Tuesday September 04, 2018

How efficient is your Prepress Department?

It’s always been a bit tricky knowing how well your prepress is doing, there aren’t many global benchmarks to measure against. It’s not like a press where you know how many impressions it can print an hour.

Normally the only marker for a prepress department is if there isn’t anyone in the room angrily shouting, or a pressman waving a press sheet in the air.

Otherwise normal factors are if there are plates at press with no down time, if customers are happy and had no complaints and if everyone leaves to go home on time.

Proposing a global prepress success benchmark

Well now we’ve got a new global metric to share with you that you might like to measure yourself against: 'Number of files that fail preflight'.

To explain a little, this is the number of files that are failing preflight after automatic fixes are done.

What does this actually mean?

Well, PitStop fixes files before it checks them, so an error means the files are not fixed by the software. That means a file either needs extra manual work (probably not chargeable), or maybe it even needs returned to the sender for resubmission.

How did we get this number?

Well in PitStop 2018 we gave our PitStop Pro users the opportunity to have their own dashboard, so they can see how they are working and what PitStop is doing for them.

We have an overall dashboard where we can measure the big picture. And the average amount of files from all users that fail preflight so far is 8%.

So if your personal dashboard is lower than that, congratulations. If it’s a lot lower than that, then go and see the boss about a raise. And tell him we sent you! Your prepress is working efficiently and intelligently.

Overall pass-fail rate of Enfocus PitStop customers in August 2018 (right graph)

What if your number is higher?

If it’s higher than 8% then there’s an opportunity to improve. Maybe look at your PitStop dashboard and see what your most common errors are, then see if you can improve your preflight process by adding PitStop fixes that will resolve those problems for you. That means an operator doesn’t have to spend time doing them manually, and you might not have to bother that customer about a new file.

Don’t know your number, then just access your PitStop 2018 Dashboard and you’ll see the picture develop.

Now the question is, who’s got the best Dashboard stats?

Time to show off your efficiency! Just post a screenshot of your dashboard to the Enfocus PitStop Usergroup in LinkedIn, I'm very curious to see who is the best.

No Photoshop cheating please, we can verify those numbers ;-)

We have a claim of 5% from South Africa, can anyone prove better than that?

Next post we’ll tell you what the top 5 errors are, and how you can handle them.




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About Andrew Bailes-Collins

PitStop Pro 2018

Andrew Bailes-Collins is Senior Product Manager at Enfocus.

He graduated from what is now the London College of Communications and went on to serve an apprenticeship as a compositor. He has worked for a number of vendors in the printing and publishing sector, including Scangraphic, Apple and DuPont/Crosfield.

Andrew has been Prepress Manager for several high-quality printing companies in London, managing the change from conventional production techniques to digital. An early adopter of computer-to-plate and PDF workflow, Andrew then worked at OneVision Software for ten years. Initially based in the UK, before rising through the company to become Head of Product Management Europe at their head office near Munich in Germany.

Andrew joined Enfocus and moved to Belgium in 2011 and is the Senior Product Manager responsible for the PitStop family of products. He is also the Technical Officer for the Ghent Workgroup and Co-Chair of the GWG specifications sub-committee.

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