arifiQ news

Workflow Automation as Easy as HBO

Workflow Automation as Easy as HBO
By Helene Smith

It’s a pleasant surprise to learn that something is simpler than you anticipated. Like HBO. I have a vague memory of getting “pay TV” when I was a kid – and remember wondering where my parents would put paper money into the cable (converter) box. When I saw that the programming came through by just changing the channel, and without paying money first, I was excited.

“Frame of reference” is a scientific term, but we use it in our everyday vernacular, as well. When I was 3 or 4, my frame of reference for seeing a “movie” was what I saw at the theater: you paid at the box office, and received a ticket to enter and watch. My frame of reference for watching TV was that you simply turned it on. I didn’t expect instant gratification. In the way I define the term, “frame of reference” is what you know to be the range of possibilities for something; more specifically, it can be what you consider the “standard” or most popular possibility within that range.

If you are reading this, you have a frame of reference for workflow automation. You probably understand, have seen, and/or possess automation that begins after creation and approval; i.e., when the job enters production. There are many companies that offer automation for the production part of the workflow.

What is your frame of reference for everything that happens before that, though? Pat McGrew, the Director and Evangelist of the InfoTrends Production Workflow Service (a service of Keypoint Intelligence), defines the processes of onboarding as follows:

Onboarding is the set of processes that start when a customer places an order and ends when the job is in the production workflow. It includes acquisition of the final job specifications, print files, associated data and resource files, job ticketing, logging the job into the accounting system, establishing proofing requirements, defining delivery requirements, and defining the payment methods.

Yeah, all that.

Viewed as one of the most painful parts of the job, every stakeholder – and especially print service providers – say that this is by far their biggest bottleneck[1]. Getting quotes, customer approval, changes, the right media, permissions, POs, art… it can take hours, days, and even weeks. In fact, it is why arifiQ’s co-founders started the company! Raised in printing, they saw the quote approval process as the biggest detriment to throughput… and profit.

What they did, then, was to invent a product that gets all of onboarding done, and more – no matter how complex or custom the job is – in a few seconds.

An accurate quote based on real-time device and inventory availability. An accurate quote on a complex, custom job. Online estimating.

With its cloud-based application in use at a growing number of sites worldwide, arifiQ knows that people do not grasp the huge benefit of its solution because a few seconds for a custom quote – based on real device and inventory availability, no less – seems impossible.

This is because no one has seen, or done it, before. It’s no one’s frame of reference.

However, there is now a new standard for onboarding turnaround time, and it’s under a minute. It’s time to add this to your frame of reference.

This means your salespeople can give a customer a quote onsite. The salesperson or the customer themselves can look at different – real — quotes while they are reviewing mockups for a campaign, even. From anywhere. They can add devices, change inventory, change the job. And still get a quote in seconds.

The arifiQ application does more.  It can gather all the rest of the information Pat McGrew refers to in her onboarding definition, above; keeping it as XML data in the file itself, and/or accessing and sharing via a connection to an MIS or ERP[2].

There’s more, but I’m afraid to push your limits on a frame of reference like this one.

Fine, I’ll just tell you:

When arifiQ puts the estimate together – in seconds — it considers (and specifies) the most efficient production path, as well. This is called optimizing the workflow – and get this: when you submit the job, arifiQ creates an imposed PDF of the file.

Bottom line, you can now turn quotes around in seconds, starting at $56 per month for one sheetfed press[3].  Get approval in the next breath, and arifiQ can tell your production automation solution – maybe Enfocus Switch, or Agfa Apogee, or another – what the most efficient workflow will be… and those solutions can automate production accordingly.

Pat McGrew and her colleague at Keypoint Intelligence, Ryan McAbee, recently saw a demonstration of the latest version of arifiQ. McGrew says, “The new arifiQ Optimizer is a great option for printers who do a wide variety of work and want to optimize ganging and imposing. Pair it with the arifiQ quoting tools and this is a powerful onboarding and production solution.”

When you grow up and get a job in this industry, that can sound better than getting HBO.

