Has your business transitioned from long runs to short runs? It has become the reality for most printers, from general commercial printers to book printers in all size shops. When the number of jobs grows, with or without volume growing, everything in the workflow is strained. The job onboarding process built for a small number of long runs can break under the stress putting production at risk. Well-meaning team members start to make decisions about how to group jobs together for efficiency, but without a comprehensive view of all incoming work, job characteristics, and deadlines, it’s an impossible task!
The solution is to automate the process of looking at the incoming queue of jobs and the array of available equipment, regardless of the vendor, and create batches of jobs that share like characteristics. RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder™ is that solution! It is true rules-based automation leveraged to create efficient job production based on the attributes you select. It can automate the production of like jobs for efficiency, but it doesn’t stop there. It can also give you a real-time view of what is waiting for production so you can make operational decisions to manage your throughput.
If you have multiple devices capable of producing jobs, BatchBuilder can help to balance the queues and even move them to different devices as a group. It doesn’t matter who manufactured the device because BatchBuilder can be taught about all the equipment available for production. For example, if your gaiting factor is a device configured for specific paper stocks, you can create rules that ensure jobs to that device are grouped and metered to eliminate wait times to finish the job. Perhaps your shop sees delays in finishing; you can build rules to ensure that work is sent to the finishing group only as they can process it, eliminating the traffic jam of pallets and rolls waiting for completion.
Batching is great, but you also need to know what is happening. That is where the email and pop-up alerts for errors and other items that need resolution make the workday easier. Instead of chasing jobs, the information you need comes to you. It is easy to set up, too. Whether you have an existing Print MIS or web-to-print portal, or you are still managing your job onboarding manually, there is a path to leveraging BatchBuilder.
For your monitoring needs, BatchBuilder gives you a view of the jobs in process, the state of work queues, and the metrics you use to run your shop. If you have adopted barcodes to manage job location and to capture how long it takes a job to complete each process step, BatchBuilder can capture that information for display, too.
Insight is the key to running the modern print shop, both in plants and print for pay environments. The ability to both optimize the workflow with batching and monitor the on-going status of work to accelerate the opportunities to optimize workflows, speed order-to-cash timeframes, and open capacity to grow the business.
Meet the Author
Lisa is a Colorado native who has always had a passion for print. Before beginning in product marketing at Ricoh, she worked in the commercial print segment for more than 20 years. Her experience encompasses all aspects of the print workflow: production management, scheduling, planning and advanced prepress integration from Kodak, Agfa, Screen and many more. Her fluency in offset and digital technologies has served her well in the product marketing landscape where Lisa manages commercial print software solutions. Always a customer advocate, Lisa applies their feedback to help develop better products for their business success.