer-driven development, and faster-to-market delivery.
- Profitable production planning. Forecasting demand accurately is the most important part of the planning phase. ERP systems for printing, such as Quickeasy BOS Pro, include planning modules that can be customised to meet the needs of the business, streamline planning, supplier, inventory, and production processes, all the while saving time and minimising human errors.
- Streamlined supply chain and logistics. Through integrated ERP and warehousing systems, orders are placed and produced just in time, and in-warehouse stock tracking can be done in real time. As a result, warehouse recording reduces labour use both inside and outside shipments, while also minimising errors.
- Real-time production and time tracker. Production factors like machinery and workforce can be tracked and monitored through automation via ERP. This prevents possible errors, allows quality control and monitoring, reduces bottlenecks, and increases productivity. Dashboards provide real-time monitoring of production factors and instant feedback. Plus, it reduces downtime and overtime, as efficiency is increased across the board.
Collaboration and integration for greater automation
Successful automation depends on connecting various non-communicative apps, technologies, and systems with each other. This means, integration is needed. To do this well, you need to connect business systems into a single automated workflow.
There is also a gap in cultural and process adoption when it comes to digitisation. To address this, many organisations (65%) are looking at collaborating with others to bridge the gap. This could be with businesses and consultants, but includes collaborating with suppliers of third party systems, in a bid to integrate new and existing systems and processes.
One such solution provider is Colorflow Solutions. “We work closely with printers, packaging companies, and technology suppliers for this exact reason,” says John Panton, director of Colorflow Solutions. With a range of products from industry leading principal suppliers, and decades of experience in the printing industry, Colorflow Solutions provides both consultancy and solutions to the print and graphics industry. “We believe in the power of connecting printing companies with talent and technology to empower them in their goal towards absolute automation.”
Two such automation-enablers preferred by Colorflow Solutions are Quickeasy BOS Pro and Enfocus Switch.
Quickeasy BOS Pro is an all-in-one ERP system for printing, signage, and packaging companies in South Africa. Quickeasy BOS ERP is ideal for:
- Offset lithography
- Digital printing
- Large format
- Screen printing
“Our origins are firmly rooted in solving challenges unique to the printing and packaging sector,” says Anton. “With integrated modules especially designed to improve efficiency at every point in the business - from estimating, to sales, to production, to purchasing, to accounting, to reporting - Quickeasy BOS Pro does all the admin drudgework in the background.”
Enfocus Switch automates processes no matter what print applications or devices are in use. “We like Enfocus Switch as a workflow platform,” says John, “As it allows you to build your workflow with your most-used applications.
"This includes Quickeasy BOS Pro, web-to-print, imposition, online proofing, PDF preflight, and everything else.” Tried, trusted, proven, and supported, Enfocus Switch is what you need to switch on your automation efforts. Switch is a workflow platform for printing companies that allows you to “connect everything with everything”.
The benefits of Quickeasy BOS Pro and Enfocus Switch integration
Minimal user intervention, increased time-saving, heightened efficiency, and greater transparency are the obvious wins of this collaboration and integration. Here are some more.
- Data driven workflows. The ERP system is the storage centre for valuable data that is relevant to the job at hand. This includes customers name, due dates, e-mail address, stock to be used, quantity, etc. Before the Enfocus Switch integration, this information would have to be printed out as a job ticket and a person would then follow those ticket instructions together with the job through the entire process. This is time consuming, and requires manual intervention. Enfocus Switch now uses this valuable data to automate the workflow, saving costs, time, and reducing errors.
- Automated processes. The integration binds the job ticket’s instructions with the job artwork file. This is then used to automate and route the flow of the job through the entire process.
- Quality control. Enfocus Switch automatically checks to see if the artwork size is in harmony with the quoted size. For example, the bleed can be added automatically. The correct imposition scheme can be selected and routed to the right substrate, and drive the amount of copies in the Rip.
- Clarity for managers and customers. Furthermore, the status of the job is fed back to Quickeasy BOS Pro, so that the client services representative knows at all times the status of his job. Customers can sign off online too.
Together with expert consultants, ERP that automates back office and production tasks, and workflow automation software that brings your existing apps into one place, printing companies in South Africa can transition into greater automation, and leverage the benefits of digitisation, with relative ease.