ESP and Kodak Deliver True Partnership and Best in Class Workflow

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ESP Colour states that KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions help deliver financial benefits and ROI

ESP Colour credits increased sales of £11.6m in 2011 to KODAK PRINERGY Rules-Based Automation Software (RBA).  The company attributes the successful financials to its innovative KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions with rules-based automation and full integration. With 60 staff on its Swindon site and an average of 3.6 million impressions per week across a range of B2 and B1 presses, the leading commercial printer is utilising the full suite of integrated KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions.  Kodak’s support staff has supervised the integration and installation at ESP Colour of KODAK PRINERGY Workflow underpinning each and every process in the cycle from estimate to plate plus a KODAK INSITE Prepress Portal System for online job submission and remote soft proofing, KODAK PREPS 6.2 Imposition Software with JDF Certified and PRINERGY Rules-Based Automation Software templates for customized delivery. The investment also included a KODAK MAGNUS 800 Platesetter, which today is imaging up to 10,000 KODAK ELECTRA XD Thermal Plates per month.



“Kodak’s Workflow Solutions and Prepress equipment are a ‘must have’ for any print business intent on success in this tough marketplace,” states Anthony Thirlby, Managing Director, “and ESP is a business first and foremost! We believe Kodak has the only workflow solution available that can automate our manufacturing processes using true rules-based automation functionality. Our primary focus is to fill our cost centres not our presses.” 



      In 2007 ESP Colour reviewed its business model and made an analysis of its processes and job submissions – at that point there were thirteen stages in their production cycle. ESP decided to examine the latest innovations in prepress software and equipment and engaged with Kodak as its preferred supplier. Thirlby continues, “We needed to ensure and control the pressure points in our business.  In 2011 we have a new business model based on Kodak’s innovative prepress software technologies. We now have three stages in production with each one under a separate fully accountable cost centre.  Kodak has consistently and innovatively worked with us to achieve these goals. One of the key components in the KODAK INSITE Prepress Portal System is the unique ‘secure-link’, which enables our staff to easily manage projects – we send each user a link by email so they can access the project and complete each task.  This speeds up the process massively. We are using KODAK PRINERGY Rules Based Automation Software, which has completely changed our production model. The time-savings that have been made have to be seen to be believed.”


PRINERGY Rules-Based Automation Software facilitates manufacturing, taking away a good percentage of day-to-day decision-making. It is a set of rules with associated templates that are filled in with the necessary information to automate the process. ESP Colour has a regular ongoing review across all of its processes from prepress into the print room and finishing – the company then utilises these RBA tools to automate each process and reduce time and wastage to create the RBA templates.


      ESP Colour is recognised for its endeavours and success and was recently approached by the BPIF and Vision in Print to take part in a report, sponsored by Kodak – ‘How are printers adapting to opportunities for prepress automation.’. The company was selected as a participant in this study as ESP Colour is well regarded for its awareness in utilising the advantages possible from prepress and MIS technologies using PRINERGY Workflow, INSITE Prepress Portal System and PRINERGY Rules-Based Automation Software. “Everything shows that we are two and a half years ahead of our competitors,” states Thirlby. “With KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions we know we are the best in class and an ideal example to other businesses.”   




      ESP Colour has also adapted its business model in other ways by moving a good percentage of its work onto two new B2 presses for higher pagination and shorter run work.  The company plans to re-utilise and re-invigorate new markets.  “By moving from B1 to a B2 - a 'just in time, short-run model' - we can decrease the average order price,” explains Thirlby. “This causes a shift in the overall revenue stream and gives us smaller percentages and lowers the risk. At present we have no client above 5% of our overall sales commitment. With pricing tensions at their height at present we have to engage with a wider sales ledger and change direction because of market forces. Kodak's Workflow Solutions strengthen and support the full production cycle of our business so we now have a complete new functional business model that is the best option for us at ESP. We have also recently moved to a four year depreciation cycle”


      “Importantly ESP is about people,” says Thirlby. “We have phenomenal people working with us including six apprentices at present. Yes, we are in print but it’s a business. We know that ESP is unique and we just wish that the rest of the market would revise their objectives, as we have had to do, embrace this innovative technology and educate clients in what the future could hold for them. Kodak is working for ESP – KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions underpin our market pricing, full scheduling and offers us a set of rules to categorise our product range. We believe we are one of the few full JDF sites in the UK. This is a business model for the future supported by Kodak and driven by ESP Colour”


      “We believe Kodak is ahead of the competition in trying to engage in ‘what comes next’.  Kodak has completely evaluated our three-step process with its KODAK MARKETMOVER Business Advantage Solutions.  Kodak’s consultancy service has been of enormous benefit in helping us with a business analysis and guidance on new strategies and direction for rapid and sustainable growth as we evolve.  It is exciting for us that we have a supplier who knows what we are trying to achieve and can also provide us with the tools to reach our goals. This business/supplier relationship is second to none.”


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