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Workflow Automation Smooths Production at California College

The San Joaquin Delta College Publication Center has used Web-to-print and e-commerce software to create an automated and efficient production environment.

January 2014
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Work destined for the Canon imageRUNNER 125 or the Ricoh C651 is reviewed by an operator prior to being released to production.

"This might require impositioning, preparation for variable data, image correction or other actions, for which we use Command WorkStation and its Fiery Impose feature," says Andy Thomas, a computer support technician who joined the organization in 2007. "Also, of course, we want to closely monitor our color volume to make sure there is minimal or no waste associated with the color printing process and that those resources are being used appropriately."

Ordering Supplies Online

Digital StoreFront has become a huge success factor for the Publication Center, especially for automated work and for items such as stationery and business cards. In addition to managing orders for print-on-demand items and standard forms, Digital StoreFront gives users the ability to acquire laser or inkjet supplies for their remote printers.

"Many times users don't know exactly which model machine they have or which supplies are required," Thomas explains. "We have set up Digital StoreFront so that all they need to do is enter a campus building and room number, and they are presented with an image of the copier/printer as well as images of the supplies. This makes it fast, easy and accurate for these types of supply orders." Thomas has also set inventory levels for many of the supply items, and Digital StoreFront sends notifications when items need to be restocked.

As for the print work the Publication Center handles, "We hardly send anything out anymore," VanOver proudly states. "We are able to give our users extremely fast turnaround, the quality they expect and a very reasonable price for the materials they need to do their jobs. We are perceived on campus as a high value-added service, and we work hard to continue to meet those expectations."

Like many California educational institutions, Delta College has had its share of budget cuts.

"We had three full-time production people and two or three part-time students in the shop," VanOver says. "Now with Digital StoreFront fully functional and our integrated Digital StoreFront-to-Fiery workflow, we can run the operation much more efficiently than we did without EFI."

VanOver recalls that previously, there could be lines outside the door with people waiting to submit or pick up work.

"With Digital StoreFront, we no longer have that inconvenience," he says. "In fact, times have improved drastically over the last several years. As you can imagine, that makes our users very happy."

Looking at the future, VanOver says, "To keep up with the ever-changing in-house printing process and the needs of users of our distributed fleet, we will continue to upgrade all of our EFI products and add new ones as it makes sense for our stakeholders.

"We are considering the new EFI M500 self-serve station for better management of some of our walk-up printing and copying needs," he adds, "and we will be staying in close touch with our partners, Ricoh and EFI, to ensure that we know what's coming so we can adequately plan."






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