[1] (Ref: RIT Study and Zwang/Sherburne article in WTT)
[2] arifiQ offers an MIS module, as well
[3] Pricing is determined by device. $56 is for a 14 x 20, sheetfed offset press, 1-7 colors.

arifiQ Optimizer

New arifiQ Optimizer Automatically Creates Gang Runs & Imposed PDFs of Custom Jobs – Without Need of Predefined Templates, Products and Sheet Sizes 

<https://arifiq.com/video-2/>
New arifiQ Optimizer Automatically Creates Gang Runs & Imposed PDFs of Custom Jobs – Without Need of Predefined Templates, Products and Sheet Sizes 
  • Turn-arounds are substantially faster
  • Print workflows receive gang run and single job imposition data directly from new, stand-alone application
arifiQ Development today announces the new arifiQ Optimizer, which identifies the most cost-optimized imposition and production paths for single and gang-run jobs; automatically creates sheet-sized, imposed PDFs; and transfers the imposed PDFs directly to any prepress or digital workflow system. arifiQ Optimizer will be available as a stand-alone application via the cloud or desktop on December 1.
arifiQ Optimizer

Screengrab of the arifiQ Optimizer showing Gang-Run imposition sheets and production specs calculated and ready to submit to the hotfolder as Imposed PDFs. The operation takes one click, 3 seconds, and no human decision-making.

No Templates Necessary

One of the greatest competitive benefits of arifiQ Optimizer is that it does not require use of predefined templates; resulting in substantial time savings and many more options for ganging. It also eliminates numerous human touches in production planning and prepress (production path, lay-out/impositions).

“This functionality is a dream come true for both the production manager and the prepress operator,” says Stefan Karlsson, CTO at arifiQ. “We have wanted to plug this gap because it has long been a process in desperate need of automation.
“Without the arifiQ Optimizer,” Karlsson says, “it takes significant time and effort to calculate file layouts for Ganging in an efficient way. Also, while imposition templates may handle the most common products, it takes a long time to find the right ones. Most importantly, stakeholders will not enjoy the savings, and other benefits, of optimized production.”

How it Works 
First, arifiQ Optimizer accepts any number of PDFs. Then, in a period of time that only spans a few seconds to a few minutes, the Optimizer calculates the most cost-effective and least wasteful imposition and job production path. The single or gang run jobs are automatically transferred to the prepress- or digital workflow system as imposed PDF sheets. A video showing the process is available at https://arifiq.com/video-2/.

What are the Benefits?

The Optimizer is a substantial time saver for prepress operators, as the tasks of selecting a press, finding the right templates and paper sizes, and doing the layout of the pages, are all taken care of. The Optimizer eliminates the vast majority of choices and checkboxes in a typical prepress system (along with the risk of human error). The imposed PDF files are stored in a hot folder, to be picked up by a traditional prepress or digital workflow system, and then the sheets can be released to CTP or a digital press.

When combined with arifiQ PRO’s quote and order system, arifiQ Optimizer offers a true, automated workflow starting at the print customer or the sales person, and progressing through to production. arifiQ technology can also be integrated with MIS/order systems.

About arifiQ Development

arifiQ Development is a Swedish company that has, and will continue to, develop several applications, plug-ins, and modules based on its unique and powerful technology platform.

The idea that catalyzed arifiQ’s establishment was the founders’ recognition that the wait for quotes, and then approvals, was a major cause of frustration for customers and printers, both. They felt that solving the problem by making the quote process faster could have major, positive ramifications for the industry. The company built a core technology, the arifiQ engine, in order to develop what is now the flagship product in the arifiQ product family: arifiQ PRO.

The arifiQ product family today includes the new arifiQ Optimizer, arifiQ PRO, Plug-in for InDesign, deQuote for quick print, and a Large-Scale Estimator for enterprise and high volume environments. The arifiQ MIS modules are: Gang-Run, Scheduling, Stock Control, Extended Statistics and Multi-Site. arifiQ also develops custom APIs so that any system or application can utilize arifiQ technology.

For more information, contact arifiQ at info@arifiq.com.
# # #
All products and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged.

The New Role of Estimating – Article by Richard Romano in Printing News November issue

We love that Romano is putting the light on the subject and his progressive conclusions; “There was a time when it seemed like estimating a print job was one of the occult arts, a plant’s estimator being a kind of Delphic oracle who, when presented with an RFQ, would go into a trance and, some time later, reveal the number to be passed on to the potential customer. It was an estimate based on experience, with nosmall amount of “secret sauce.”

The wrap-up featuring arifiQ:

“Shop owners need to change their mindset. “People don’t like to have their knowledge put into a system so that then everyone can do estimating,” said Rosen, “but that’s the way it has to be. It’s not the printer who sets the agenda, it’s the customer. If they are used to getting pricing and placing orders online in a very fast and transparent way, print will seem like an old technology.” It can thus drive people away from wanting to print at all. And haven’t we had enough of that already?”

