Since the advent of digital technology the printing market has seen fundamental changes – print runs are smaller, delivery times shorter than ever and competition in particular with regard to pricing is fierce. As a consequence, an immense print volume has been shifted from offset printing to digital printing.

To remain competitive and protect their margins in this challenging situation, print providers have taken measures to improve the efficiency of their production processes while reducing costs, which frequently goes along with a reduction of the workforce. The capital is invested in the equipment, predominately in digital colour production machines and workflow solutions. To increase sales, printing companies attempt differentiation by looking into alternative ways for clients to have access to their services and give them on-demand feedback of cost, production times and delivery options.
With the focus on workflow improvement, production processes are automated, integrated and optimized in order to achieve a logical and economic flow of operations, starting with the incoming customer order up to the delivery of the printed product.
“This is where Konica Minolta wants to support its customers and prospects in the light production market,” explains Leon Minnie, product specialist: production systems at Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa. With the Printgroove POD software suite, Konica Minolta proposes a comprehensive yet flexible concept for highly efficient, controlled print production. It optimises workflows, streamlines production processes and increases the overall productivity of CRDs, printing services and digital commercial printers alike.
The Printgroove POD suite is comprised of four solutions:
* Serve: allows users to submit jobs, create and customise job ticket settings, and track job tickets in real-time, all via the Internet 24 hours a day from any location.
* Guide: Process management, which streamlines workflow by providing intelligent optimisation and job oversight from submission through to printing and delivery.
* Ready: It provides an intuitive, user-friendly make ready interface for page layout and late-stage editing.
* Queue: yYou’re able to optimise device management on your print floor for any kind of job. It will recommend the most suitable output device based on speed or cost, and can forward jobs automatically. Jobs can be split up among separate devices for optimal speed and efficiency.
“Printgroove POD improves the workflow of mid-size companies and departments – no matter what amount of workload needs to be handled,” states Minnie. “It guarantees a wide range of features from job submission 24/7, through automated job ticketing and quoting, to print queue management, device status monitoring, even finishing, shipping and billing.
“Not only is the solution scalable, it can also be configured so that it fits any individual business workflow, including the ability to accommodate as many printing steps and stations as required,” he adds.
Printgroove POD offers the following key benefits:
* Submitting job data via the Internet keeps business open 24/7;
* No limitation to pdf, but acceptance of data in any form, including text, graphics, photos and even multimedia;
* Automated print management allows customers to set job parameters;
* Job tickets are created automatically and can be forwarded to the print manager or make-ready operator;
* Estimates and other administrative data can be e-mailed;
* Fast and simple scheduling by selecting “best match” printers or dividing output between colour and monochrome;
* All production staff can easily take care of changes, updates or unexpected glitches and get more work done in less time;
* Fast and efficient online proofing and e-mail verification;
* Job status or device status – monitoring everything online; and
* Finishing, reporting, billing, archiving – and printing on demand.