The FreeFlow ® Digital Workflow Collection Let’s start by reviewing what the FreeFlow digital workflow is, why it’s important, and how it can add value to your business. What is Workflow? Workflow is the process from submission of an order through payment The True Cost and Opportunity of Print. The cost and value of the customer’s print activities both depend on workflow. The Chaotic Workflow. Print providers often have separate processes for different types of production equipment: typically digital monochrome printers, digital color presses, and offset presses. This is chaotic and also uses redundant technologies and labor, which is very costly. Planning is the Key to Success. We can help our customers avoid the chaos and all the negative stuff that goes with it – by planning and implementing an automated, unified workflow for the different kinds of jobs and services they offer their customers, whether that be print, or new services such as on-line document viewing, e-commerce, and personalized emails and web sites. What Is the FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection? It’s a collection of integrated, automated, modular workflow solutions. How Does the FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection Help Our Customers? The collection of modular solutions we’ve developed, shown here, lets our customers Connect with their customers, it helps them Reduce their costs, and it helps them Enable new applications. Each workflow module is designed to work independently, or together, to help customers solve their business needs. The resulting workflow enables our customers to “put it all together,” to unify their processes, cut costs, leverage their technologies and labor better, profit, and grow. In this presentation we gave you a quick overview of how our Freeflow collection can be integrated and seamless.
Thanks for taking time today to allow Xerox to demonstrate the great work we are doing and specifically in relation to our workflow solutions which aim to allow you to connect with more customers, reduce your costs and enable new applications. Over the next few minutes you will see 4 workflow packages from Xerox: FreeFlow Web Services, FreeFlow Process Manager, FreeFlow Output Manager and FreeFlow Print Server all working in harmony to show you just how simple it is to streamline a job from order to dispatch starting with the customer, through the pre-press department, the print room and out to an print device ready to ship and bill.
Firstly let’s take a look at FreeFlow Web Services (FFWS). FFWS is Xerox’s premier web to print offering allowing you to create a virtual shop front to advertise your wares to your customers. You can see within the shop front we have displayed here we’ve got a catalogue of the items we want to offer at our trade show. We’ve got a mixture of job types. We’ve got posters on one side and Funflips on the other side.
Let’s start by ordering a simple poster. Let’s go for the Ducati limited edition poster and just like you would in any other web shopping experience we simply add this to our cart. In order to help our customers choose and make sure they have got the right item to order we will see an on screen preview of the artwork we are going to show and we can add that to our cart.
Let’s go back and order another job though. Let’s take one of the personalised jobs – here we are going to choose Star Force man Funflip – we add this to our cart like any other web shopping experience. Now we are going to have the opportunity to add some personlaised information. We are going to enter a name to add to the imagery you see before you. We always use our customers to proof their own work so as the detail is entered you’ll see the onscreen preview will change to reflect the exact text that’s been entered. This puts the onus on the customer to get their details and data right. Now we can close this order off and add to cart and close the order
We will now show the user their shopping cart - a list of all the items they have ordered. They can change quantity, add new items if they wish and once finished they are ready to proceed to checkout and close their order off. FFWS will now stop working with the low res image we’ve been using to preview on screen and keep the response time snappy. It now goes away and pulls the high res imagery and creates our files ready to send to print room
The final piece of the user experience is to present back to the user exactly what they ordered. Here we will show quantities but can add in full shipping information, purchase order details, in a corporate environment we can add cost centres or we can even link to a credit card payment module to allow us to take money from our customers before the printing has even happened.
We’ll finalise this section with the continue shopping button. The user can go back and order some more if they wanted.
So our jobs have now left FreeFlow Web Services and left the customer and arrived in the print room. So let’s take a look at FreeFlow Process Manager (FFPM), the second stage of our workflow.
FFPM allows us to automate the repetitive costly tasks that happen in a pre-press environment. On the screen now you can see we’ve defined two workflows for each of the different job types that we want to have. You can see a conditional node where we first choose which type of job it is. So let’s take a look down the poster track. The first thing we do is rotate the image until its landscape which is the format we want to print out. The artwork we received was from the US and is 11x 17 so we want to convert that to a European paper size. So we ask FFPM to scale to A3, centre on an A3 sheet and pass on to FF output manager to print.
If we look at the other job we have the Xerox Funflip – we’ll do some different things here. The artwork for the Funflip comes through as just the variable piece which was produced by FreeFlow Web Services.
Here you can see Roger Star Force man again. Let’s close the preview.
There are things we need to do with it. We take that image and rotate 180 degrees so it’s in the right place for the Funflip artwork to be produced. We then impose it 1-up in the top right corner. We add a static background which is the remainder of the image - that’s consistent and doesn’t need to be sent through over the web – we can handle that locally as a library file in the print room, a more efficient way for handling the workflow. Finally we send that through ready to print.
So once the work has left our pre-press department we will now take a look at how we decide where it will be printed.
FreeFlow Output Manager (FFOM) is Xerox’s tool for managing a multi-press environment. We can have hundreds of presses spread across a site or different sites. If ever you have tried to manage more than one press in the print room you will know the challenges of keeping them all running efficiently at the same time. Output manger can help with this. It will do things like job splitting - allowing you to get critical jobs out to your customers faster by spreading them across multiple presses and re-combining them later with full automated job recovery if anything goes wrong in the process. Or you can load balance choosing selectively which printer to print a job on based on a number of criteria and this is what I will demonstrate now.
We will choose a press for the jobs to be sent to and printed based on a number of criteria. Firstly we want to make sure that there are no jams on the presses and also make sure there are not too many jobs queued up because we don’t want our customer to wait. Finally we need to make sure the right stock is loaded – that’s fairly straightforward – the poster is A3 but for the Funflip needs a specialty media and it’s likely it won’t be already loaded in the printer. So we’ll use FFOM to choose a press that meets all of those criteria and then well release the jobs accordingly.
Well move on now to the final stage of our workflow. We’ll now take a look at the remote view into FreeFlow Print Server (FFPS).
FFPS is Xerox’s RIP front end technology allowing us to control our production presses. Here we are taking a look from anywhere on the network – we don’t have to be at the press or even the RIP itself to control, view or manage our jobs. We can see the jobs have dropped into a hold queue we have set up so we are simply going to release these to the active queue where they will process. Well see the status at all times.
Once processing the next is waiting and we can see a visual representation in the top right hand corner of our pages going through our press so we know we are being productive. Over in the top left there is information about the press itself. We can see a gentle warning message there – stock out in one of the trays but that won’t affect our smooth running of this job. We see the jobs moving from the active queue into the completed queue and it’s at this point that we know we can dispatch an operator to collect the output ready to ship to our customers
So let’s take a look at the output now
Xerox 4 Screen Dem
Xerox Workflow 4 screen demonstration
Workflow – Integrated andTouchless to Print Prepress through from Customer