Modern Litho-Print Co. is part of and leads a family of businesses in the MO area. Based in Jefferson City, MO, it celebrates 77 years in business and specializes in commercial and publication print with the help of its two Kodak Digimasters, a Kodak Nexpress, and Heidelberg and presses.
Part of the business for the last 14 years is Brown Printing, also located in Jefferson City, MO, which focuses on variable data digital print and small format commercial work; for one year Midtown Printing in St. Louis, MO offering a combination of digital and offset commercial print; and lastly a wide format shop was added a year ago.
The company’s track record of success has come to fruition thanks in part to Jim Tomblinson’s, VP of operations, Modern Litho, insightful vision to focus on automation and integration of the company’s workflow systems. For the last 15 years the printer has worked closely with Kodak and its many iterations of workflow automation products up until what we know as Prinergy today.
In the early 2000s, Tomblinson realized the company needed to do something different to standout from the crowd. While the cost to print stayed the same from print provider to print provider, something else needed to affect overall customer satisfaction. He focused on automation; eliminating human touches throughout the workflow meant quicker turnarounds and satisfied customers.
Kodak InSite presented the print provider with further automation opportunity. Tomblinson credits it with helping Modern Litho gain ground and become a national sales company. Kodak approached the company and asked them to become a beta site for InSite roughly ten years ago. At the time Tomblinson was investigating what type of solution could provide faster proofing and eliminate one to two day turnaround times, saving the customer money while simultaneously decreasing the print cycle.
The opportunity to become a beta site proved fruitful. “It helped change the mindset of our customers. I’d visit customers and use WebEx to show them InSite in their own offices. As they agreed to partner with us, we’d then train them on file preparation and just how to use the whole program in general,” explains Tomblinson.
Despite the hand-holding approach, many customers hesitated initially. In response, Modern Litho dropped the correction charges for all InSite users. From there, a snowball affect occurred. Today 98 percent of the jobs run through Modern Litho are submitted through Kodak InSite, that’s roughly 4,000 users nationwide. Tomblinson remarks that Kodak InSite brings them to every customer’s doorstep in minutes.
The entire system eliminates many steps and shortens job lengths—allowing the prepress team to get an order on press much quicker. The newest version of InSite provides even more ease of use by working with HTML rather than Java. In addition, it integrates with Modern Litho’s MIS system—EFI Monarch. Job tasks handled by CSRs are handled in a click of the button thanks to the integration. Tomblinson is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Insite 7 which will deliver the most powerful Insite solution to date. The customer experience is the ultimate decision maker and Kodak is delivering a very intuitive and ease of use product with Insite 7.
While Modern Litho experiences the benefits of the Kodak InSite system, so too do its customers. Instead of simply seeing it as a tool for the company, it promotes the solution as a service to its customers. For example, many rely on InSite as a proofing system between multiple locations so designers or customers of the customer can collaborate. It is also used for file sharing—downloading and uploading images or documents between peers. InSite is not a simple job submission site.
“Today you have to be competitive, you can lose a job for one dollar, and everyone has a budget. Added value and services from Kodak InSite provide us with customer loyalty. It makes it much harder for competition to poach a client,” shares Tomblinson.
Proof of return on investment is seen clearly at Modern Litho. According to Tomblinson, in the last five years the publishing side added well over 150 new titles without adding one extra prepress member in that entire time span.
Jan2015, DPS Magazine