Being an in-plant printer is different from being a commercial printer. Sure, each of these printers uses similar equipment to produce printing products. But as Ray Chambers wrote in In-Plant Graphics Magazine:
“There are fundamental differences between in-plants and commercial shops. That’s the part that has to do with… being an in-plant – being part of a larger organisation that has nothing to do with printing.”
An in-plant printer could service a university, a non-profit, or even a large corporation. Their user populations may be different, but because these organisations don't have printing at their core, they all face a similar challenge: how to get print-ready files from their user base.
This challenge was brought about by the reality that in most organisations, internal customers possess a huge range of skill levels. You can have a seasoned graphic artist using professional applications such as Adobe InDesign, or general office users sending documents in Microsoft Word or slide decks in PowerPoint.
Garbage in will always cause garbage out
Adobe’s PDF (Portable Document Format) format was supposed to be the answer to many print-related problems, but with the diversity in user skills and the wide range of software and platforms being used, even PDF can fall victim to the “garbage in – garbage out” rule.
With such a variety of users having access to page layout applications, the overall print readiness of the files received is always in question – especially if the job is going to be printed offset or will require additional finishing after printing. Of course, this causes delays in production due to more review and correction cycles. This can create challenges in the organisation and for the in-plant printer, as this often requires more direct support to end users.
How to get print-ready PDFs from everyone
I discovered several ways in which in-plant printers can help users in their organisation prepare their files to avoid delays and save time, money and aggravation. These solutions are not perfect, but they are a good start. They include:
- Publishing a Guide to Specifications
- Implementing a Web-to-Print System
And of course, Enfocus Connect ALL technology can always play a role in helping users easily prepare accurate files for printing. With products like these, even users who are using programs like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint can create and deliver print-ready PDFs; without training, that is.
How can your organisation tame its wild PDFs?
Download my white paper and read more about the challenges and solutions for in-plant printers.