Read the complete article at page 12-16 at PrintingNews.com

ENTRY

PRO

VALBARA MODULER och APPAR

Moln-/webb-baserad

Beställning av alla typer av trycksaker

Automatiska kalkyler – omedelbara offerter

Automatiska utskjutningar & arbetsinformation

Uppladdning av tryckfiler

Produktions-optimering

Kampanj-beräkning (samproduktion för enskild kund)

App: Plugin till InDesign

API – integration med andra system

Hantering av kunddata

Orderhantering

Dashboard statistik

Modul: Gang-Run (samproduktion för alla ordrar)

Modul: Lagerhantering

Modul: Multi-site

Modul: Utökad statistik

App: deQuote – Plugin till skrivarrutinen

Workflow Automation as Easy as HBO

Workflow Automation as Easy as HBO
By Helene Smith

It’s a pleasant surprise to learn that something is simpler than you anticipated. Like HBO. I have a vague memory of getting “pay TV” when I was a kid – and remember wondering where my parents would put paper money into the cable (converter) box. When I saw that the programming came through by just changing the channel, and without paying money first, I was excited.

“Frame of reference” is a scientific term, but we use it in our everyday vernacular, as well. When I was 3 or 4, my frame of reference for seeing a “movie” was what I saw at the theater: you paid at the box office, and received a ticket to enter and watch. My frame of reference for watching TV was that you simply turned it on. I didn’t expect instant gratification. In the way I define the term, “frame of reference” is what you know to be the range of possibilities for something; more specifically, it can be what you consider the “standard” or most popular possibility within that range.

If you are reading this, you have a frame of reference for workflow automation. You probably understand, have seen, and/or possess automation that begins after creation and approval; i.e., when the job enters production. There are many companies that offer automation for the production part of the workflow.

What is your frame of reference for everything that happens before that, though? Pat McGrew, the Director and Evangelist of the InfoTrends Production Workflow Service (a service of Keypoint Intelligence), defines the processes of onboarding as follows:

Onboarding is the set of processes that start when a customer places an order and ends when the job is in the production workflow. It includes acquisition of the final job specifications, print files, associated data and resource files, job ticketing, logging the job into the accounting system, establishing proofing requirements, defining delivery requirements, and defining the payment methods.

Yeah, all that.

Viewed as one of the most painful parts of the job, every stakeholder – and especially print service providers – say that this is by far their biggest bottleneck[1]. Getting quotes, customer approval, changes, the right media, permissions, POs, art… it can take hours, days, and even weeks. In fact, it is why arifiQ’s co-founders started the company! Raised in printing, they saw the quote approval process as the biggest detriment to throughput… and profit.

What they did, then, was to invent a product that gets all of onboarding done, and more – no matter how complex or custom the job is – in a few seconds.

An accurate quote based on real-time device and inventory availability. An accurate quote on a complex, custom job. Online estimating.

With its cloud-based application in use at a growing number of sites worldwide, arifiQ knows that people do not grasp the huge benefit of its solution because a few seconds for a custom quote – based on real device and inventory availability, no less – seems impossible.

This is because no one has seen, or done it, before. It’s no one’s frame of reference.

However, there is now a new standard for onboarding turnaround time, and it’s under a minute. It’s time to add this to your frame of reference.

This means your salespeople can give a customer a quote onsite. The salesperson or the customer themselves can look at different – real — quotes while they are reviewing mockups for a campaign, even. From anywhere. They can add devices, change inventory, change the job. And still get a quote in seconds.

The arifiQ application does more.  It can gather all the rest of the information Pat McGrew refers to in her onboarding definition, above; keeping it as XML data in the file itself, and/or accessing and sharing via a connection to an MIS or ERP[2].

There’s more, but I’m afraid to push your limits on a frame of reference like this one.

Fine, I’ll just tell you:

When arifiQ puts the estimate together – in seconds — it considers (and specifies) the most efficient production path, as well. This is called optimizing the workflow – and get this: when you submit the job, arifiQ creates an imposed PDF of the file.

Bottom line, you can now turn quotes around in seconds, starting at $56 per month for one sheetfed press[3].  Get approval in the next breath, and arifiQ can tell your production automation solution – maybe Enfocus Switch, or Agfa Apogee, or another – what the most efficient workflow will be… and those solutions can automate production accordingly.

Pat McGrew and her colleague at Keypoint Intelligence, Ryan McAbee, recently saw a demonstration of the latest version of arifiQ. McGrew says, “The new arifiQ Optimizer is a great option for printers who do a wide variety of work and want to optimize ganging and imposing. Pair it with the arifiQ quoting tools and this is a powerful onboarding and production solution.”

When you grow up and get a job in this industry, that can sound better than getting HBO.

