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Prepress Peeps

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  • Prepress Peeps


    Prepress people. I have a question of organization for you all. I work within a small company, where myself and mark are designers. He's probably one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. Although, the Sales people upstairs, find a huge lack of communication between us and them. Due to many reasons...

    I would like to create an organized flow of incoming jobs, turnaround times - some type of visual mechanism that will allow both them and us to know when jobs are due, how much time we need, etc.

    Can anyone shed some light to how there prepress department works - efficiently.

    Thanks, all suggestions welcome!
    i got PEACE deep in my SOUL

  • #2
    >>Can anyone shed some light to how there prepress department works - efficiently.<<

    Yes. The prepress manager invests in skilled staff, high-powered workstations, and an organisation design that is flexible, trackable, and optimally productive.

    Then sales comes along with an impossible pile of deadlines they used to close deals with the clients (over a rigorous round of expensive lunch meetings, of course) and blows prepress productivity all to hell.

    That's basically it, in my experience.


    • #3
      Broacher's right you can have the greatest system in the world and it will do you no good. The sales staff will ignore it. I hate to say it but in all my experience this has been the case.


      • #4
        You forgot about the big meetings on the golf course. The people who do the job planning here, use a large board with color coded magnetic cards with the clients names on them. The board is divided into sections, incoming, prepress, press, binder, delivery and the colors indicate also where the job is in the plant and how hot it is. They could use a computer for this but they have some old timers in there that like it this way, however the big board has its advantages.


        • #5
          We used a software called PrintSmith, that tracked where everything was located. It showed due dates, locations, and such. I was also used to write up tickets. It worked as long as people updated the location of a the job.
          Less be more.


          • #6
            Broacher nailed it.

            Sorry, CourTney, you asked and you're hearing why prepress people are premature gray, short tempered, crabby people. So why, you ask have I been in it for 15 years? Beats the heck outta me!

            Really, leave it to a "Designer" that just got a computer to make some extra money.

            Or an office secretary that is set up with Word and Publisher, maybe throw in some presentation program or Excel, and your schedule is totally blown out of the water.

            The salesman doesn't know a pdf from an EKG and told the client the file will be printed, die cut, foil stamped and delivered before you even have the file opened.

            We have a "system" here but it's all in small tiles on a BIG board that can be moved around and rescheduled several times a either the sales staff, the production staff or whoever is ordering the paper.

            Good Luck in probably the most stressful side of printing.
            People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin


            • #7
              Maybe invest some time in educating the sales people what is actually involved with what you do so that they have an idea of what kind of time frame is necessary for certain tasks. Whether or not this new found education will change there practise or not...
              match in the gas tank, boom boom


              • #8
                I agreee with everyone else on salesstaff's in general. they think they are the boss and yuor an underling. they wil always view you as this no matter what you set up

                however do you have a board of some sort that has like

                job in
                expected date from designer
                job out to client
                job approved
                job at printer


                it's cheap and simple
                "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

                Check out my indie comic books at and


                • #9
                  Well my situation is this..

                  I'm the newest edition to the team. After speaking with my boss he was hoping I could help relieve some of this stress the Sales people go thru. Well IMO lack of communication is the downfall of any relationship. If I can get our team to be on the same page 50% more than it is now, then its a step in the right direction.

                  We do have a white board, that really hasn't been touched since I started. I may create some sort of filing system alongside the white board, so at least when jobs are brought down here, both prepress & sales has an idea of how swamped we are & then are able to indicate turnaround time to their clients.

                  Thanks for all the comments - great to hear other people's infuriations. lol
                  i got PEACE deep in my SOUL






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