If you’ve ever been in the print room of a big corporate – or even walked into a pay-per-print store to have a report, brochure or poster printed – you’ll know they have to operate like well-oiled machines. The man power, equipment and time it takes to ensure each and every print job is completed on time, according to specific instructions, is intense.
But amidst the current economic downturn, many print rooms simply don’t have the resources or time previously available to them to complete jobs efficiently. They’re looking to technology to boost their productivity, streamline their services and, ultimately, make more money in less time with fewer staff members on the floor.
TotalFlow, a new product offering by business solutions provider Nashua, consists of four different portfolios – Prep, Path, Print Manager and Production Manager – that work together to create a digital printing eco-system. The cutting-edge service harnesses the power and proficiency of a central management system to allow print rooms to operate faster and more efficiently, all while cutting costs.

Cost control
“The biggest issue in print rooms is, and always has been, cost control,” says Jeremy Pather, Product Manager for Nashua, who frequently deals with print room managers who are desperate to reduce costs.
“The equipment, cartridge refills, energy consumption and large staff complement required to run an efficient print room are all enormous costs – never mind the fact that in the past, most jobs have had to be logged manually, leaving big margin for error and duplicate prints.”

Insourced production
Pather says these kinds of operations include anything from pay-per-print stores like Jetline or Fishwicks, production printers that print marketing collateral, as well print rooms in municipalities and universities. It includes both outsourced and insourced printing.
“Many corporates insource their printing because of confidentiality – they can’t send shareholders’ agreements or proposals off to a printer where they have no control over the information,” explains Pather. “This makes it even more important for them to keep costs low, because they can’t simply shop around for the best price – they own and control the printing costs themselves.”

A streamlined solution
The struggle is for print rooms to use their equipment more efficiently and complete more jobs in less time. It’s about hardware and software working together seamlessly.
“There are a few ways print rooms can work towards all-round efficiency, and they all revolve around digitisation of processes,” says Pather. “Submitting, tracking and queueing jobs digitally, in one central management system, saves time and resources.”
This kind of advanced management system allows print jobs to be completed after-hours, without someone standing and manually entering the job. It also gives an accurate estimated time of completion and because instructions are given digitally, it reduces the chances of misunderstanding instructions and having to print jobs multiple times.
TotalFlow is a cohesive management system, harnessing technology to create an efficient printing environment. “By embracing change through digital management systems like TotalFlow, production printers can survive in the current climate – in fact, they can flourish and grow,” says Pather.