The book making industry attests ongoing change. It has explored the necessity for short run and on-demand books flexibility in a just-in-time distribution model. According to Wikipedia, Print on demand (POD) is ‘’a printing technology and business process in which book copies are not printed until the company receives an order, allowing prints of single or small quantities.’’
In order to respond to the demand and keep your business afloat, let’s review the 5 elements that must be on your To-Do list when printing on-demand books.
1.Build a Connected Workflow
Connectivity is key to be able to get closer to that book-of-one capability. Setting up a job manually is not an option when you receive multiple orders of very small quantities of books or even single copies. The orders need to get to your production in an automated way so you can print, finish, and ship it as quickly as possible. Most book ordering systems use XML technology to communicate the order and customer data to the next prepress software solution such as imposition. Ultimate Impostrip® can retrieve the information from upstream systems to adequately impose every job and keep data integrity throughout the production.
2.Create Gang runs
One of the most important aspect of an on-demand print production is speed. On-demand printers need to print a lot of small orders to get the same bottom line of one large run of thousands of copies of the same book. Getting each job out of the door in minimal time is essential.
To maximize the output of your printing equipment, you must maximize the input by grouping orders together in the same run. There are multiple ways to gang book orders for cut-sheet or continuous-feed presses. Ultimate Impostrip® offers tools to optimize each run to shorten the turnaround times, maximize the coverage of paper and get the highest return on investment (ROI) off your resources.
3.Track the Jobs
On-demand books production means different orders of small quantities. This reality creates the need to efficiently track each order on the production floor to make sure it is printed and finished the right way, out of the door in time and shipped to the right customer. It is particularly useful for book printers to get the right cover for the right textbook. Many printers employ barcode technology to automatically capture the job information and, in some cases, setup the equipment. Other tracking methods such as banner sheets are available.
Many printers agree on the following statement: ‘’A job is not finished until it’s finished’’. When building a book production workflow, it is important to manage the demanding finishing requirements. With several bindery steps needed to create a sellable book, printers often turn to finishing automation. Ultimate Bindery®, Ultimate TechnoGraphics’ finishing automation software, validates jobs for finishing before printing, eliminates make-ready and links easily prepress workflow to finishing.
Automation is key to generate high profits from a book-of-one production. By automating your imposition workflow, the incoming jobs will be imposed automatically and send to the press in just a few seconds:
“By buying Ultimate Impostrip®, we were able to get closer to that book-of-one. Ultimate Impostrip® allows you to do very efficient imposition, streamlined to the point that it takes less than a minute for a large project.’’, said Garner Leidy, Prepress manager at Ironmark.
The benefits of automating your workflow in book printing are substantial. If you want to minimize the risk of errors, increase your profits and eliminate waste, overprinting and need for storage, follow these advices to stay competitive in the modern book printing industry.
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