Transcontinental is exclusively dedicated to serving the growing promotional and print-for-one markets by delivering a full-service print solution to the marketing and agency communities. Services include prepress, sheetfed and web offset, wide format digital printing, direct marketing, specialty finishing and IT.
According to John Go, Vice President of Technology for Prepress, "We were trying to find a system that could track and manage all of our jobs, eliminating the paper-based system we were using. Our goal was to have all information about all of our jobs available to everyone who needed access through a single interface in real time. While that sounded like a tall order back then, we were delighted when we found MetaCommunications' Workgroups. The Workgroups Job Manager module gave us the capabilities we were looking for."
Transcontinental also utilized the Virtual Ticket module for even more integration and automation. Go says, "With Virtual Ticket, we were able to add even more convenience and automation by creating our own electronic forms, including docket forms or job tickets, and change forms. We also track all of our digital resources and ensure that we capture all billable costs for each and every job that comes through the prepress department. Once a job is completed, we use Virtual Ticket to archive all of its components. Even if we archive to tape, Virtual Ticket makes it easy to locate the job if we need to access it again, and to retrieve all of its components in one job package."
Workgroups allows our plant manager to look at jobs in real time to assess job costing and estimates versus actual so that we can ensure that each and every job is profitable.
When a job enters the prepress department, according to Go, the CSR opens a docket in Job Manager, creating a job and docket number, and then enters all instructions in Virtual Ticket. Since Job Manager and Virtual Ticket are fully integrated, no rekey is necessary between the two, and because most of the fields are pull down menus, the need to key in information at all is limited, resulting is fast entry of jobs into the system. He says, "The CSR just chooses the right customer address, colors required, the number of pages in the job, etc., and notes any special instructions. Once the job is ready, it is passed on to a scheduler who assigns an operator."
MetaCommunications has been very good to work with, Go says, adding, "When we call them, either we get a live person on the line immediately, or they call back quickly. They almost always can resolve any problems in that initial call. And if we need anything done to customize the system, such as custom scripts or queries, they just jump right in and do it. I wish all of our vendors were that flexible."