One thing is for sure, when businesses moved from Pre-press to Pre-media the need to automate processes didn’t go away. Each and every one of us will see automation is a different.
We could make a quick and by no means complete list of what we would want or should I say what our managers would want from automating parts of the workflow and it would look something like this:
- Faster turnaround
- Less or no human intervention
- Reduction of mistakes
- Better business analytics
- More output channels from the same process
- Raster and better return on investment
It’s not unusual to hear the pre-media departments saying or stating that nothing can be done, which is where the creative thinkers need to come into play and where having people that can script at any level in your pre-media department is invaluable.
Let’s take an application like Adobe Photoshop, for as many versions as I can remember the application has included Actions, actions allow you to record the repetitive tasks, from simple save’s to complex multi-functional actions…. Yet who actually uses them?
When we move outside of the application, and onto the workflow solutions we build these complex workflows to perform the automation for us, yet we have seen companies that still allow the users to create the PDF or Postscript file on their desktop and manually submit the files to the workflow, something a simple automator action could have done for the users.
Pre-media operators and managers need to be more creative in terms of what they automate; any task that has to be repeated should look to be automated. Always calculate how long the task takes, multiplied by the number of times a user performs the task, multiplied again by the number of users, you will find that some simple tasks that take seconds, cost you hours over a week.
When human resource is your highest cost, we need to think creatively about how we best get full value from the skills they have. Pre-media staff all have different skills and ensuring you are utilizing them to their best ability could increase the throughput you have.
I was always told to use the 80/20 rule, for 20% of the effort we could cover 80% of the work, well thinking back this was rubbish, a short term way of thinking, all improvements, large or small need to be done, as long as you are measuring the results you will find the savings amazing.
Here at Tunicca we help companies with the creative thinking automation process, you shouldn’t get confused with the creative designers here, we are definitely not creative designers in any shape or form, we are able to assist in reviewing your pre-media and pre-press environments and provide consulting services around what could be realised in cost savings by implementing automation where you may have not seen it before.
Author: Gary George