 

[1] (Ref: RIT Study and Zwang/Sherburne article in WTT)
[2] arifiQ offers an MIS module, as well
[3] Pricing is determined by device. $56 is for a 14 x 20, sheetfed offset press, 1-7 colors.

arifiQ Optimizer

New arifiQ Optimizer Automatically Creates Gang Runs & Imposed PDFs of Custom Jobs – Without Need of Predefined Templates, Products and Sheet Sizes 

<https://arifiq.com/video-2/>
New arifiQ Optimizer Automatically Creates Gang Runs & Imposed PDFs of Custom Jobs – Without Need of Predefined Templates, Products and Sheet Sizes 
  • Turn-arounds are substantially faster
  • Print workflows receive gang run and single job imposition data directly from new, stand-alone application
arifiQ Development today announces the new arifiQ Optimizer, which identifies the most cost-optimized imposition and production paths for single and gang-run jobs; automatically creates sheet-sized, imposed PDFs; and transfers the imposed PDFs directly to any prepress or digital workflow system. arifiQ Optimizer will be available as a stand-alone application via the cloud or desktop on December 1.
arifiQ Optimizer

Screengrab of the arifiQ Optimizer showing Gang-Run imposition sheets and production specs calculated and ready to submit to the hotfolder as Imposed PDFs. The operation takes one click, 3 seconds, and no human decision-making.

 

No Templates Necessary

One of the greatest competitive benefits of arifiQ Optimizer is that it does not require use of predefined templates; resulting in substantial time savings and many more options for ganging. It also eliminates numerous human touches in production planning and prepress (production path, lay-out/impositions).

“This functionality is a dream come true for both the production manager and the prepress operator,” says Stefan Karlsson, CTO at arifiQ. “We have wanted to plug this gap because it has long been a process in desperate need of automation.
“Without the arifiQ Optimizer,” Karlsson says, “it takes significant time and effort to calculate file layouts for Ganging in an efficient way. Also, while imposition templates may handle the most common products, it takes a long time to find the right ones. Most importantly, stakeholders will not enjoy the savings, and other benefits, of optimized production.”

How it Works 
First, arifiQ Optimizer accepts any number of PDFs. Then, in a period of time that only spans a few seconds to a few minutes, the Optimizer calculates the most cost-effective and least wasteful imposition and job production path. The single or gang run jobs are automatically transferred to the prepress- or digital workflow system as imposed PDF sheets. A video showing the process is available at https://arifiq.com/video-2/.

What are the Benefits?

The Optimizer is a substantial time saver for prepress operators, as the tasks of selecting a press, finding the right templates and paper sizes, and doing the layout of the pages, are all taken care of. The Optimizer eliminates the vast majority of choices and checkboxes in a typical prepress system (along with the risk of human error). The imposed PDF files are stored in a hot folder, to be picked up by a traditional prepress or digital workflow system, and then the sheets can be released to CTP or a digital press.

When combined with arifiQ PRO’s quote and order system, arifiQ Optimizer offers a true, automated workflow starting at the print customer or the sales person, and progressing through to production. arifiQ technology can also be integrated with MIS/order systems.

About arifiQ Development

arifiQ Development is a Swedish company that has, and will continue to, develop several applications, plug-ins, and modules based on its unique and powerful technology platform.

The idea that catalyzed arifiQ’s establishment was the founders’ recognition that the wait for quotes, and then approvals, was a major cause of frustration for customers and printers, both. They felt that solving the problem by making the quote process faster could have major, positive ramifications for the industry. The company built a core technology, the arifiQ engine, in order to develop what is now the flagship product in the arifiQ product family: arifiQ PRO.

The arifiQ product family today includes the new arifiQ Optimizer, arifiQ PRO, Plug-in for InDesign, deQuote for quick print, and a Large-Scale Estimator for enterprise and high volume environments. The arifiQ MIS modules are: Gang-Run, Scheduling, Stock Control, Extended Statistics and Multi-Site. arifiQ also develops custom APIs so that any system or application can utilize arifiQ technology.

For more information, contact arifiQ at info@arifiq.com.
# # #
All products and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged.

The New Role of Estimating – Article by Richard Romano in Printing News November issue

We love that Romano is putting the light on the subject and his progressive conclusions; “There was a time when it seemed like estimating a print job was one of the occult arts, a plant’s estimator being a kind of Delphic oracle who, when presented with an RFQ, would go into a trance and, some time later, reveal the number to be passed on to the potential customer. It was an estimate based on experience, with nosmall amount of “secret sauce.”

The wrap-up featuring arifiQ:

“Shop owners need to change their mindset. “People don’t like to have their knowledge put into a system so that then everyone can do estimating,” said Rosen, “but that’s the way it has to be. It’s not the printer who sets the agenda, it’s the customer. If they are used to getting pricing and placing orders online in a very fast and transparent way, print will seem like an old technology.” It can thus drive people away from wanting to print at all. And haven’t we had enough of that already?”

Read the complete article at page 12-16 at PrintingNews.com