Small but Powerful
Platform-independent output management systems centralize expensive single printing and therefore cut costs. This in turn leads to optimized mailings for every output channel.
Every day in the office: correspondence is created on the workstation PC, printed, enveloped by hand, franked and then placed in interoffice mail. Whether it is the settlement of an insurance claim, marketing for a pharmaceutical manufacturer or customer support from an energy supplier – individual single printing continues to be the dominant trend in small and large companies alike. What a waste of resources, not to mention "accompanying tasks“ such as inserting paper, clearing paper jams and changing ink. In addition there is a high risk of error, for example, the relevant documents for a mailing are falsely compiled or the mailing is incorrectly franked. The growing volume of documents is associated with huge costs, particularly for companies with a large customer base. A large part of the work is routine and can be carried out automatically. In other words: by establishing central printing and mailing processes which cover all areas of a company, costs can considerably be reduced. In practice this has shown to generate savings of up to 80%.
In light of this savings potential, a change of thinking is gradually emerging. More and more companies are recognizing the advantages of centralization. Individual letters are created, spooled and produced through the central output management of the entire company. Yet there is another fact in favor of bundling: the variety of new applications to create documents today, largely overburden the IT infrastructure of a company. The applications run on different platforms and generate documents and data flows of a different format, which can only be pooled with great difficulty. This essentially leads to low flexibility and high costs and often means, for example, that several documents can’t be sent to the same recipient in one letter and supplements can’t automatically be attached.
The End of Separation
However, this all changes if the processes are centralized. This process is technologically supported by database-assisted, asynchronous mailing pool solutions, such as those produced and sold by us. We have developed a platform-independent software - DocBridge Pilot, with which customized mailings can be created for every output format including classic printing, e-mail, fax, e-letters or web-portals. The principle: the import of incoming documents and the issue of mail are handled separated from one another. The incoming documents to be processed are analyzed and all criteria which is relevant to their further processing is extracted as metadata, for example, the content of commentaries (NOPs) in AFP data streams or webpage content such as markings (Optical Mark Recognition, OMR), barcodes or text. While the software saves the documents in a central mailing pool, the metadata is stored in a relational database. Using a printer driver installed on the client's PC workstation, the user is also in the position to save their office documents in the same mailing pool and therefore let the documents be centrally processed.
A Software for Every Format
For each job, a range of functions can be configured to prepare the mail, for example, sorting and converting documents in the desired output format and the accumulation of pages with additional information such as DataMatrix codes, OMR markings, logos and advertising messages on free pages. Depending on the configuration, all further processing steps can be carried out completely automatically or initiated by the administrator at any time. For example, the administrator may bundle documents from different sources and formats into one mailing pool and compile mailings according to the required job criteria and optimize these for sending.
The method through which the incoming documents are to be processed can be configured and the final result can be viewed using a graphic interface. These configurations make it possible to access an earlier version and use this for further processing. The advantage of DocBridge Pilot: it supports all relevant input and output formats for example the advanced function presentation (AFP), portable document file (PDF), PostScript etc.
Switched onto autopilot
Renowned companies worldwide are already working with the Compart solution, including an internationally leading telecommunications provider with subsidiaries in Germany. It has established a central document pool which is primarily used for individually responding to customer requests. Roughly 300 letters are stored here every day. The aim was to relieve employees of time-consuming tasks such as printing, signing, enveloping, etc. so that they are able to concentrate on their main activities. They digitally sign the letters and the letter is then sent to a server directory in the form of an electronic image. This therefore completes the process for the administrator. Colleagues within the department have access to a web-client and are able to examine, whether the letters correspond with the guidelines. If not, they are closed for the purposes of correction or otherwise released for sending i.e. transferred electronically to the connected printing centre.
DocBridge Pilot prepares the documents accordingly. Converted into the standard printing format AFP, the documents receive all of the necessary information for further processing. This includes the compilation of individual files to create a AFP document for the continuous paper processing at the printing service provider. The software therefore takes the duplex printing requirements into consideration, in other words, it pastes empty pages at the end of a document with an odd number of pages (two adjacent 90° rotated A4 documents on A3 wide printing paper) and implements these in an AFP data stream. The printing centre bundles all orders with the same deadline in order to process these economically in terms of a higher machine capacity. All AFP documents are collected and processed in the spool according to for example price, urgency and postage optimization. After sending, all departments receive a corresponding acknowledgement. The company therefore has a complete AFP spool, which is processed into a "bite-sized“ format for the printing service provider.
The Product: DocBridge Pilot
- Central, platform-independent software for the compilation, management and distribution of (print) data streams from different sources
- Decoupling of incoming data streams and mailing output
- Takes all output channels into consideration, for example, print, web-portals, fax, archives, e-mail and E-letters
- Suitable for large document volumes
- Central filing and processing of PC documents
- Mixing and converting of different data streams and formats including AFP, PDF/A, PostScript, IPDS
- Automatic overlay conversions
- Multi-client capability
- Post definition of printers and post-processing
- Flexible reprints
- Simple mail tracking
- Web service interfaces with support for SOA environments
DocBridge Pilot is platform-independent software for the compilation, management and distribution of print data streams from different sources. It covers requirements for printing pools, production and postage optimization, IT franking, bundling and multi-channel output and is designed for large document volumes.