Ampersand Printing is a Canadian print service provider, in business for 35 years. The shop invested in a new MIS system about four years ago to increase integration, automate processes, and link prepress with their POLAR Cutter. "We strive to deliver better products and increase competitiveness by employing the latest in print automation technology," says Damian McDonald, VP/GM, Ampersand Printing.
The shop produces a range of print products from full color, variable data digital printing to high-end commercial printing utilizing 10 Micron Staccato screening. The company uses an HP Indigo 5000, as well as printing and finishing equipment from Heidelberg, Komori, Mitsubishi, POLAR, and Stahl.
The selection of HIFLEX MIS replaces a hybrid system that included older MIS technology and in-house developed systems. "We needed an MIS to reduce the amount of time wasted and errors created by rekeying data in multiple departments. Estimation was done by hand before we implemented the HIFLEX MIS, so the Estimation module was a major contributing factor in why we decided to choose HIFLEX," says McDonald.
HIFLEX’s solution best fits Ampersand Printing’s particular needs. "The level of JDF/JMF integration offered and the impressive HIFLEX Estimating module, as well as the level of customization in the system helped influence our decision," explains McDonald.
Ampersand Printing experienced increases in productivity, efficiency, and automation. "We have received large boosts in efficiency, especially to our prepress department. The JDF connection with our Kodak Prinergy prepress system has saved us enormous amounts of time. On average our prepress operators save 30 minutes per automated job, thanks to the automatic stripping that the HIFLEX JDF information provides. Manual job creation in Prinergy now takes an average of five minutes less per job, which by itself is an outstanding achievement," says McDonald.
The JDF data propagated by HIFLEX has also led to employee reduction. The HIFLEX Super CSR workflow allows staff to do more using less with the HIFLEX MIS system. "With the workflow of the HIFLEX Super CSR, AutoPilot, and JDF Structure, we are extremely lean in terms of our revenue to labor ratio. With the ultra high level of automation provided by HIFLEX MIS we could easily add three million dollars in revenue without adding any new administrative employees," states McDonald. "Our goal is to get achieve $300,000 USD per employee, which we feel we can comfortably attain with the HIFLEX MIS," he adds.
Post press processes also experiences the savings obtained with the JDF communication propagated by HIFLEX. Makeready times decrease by 25 minutes per job on the shop’s JDF-enabled guillotine cutter. "Approximately 70 percent of our jobs go through the cutter, so the time and cost savings of just this one machine is extremely significant," he says."