Print integration is something you’ve probably heard us talk about a lot at Tharstern. It’s something we’re passionate about, and we spend a lot of time working with customers on their own integration projects.
But if you’re not familiar with integration, you might not be sure what we mean. Let us explain.
What is print integration?
Print integration is the process of taking different pieces of software and connecting them together. This can be done using different technologies, like JDF, XMF, API, or even software like Zaikio or Zapier.
Integration is the key to keeping up with increasing consumer demand
Increasing demands from print buyers for easier access to products, tighter turnaround times and greater flexibility, means print providers are having to find ways to streamline processes and increase efficiency to meet these needs.
The solution to this is, you guessed it, creating an end-to-end connected workflow using print integration!
Connecting all your technologies not only simplifies your production process, but helps you make the best use of your resource without having to increase your workforce and increase profitability.
Creating a best-of-breed workflow
A best-of-breed workflow is the concept of selecting the best software for each area of your business and integrating them together.
As trends move towards best-of-breed workflows, many businesses favor print management information systems (MIS) solutions that have APIs, because they can be more easily integrated with other print technologies that have an API. Many of our customers use our API to create their own integrations, without any help from us!
Many print MIS providers also have existing print integrations that could be useful to you. At Tharstern, we have over 30 integration partners and are always looking for more, so that our customers can choose and integrate the software that works best for them.
If you’re looking for an integration that currently doesn’t exist, many MIS providers will look into developing this for you. A number of our print integration partners were first introduced to us by our customers, who saw potential for an integration opportunity!
Take things up a notch with automation
If you’re really tech-savvy and want to take things to the next level, then there’s also the opportunity to create an integrated automated workflow. Here’s an example to illustrate what we mean:
- Step 1 – Digitize the estimating/ordering processes for less complex jobs, by implementing a web-to-print system (like Vpress, Flex4 or XMPie) so customers can place orders themselves via an online portal.
- Step 2 – Digitize the optimization process by implementing imposition and ganging software such as IMP or Metrix.
- Step 3 – Integrate the new web-to-print solution with your MIS.
- Step 4 – Integrate your MIS with the new imposition and ganging software.
By automating repetitive tasks and then integrating the different pieces of software together, you’re creating an integrated automated workflow that will free up your employees to spend more time on higher value tasks.
From our experience, it’s those businesses who are hiring tech-savvy people that want to push the boundaries with print integration and automation, that are standing out to the modern print buyer.