The real pain points of the digital management of small and medium printing plants
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The 2018 China Printing Industry Internet Innovation Festival and the 6th China Print E-Commerce Annual Meeting were held on March 29th at Grand Skylight International Hotel in Beijing. At the meeting, CTO Daiyin Chong Technology’s “Digitalization of Small and Medium-sized Printing Plants” Road made a wonderful speech on the topic. The contents of this sharing are now listed below for your reference.
What is the real pain point of the digital management of small and medium-sized printing plants?
Last year, in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, we received nearly three hundred million packaging-related businesses from our customers and provided them to our suppliers. At this time, I discovered that digital printing management of India problem. In fact, there is no shortage of ERP in India, so what is the real pain point?
Front-end sales process and back-end support processes are controllable for printing plants, but this stage of production and manufacturing processes is what customers want to know most, but it is the most difficult place for printing companies to informatize. However, this is not a solution. We have divided the ERP into three modules. If we want to do one thing, we just need to go and understand the implementation progress of each item.
ERP three modules
Front-end sales process: sales and marketing, customer service and after-sales, valuation and quotation, production scheduling, storage inventory;
Back-end support process: quality management, personnel and performance, finance and taxation, business process tracking;
Manufacturing process: prepress, digital printing, traditional printing, postpress, packing and logistics.
The ERP management system we provide for printing plants is to use mobile-side scan code and do not need to equip the computer with a computer. Because the life of the computer on the machine is generally relatively short, I have seen many printers replace the computer or monitor in 1 to 2 years.
We hope that all operating systems of production workers will not use computers, and they will all be completed on the mobile side, such as the mobile app or the WeChat applet. Originally, the machine directly reported the production progress to the ERP. Now it depends on the operator's punching form before, during, and after the operation, and then synchronizes to the ERP background server.
This is what we have been doing all the time. Through scanning codes, people with different permissions can see different contents. What's more important is that we can summarize each link and each process as the overall implementation progress.
There are only four things that we are most concerned about: the expected start time, the expected end time, the actual start time, and the actual end time. If you have a customer with a low level of trust, you will be required to take photos or record a small video of 10 to 15 seconds. This will give us more confidence.
So far, whether it is from the perspective of order or from the perspective of equipment, the system has been realized intelligently. For example, tracking of implementation progress and generation of data reports have been realized.
As the business gradually expands, we are making new iterative products, that is, putting third-party functions in an integrated APP and putting all the businesses that we are not good at, trying to replace them with the products of other companies in the industry.
In other words, you only need to do an ERP that implements scan code and production schedule control, and add some mainstream third-party functions to integrate into the complete digital management gadget we want.
When we do samples for our customers, we can put a two-dimensional code on the product. Customers want to know the progress of the product. They no longer need to call the company, and they all know when they scan with WeChat. At the same time, we prefer to use customers to advance the entire printing production process.
How to develop to full intelligence?
For this, I have a lot of experience to share with you.
In fact, small and medium-sized printing factories are passively accepting the process of digitization. In 1997, there was still a large number of platemaking centers. The process at that time was the platemaking plant for the film, the printing plant printing and printing.
Later, the CTP began to be launched. Film was replaced by the PS version. For the printing company, the problem was not the film or the PS version, but a variety of digital files that were not known. As a result, the prepress department was assigned to a group of people who dealt with data files, and even specialized studios handled it.
Since there are pain points, we use the Internet to do it. From the ultimate thinking point of view, there should be a logical website, provided by the printing factory, and the website will be able to transfer the documents that were made well. We are only responsible for publishing. There is nothing wrong with the idea, and from a technical point of view, it is now fully consistent.
Here, I share a case for everyone. In 2007, Kodak piloted a project called Printing Community in Southeast Asia. I was fortunate enough to participate in this project.
At that time, Kodak had two or three IT staff in Singapore. All of the processes for prepress automation were on the Internet. Kodak's equipment suppliers were responsible for the cost and promoted the prepress automation process. The result was a complete failure.
The reason is that the most perfect thing in our imagination, and finally in the modification of the customer's opinion is difficult to implement smoothly. Kodak started with only a few IT staff and later had to find some people who were responsible for communicating with customers about the changes.
In the new 2018, we still feel that this general direction is correct.
First of all, software vendors, including some of the most traditional suppliers, including Kodak, Agfa, and so on, are all moving toward intelligence. These companies also began to slowly change their thinking, they slowly give up software sales, no longer sell software, these brands began to participate in the new field of prepress automation services.
We have seen changes in the thinking of many large companies. They are all doing full-auto prepress production. We can see that all processes can now be automated.
The only difficulty is that when we send samples to our customers, what do we need to do to modify them? This is back to the cause of the failure of Kodak in 2007. Specialists are required to deal with customers. But I think the situation is going in the right direction, because the customer's habits are also changing, for example, the customer's files are gradually normalized.
As we all know, many people began to help other printing plants to do prepress automation. At present, the new direction is very clear, and technologies have already existed, such as automatic file processing, speech semantic analysis, automatic machine image recognition, and artificial intelligence learning. With the development of the entire system, there will be fewer and fewer people. The final automation system will completely replace the artificial.
In my opinion, it is necessary to be able to solve the pre-press fully automated processing and the relatively low-cost ERP solution, thereby helping small and medium-sized enterprises to complete the digital transformation of the entire printing plant on a low-cost basis.