So, you’ve managed to convince yet another customer that you are just the guy or gal to do their printing, and you’ve sealed the sale. Congrats! Now if you want to move on to actually printing the job, the next step is getting the necessary files in your shop, obviously. If only it were that simple, right? As you know, there are many pitfalls involved when it comes to customers sending you their files.
Do you want a way out of this mess of email, FTP and W2P/MIS? Look no further (but do read on to discover Switch, the platform that makes file onboarding, routing and tracking a breeze).
A pain in the attachment?
Email is still one of the most popular file submission points. Yet, just like email proofing has its shortcomings (for one, you can never be sure your client is using the right viewing tools with the correct PDF settings), file onboarding via email can be quite the challenge. There are, for instance, file size limitations, file extension arguments with firewalls, and other troubles to tackle.
FTP or another file sharing service, then?
FTP can be an easier beast to tame. Yet you have to provide the service first (creating your own server is, of course, expensive) and secondly, you need to manage users and directories and other potential confusions. It shouldn’t be all that difficult, but somehow it ends up being just that. In the end, this seemingly simple two-part maneuver – customer uploads, you download – is often rife with problems.
W2P/MIS: slick but unpredictable
Some are lucky enough to have a combination of W2P/MIS in place to provide customers with an upload mechanism that associates the job with some data and delivers it safely to production. Though the system is slick in its conception, the happy ‘file and data’ couple can behave somewhat unpredictably once the front end releases them. And you don’t want unpredictability around your shop, do you?
Wait a second, is this even my problem?
In any scenario in which files must be sent, some customer education is in order. Even though it may take a little time, it’s always a good thing to carefully explain to your customers what you expect of them. That being said: you cannot blame them for problems relating to file onboarding. You have to keep in mind that their only concern is a beautifully printed piece. Your concern is making their concern a reality, no matter what. In other words, everything past design is up to the print service provider.
After file onboarding there’s preflighting
Another part of your responsibility is doing a preflight. There are still companies for whom running a preflight routine on jobs is not part of the production workflow. That’s not a problem… until they are confronted with an issue, because those issues tend to be expensive.
So, preflighting, then. Before deciding and giving a ‘go’ or a ‘no’, customer service looks at trim size, the number of pages, perhaps the colors. Then prepress gets involved and finds a hundred reasons why the file won’t print correctly, most of which the customer is willing to ignore. You’ll probably be happy to hear that we have come up with a way to automatically check and fix a large number of problems.
The Switch solution, by Enfocus
Indeed, there is a solution to all this mess and stress. Enter Switch, a platform for file onboarding, routing, tracking and … general workflow happiness. And that’s not even all. PitStop Server, an application that checks and fixes PDF files automatically, works together with Switch to make PDF quality control a ‘set it and forget it’ solution. And there’s even more. Throw the PDF Review Module in the mix, and you’ve got online PDF proofing covered as well – all in one tightly wrapped package. Your client automatically receives a unique URL via email which they can click to access the interface and give you the green light.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!