What is the secret for sign and display operations to maintain a year-on-year growth in spite of current market challenges? For Data Image Group Ltd, it is the longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship with Esko.
Data Image Group Ltd is a UK provider of large format graphic and point of sale services for the cosmetics, fashion, retail and automotive industries. The company has continuously grown its business 30% annually thanks to constantly reviewing best production practices and investing in solutions such as Esko’s Automation Engine and i-cut Suite that enable them to enhance services and broaden capabilities. “We have been able to continue to grow in terms of sales while human interaction with jobs has been dramatically reduced,” explains Robert Farfort, Data Image Director: “With Automation Engine in particular, we have seen a significant cut in the number of errors on jobs plus the time and cost benefits that delivers. We are much more productive.”
Robert Farfort - Data Image Director
Continued investment in the future
Data Image Group Ltd has a long-standing relationship with Esko beginning with an investment in Odystar, a highly automated pre-press workflow solution and over the years, the company also implemented automation software to automate the imposition of different jobs while maximising production and minimising waste. It also helped reduce errors by over 90% and almost eliminated downtime.
Today, Data Image Group Ltd is successfully running Esko's Automation Engine. "We are more profitable because we spend less time on artworking. And we improved our competiveness by adding more value. The tools we have in place help us reduce costs and automate job throughput. This means we have greater flexibility in job handling - and we can go for more work!" comments Mr. Farfort. "We automate from the quote. From an Excel spreadsheet over estimation, importation, creation of a job docket to artwork - all human touchpoints are reduced. We want the capabilities of our highly skilled team to be used in the most productive way. This is why automating as many manual processes as possible is essential to our strategy of being a highly profitable company.”
Prepress with Esko tools at Data Image
A collaborative approach to profitability
Data Image’s newest investment is Esko WebCenter for greater file sharing and job collaboration, resulting in faster approvals and reduced turnaround times. “Because customers are now confident that files can be handled with minimal errors, saving them time and effort, they are much more open to online co-operation,” explains Mr. Farfort.
WebCenter is also a launch pad for the company into 3D CAD work: “3D is a new venture for us,” Mr. Farfort continues. “It was always an area we wanted to go into, and with Store Visualizer we could. Our customers love it! Everyone involved in the project can see how their product will look like and view the designs. It's quick and easy to make amends if needed and sign off the design. This is a very powerful selling tool, offering more conceptual designs with greater freedom.”
The success of this element of the business also prompted Data Image to invest in a Kongsberg XP 44 digital cutting table. “We have other cutting tables but the high level of integration of Esko’s 3D CAD software with the Kongsberg means jobs can be completed faster and with fewer errors. Set up times are virtually eliminated while it excels with than handling of re-board and the quality of creasing. Combined, Esko's Kongsberg table and software are a self-contained production element.”
Winning the sales
Data Image’s commitment to operational-wide improvements has positively impacted sales: “A lot of us are just looking for an easy life and often we can win work on being the first to deliver,” says Mr Farfort. “Fast approvals and quick deliveries can be all-important and help us win repeat orders.”
Data Image’s relationship with Esko also gives clients a sense of an elevated proposition: “Our customers recognize that we are always looking to improve the way we work and how we can support them,” concludes Mr. Farfort. “Esko is a stable company with many resources to support the products brought to market and to us as a customer. That gives us the confidence to make changes that ultimately make us grow.”