PrintVis Consultant Dennis André Thomsen attended Kodak’s GUA 2015 Conference last week, and has some thoughts to share with us on the future of pre-press.
How Will Pre-Press Look in 2016? by Dennis André Thomsen
This was asked during the Opening Panel discussion of the recently-concluded Kodak GUA 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Replies from the panel, on which I participated, were actually quite surprising.
Far from the immediate focus of an ERP vendor such as myself, the question is actually not one I thought I would have any response to, given its actual wording. But I expected that the trend would be towards further atomization – bringing even more emphasis to Web-2-Print and JDF Integration. Hence I was eager to hear the answers, as such functionality is of course highly in focus on our side with PrintVis.
What was so surprising then? Well, a unanimous panel actually concluded that “pre-press won’t exist in 2016 – but will be replaced with intelligent RBA’s (Rules-Based Automation).” Rules-Based Automation is the latest development in workflow automation, a background process which uses rules to trigger specified actions when specified events occur (read more here). Thus the expectation is to move/educate today’s pre-press employees into becoming automation engineers – for most of what is now considered pre-press work.
This is indeed very exciting and will certainly put even greater demand on your MIS/ERP system to be an essential component of such automation. In my humble view this basically means that you will either need to have a well-functioning Web-2-Print Front-end, combined with an automated system to handle the incoming orders unmanned (in fact all the way through to the printing presses) – or prepare for added pricing pressure from order entry to print.
Personally I doubt the timeframe of 2016 for such a complete degree of automation. But certainly I – as well as should you – see it as a bona fide upcoming demand. So you need to start considering whether your MIS/ERP system is equipped to handle such challenges – as well as having some kind of customer-facing Web-2-Print setup. Are your employees ready to make the move towards becoming automation engineers? This and many other considerations are on the horizon.
Finally, a little commercial: PrintVis already offers full support to utilize whichever level of automation you have as set RBAs. PrintVis offers a full backbone to handle your Web Front-end, and to receive orders directly from your customers. And PrintVis offers full JDF Integration to your pre-press workflow system!
PrintVis is ready for the future, are you?