Day with a Pro: Dick Marsel, Printing Manager, Quad/Graphics
Part of the job of the CSR is to help clients understand the realities of manufacturing. Since clients range from art directors to production people to entrepreneurial catalogers who “do it all” for their catalogs, each comes with differing levels of experience with printing.
Some need to be informed, for instance, that inserts and blow-ins may only be used at form breaks.
Also, materials have to be on time now more than ever. “Years ago, in the film world, customers would bring materials in a day late. What we’d do to adjust for that is call in 10 or 15 [color separators] who were on their day off, and we’d throw a dozen people on the job, and turn it around and get it out on time,” Marsel recalls.
Since changing to a digital environment two and a half years ago, the scheduling is stricter. The digital workflow is calibrated exactly to the press runs. “We have buffers built in because we know people are not always on time, something can go wrong and we try to accommodate for that.” But the printer cannot jeopardize the “in-home” dates for clients that have materials in on time.
Side Benefit to Digital Workflow
“I would say the biggest change in technology in printing in the last three years is CTP, and the digital environment, which eliminated film,” says Marsel.
Besides allowing much more leeway for last-minute changes on press, a digital workflow also addresses another concern: confidentiality of materials. Though it’s an open plant for Quad’s customers, notes Marsel, “It’s all digital, it’s all kept under secure conditions in the imaging department; no other client can walk in and read [another’s] file.”
Before CTP, he says, printers were aware of the need for discretion because “it was BPs [blueprints], bluelines, color copies,” which could not be tracked as well. He credits Quad’s experience with working with weekly news magazines for the heightened awareness of this issue. “Security’s built in here,” he says.