How new digital print standards will transform your bottom line

Money and margins are much on the minds of most digital print companies, so any technology that promises to improve them is welcomed. But production enhancements come in many shapes and sizes beyond hardware and software. Management tools, such as ISO standards can help improve production processes, but too often in the graphics industry, they are overlooked.

This is unsurprising because standards compliance is a pretty dull topic, even though it can have a direct and positive effect on your bottom line. Everyone’s heard of ISO 9001 for quality management systems. This ISO best-seller is used in virtually every industry from plumbing to hairdressing to successfully improve business management processes. It’s, of course, had a wide uptake in the graphics industry, even though it is not specific to graphics production.

Boost those margins

Closer to home ISO 12647-2* is a stronger candidate for solving the money and margins conundrum. For graphics and digital print professionals, this standard has proved to be a valuable means of tightening business performance as well as ensuring consistent output quality in digital as well as conventional offset processes. Companies which have gone through the formal certification process to ISO 12647-2 cite improved margins as one of the biggest benefits.

But it’s not only margins that contribute to a return on investment in certification. Certification can be a laborious process involving management and operator time, training, and lost opportunities if it becomes too much of a distraction for the business. However, because of all of these factors, companies which have undergone certification find that their improved process control and management yield additional benefits. Every company that we have audited for ISO 12647-2 certification has said that improved cost control and profits comfortably paid for their investments. They also cite reduced waste, improved customer relations and increased capacity utilisation, and improved bottom lines.

Get certified for fewer delays

Certification to ISO 12647-2 improves your bottom line because it requires proof that you are in control of your business and production processes. Producing said proof requires management control, often in areas of the business that had been overlooked such as inventory control for substrates and inks. Following a certification project, margins on jobs are likely to be higher because jobs are produced more efficiently, with fewer delays and errors in production. The proofing cycle is streamlined, unit costs are lower because of reduced start-up waste. Production halts, such as failed PDFs, are minimised or even disappear completely.

Create time to focus on high-value work

Operators in an ISO 12647-2-compliant facility can focus on exceptions handling, working with customers on jobs that need special attention while the rest of production ticks over producing less demanding work. Business owners can increase revenues through additional services supporting customers or helping them with new projects because they know that the print will be produced without errors, remakes or delays.

Efficient process control means the improved return on the capital you’ve invested in expensive machines, and keeping them running to maximum capacity. In a digital production environment, this means more job throughput and a competitive edge especially against competitors printing on offset presses.

For more information on this specialist, subject contact Ricoh directly to advise on your first steps into gaining compliance. Connect and contact us on LinkedIn, Twitter or call 08457 44 55 65.

You can find the other posts in this series below:

Laurel Brunner

Laurel has been in the graphic arts industry for over 30 years. She works with several ISO working groups and is the convenor of ISO’s Working Group 11. She is also a Visiting Professor at Shenzen Technical University in China and one of a small cohort of Women of Distinction selected by US publishers Output Links.