All Systems Integration is a company offering prepress automation solutions. They are experts in workflow implementations, as well as PDF experts working in the graphics industry since the 80’s. They solve your problems and make your ideas a reality.
In fact, on their website, they say: “Bring us a difficult problem and we’ll help you solve it. Come to us with a great idea and we’ll help you make it a reality.”
We asked a couple of questions to Ted and John, the owners of All Systems Integration based in Boston, MA.
Let us find out what they think about the past, present and the future.
Can you explain a little bit about who you are, your backgrounds and what you do?
ASI is a leading systems integrator for the Printing, Publishing and Graphic Arts Industries. We focus on workflow automation. We find ways to reduce repetitive tasks, eliminate redundancy and minimize “human” touch points. This all leads to more efficient and profitable production.
What kind of companies do you typically work with, and what are they looking for?
We primarily collaborate with Commercial Printers, Marketing & Communications companies and In Plant Printers. The type of work produced varies from Digital Press to Large Format to traditional Offset.
“We would say the resistance to change is the largest barrier.”
What is a typical mistake that companies make when they are trying to implement an automation project?
We would say that resistance to change is the largest barrier. But the common “mistakes” include failing to provide adequate training and support for employees; failing to understand their own entire work life cycle (i.e., a slight change in one area could have a large affect in overall efficiency).
If you could give one piece of advice to a company looking to start an automation project, what would it be?
They should make sure to define a reasonable scope. The project should start relatively small, have a deliverable that is not too far in the future (3-6 months max), and sets the foundation, or is at least compatible with, future automation initiatives.
What are the most common integrations you do between systems or products?
Our most common integrations are file delivery to MIS (Management Information Systems). That is, we standardize the onboarding/receipt of jobs entering production and establish a connection with the MIS system to retrieve information for producing work as well as update the job information in the MIS through each stage of production.
What is the most interesting project you have done or the one you are most proud of (that you can talk about)?
There are two projects that we can share with you, the first is: ProQuest where we automated the daily ingestion of hundreds of PDFs for news publications around the country. In this database drive workflow, files are processed for archiving to microfiche and prepared to be filed in the Library of Congress (the oldest and largest federal cultural institution in the US).
And: Alpha Graphics – Tempe, a Gold Circle Alpha Graphics franchise where we implemented our Virtual Prepress workflow automation solution. This facility offers full-service printing with Digital, Wide Format and Commercial Offset. They just bought Ultimate ImpoStrip® Pro Nesting for this.
Do you think companies are aware of the automation they can bring to their bindery and finishing departments, or are they purely focused on getting files to print?
Some of the more progressive companies are aware of the ability to automate bindery and finishing, but most focus on the file delivery and prepress. I think that is mainly because those functions have more exposure to their customers. Those that do usually have more of a focus on hardware than software. JDF has unfortunately been poorly implemented and has probably discouraged more automation than it has achieved.
“Some of the more progressive companies are aware of the ability to automate bindery and finishing.”
Do you find companies want to build an ongoing relationship with you, or do you finish the project and never hear from them again?
Almost all our customers have an ongoing relationship with us. The level of interaction is different for each. Some folks we work with daily, others once a month or so, and some only annually (e.g., when they are upgrading hardware or software). It mostly depends on the internal staffing.
In addition to the effects of the pandemic what will the most dominant trends that will shape the North American printing industry in 2022 and 2023?
The reduction in staffing brought on by the pandemic has created a tremendous need for automation. Business owners are looking to get back to pre-pandemic levels of production with their existing staff. Automation and AI will continue to be buzzwords at the top of the CEO’s “to do” list.
AI and processing of the data collected will be used for more Personalization.
Easier online tools and templated design will be used to drive print (e.g., Canva and Adobe Express)
“Automation and AI will continue to be buzz words at the top of the CEO’s “to do” list“.
Any final words or advice you can offer?
We’re well qualified to help with your automation needs. In addition to the many years of industry experience, the main thing that sets us apart from other integrators is that beyond custom integrations, we’ve developed a fully integrated, end to end, workflow automation solution “Virtual Prepress”.
You can find out more about it here – https://www.allsystems.com/virtual-prepress