The book printing industry is no stranger to innovation. From the printing press to the rise of e-readers and the shift to online retailers, book manufacturers now find themselves in a new business environment that favors shorter print runs and on-demand printing.
Print shops are looking inward at their own workflows and processes to meet these more specific demands from customers while accounting for a complex variety of layouts, materials, and formats.
At Ricoh, we help book manufacturers achieve automation with our digital book printing software solution in RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder™. In this guide, we’ll go over how this type of book printing software can benefit your shop or enterprise and scale you toward success.
Challenges Book Printing Companies Face in 2023
High-volume printing wasn’t as much of an issue for book manufacturers when those types of orders were few in number, highly uniform, and somewhat predictable. This publishing model made it easy for manual equipment and workflows to be optimized around them.
However, with shops now receiving orders in complex varieties, from few-to-many small-batch jobs and others being just one-off print submissions, processes have to evolve. With traditional manual workflows, these types of customer orders are difficult to plan resources for. As a result, shops are often left with a lack of materials or are losing money due to waste.
The current era of on-demand book manufacturing also means a greater variety of print formats for different types of bindings, materials, and layouts. From brochures to textbooks, book printing has become an operational nightmare of keeping track of different job submissions, managing a more extensive mix of printer models, and keeping the process error-free.
Today, some book printers need to transition from processing and fulfilling dozens of high-volume orders to managing hundreds or thousands. In light of these challenges, book manufacturers are looking for ways to streamline and automate their book printing workflows.
See how RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder™ addresses these print shop challenges:
The Benefits of Automated Book Manufacturing
A print shop can greatly benefit from automating the book manufacturing process in the following ways:
Increased Efficiency: By automating routine tasks, book printing companies can significantly reduce manual labor and the time spent on each job. This automation allows the print shop to handle more orders in less time, leading to increased productivity.
Improved Workflow Management: Automation grants shops the ability to manage a large number of short-run jobs and integrate with various sources that can streamline operations. This improvement can help the print shop to manage its workflow more effectively and reduce bottlenecks.
Increased Profitability: By reducing the number of setups and changeovers, the automated book printing software can help the print shop increase throughput and make better use of their equipment. This reduction can lead to improved profitability.
Choosing a Book Printing Software Solution
A print shop facing the challenge of short-run productions should look for book printing software that can achieve the level of automation necessary to streamline and scale its operations against the waves of complex customer orders.
Some of the most important book printing software features to look for include:
- Task Automation: Automate routine tasks like grouping jobs, scheduling, prepress, and imposition, which can help eliminate workflow congestion and enhance profit margins.
- Job Handling: Handle a vast number of short-run jobs of any kind by integrating with various sources like MIS, web-to-print, and prepress systems.
- Enhanced Scheduling: The software offers the flexibility to either automate the creation and distribution of batches or manually control the process, allowing for optimal workflow management.
- Real-Time Reporting: A real-time comprehensive view of order components, job batches, printer scheduling dashboard, and physical location. This can also relay job status back to the originating system, improving both internal and external communication.
- Customizable Batch Management: Allows you to group jobs based on your chosen criteria, such as document size, paper type, finishing, deadline, and more, giving you the freedom to manage and prioritize your work according to your needs.
Automated Book Manufacturing Software by Ricoh
With RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder™, your shop can accomplish all of the layers of automation mentioned above and more.
Start saying yes to more short-run orders from important customers, and see how automated book manufacturing increases your capacity to compete.
Meet the Author
Linnea is Ricoh’s Director of Global Marketing, Alliances & Operations. She is responsible for growing the worldwide awareness of and demand for the production workflow software and solutions portfolio. Linnea is a brand specialist with more than 25 years of experience, having previously held key leadership positions at Hunter Douglas, Qwest, and PepsiCo. Linnea holds an MBA from Hoffstra University and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire. Linnea manages global strategic partnerships and marketing operations for Ricoh, giving her a comprehensive view of the business, customers, and markets. An accredited global marketing leader, Linnea is passionate about small businesses, even volunteering her marketing communications, social media, and digital marketing expertise to small businesses and associations. Her goal is always to help other businesses thrive. She authors many Ricoh blog posts to this end.
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