(11/28/2013 / nho)

High Performance in Enterprise Print Production

The provider for enterprise marketing management software solutions, Contentserv, has developed a tool for the highly efficient production of web-based catalogs and advertising material, even for large amounts of product and image data in the enterprise environment: the Whiteboard Editor. It has been particularly designed for trade and e-commerce.

Nobody can imagine the world of trade and commerce without advertising material and catalogs which comprise innumerable and varied products. However, the effort and expenditure that are associated with the production of advertising material and catalogs are enormous. Time and deadline pressure along with cost pressure also constitute a huge risk factor. Large catalog and advertising material production projects generally involve more than 100 people who work on the print process simultaneously. Generally the purchasing managers are the ones who decide which products will be offered in catalogs and advertising material. Beyond that a large number of other people are involved in the print production process, including graphic designers, agencies, photographers, copywriters and translators. At the same time the increase in products and content leads to an increase in complexity of implementation, particularly when products from different suppliers have to be placed in different seasonal catalogs, advertising materials, flyers and advertising brochures, let alone if different brands, target-group specific versions and different languages have to be added.

The resulting planning and correction processes are so extensive nowadays that they cannot be efficiently managed without a workflow-controlled production system that provides central and media-neutral data storage. The new Whiteboard Editor comes in where other solutions have reached their limits and puts the cherry on the cake in terms of catalog and advertising material production in the enterprise environment. Central planning, production and print processes can now be managed more efficiently than ever before as the InDesign server is no longer needed. As a consequence, planning and coordination processes in the catalog and advertising material production are tremendously accelerated while at the same time allowing a large number of involved parties to work on the projects simultaneously.

The Whiteboard Editor enables the products to be place in the page grid of a visualized page planning via drag and drop. Instead of using resource-intensive high-resolution InDesign data, so-called whiteboard files are used. They have no own data file contents but rather serve as metadata carriers and placeholders for the planning of a publication.  Whiteboard documents are created based on InDesign files and refer to them later on as a layout template. With this approach the InDesign server is not needed during the planning phase and is consequently not overloaded. This also eliminates delays due to the rendering of DTP files.

It is possible at any point during the whiteboard planning process to create an interim status in InDesign. This enables the graphic designer to already start working on the fine-tuning of the print data using the InDesign client which is synchronized with the web-based platform. Moreover, the system automatically passes on any adjustments to the planning status to the graphic designers. If, for example, a purchaser swaps one product with another one, the graphic designer can follow a guided process and easily update the document. The same applies to changes to the database and when removing, adding or swapping products. No changes are lost while a consistent performance is ensured.