Pint-Size Productions produces long-run children’s board books and wanted to expand its business to include one-off, customized children’s board books. The company has leveraged Aleyant’s Pressero web-to-print storefront and Automated Workflow Integrator (AWI) to capitalize on this new opportunity.
Pint-Size Productions has been printing its books in high volumes using offset technology on 48-point board. “The first challenge we faced in terms of short runs,” said Robert Alessi, Prepress Manager, “was finding affordable printing technology that would allow us to cost effectively produce those short runs, in quantities as small as one. As the relevant flatbed printing technology matured and became affordable, we then sought the best solution for efficiently entering these small orders into our system and managing them through the production process in an automated fashion.”
Pint-Size Productions turned to Aleyant to complete the solution. Alessi adds, “We looked at a number of companies and solutions, many of which don’t even exist anymore either because of being acquired or going out of business. To complicate matters further, we were working on a hunch that this would evolve into a real market opportunity, and Pressero fit the bill in terms of price/performance to get us started. We were impressed with the technology and believed the company was stable and in the business for the long term. “
The hunch played out, and the short run business tripled the first year of full production and doubled again the year after. Alessi explains, “Peak ordering period for these products is the holiday season, and we were seeing as many as 1,500 orders coming in over a fairly short period of time. To receive files and download them manually, even though it might only take a couple minutes each, quickly adds up to significant manual labor.”
With Pressero and AWI, orders are received automatically and transferred to the company’s RAMPAGE workflow for processing, including automatically renaming the file to align with the existing workflow. Alessi adds, “About two-thirds of our orders are received over the weekend. This completely automated solution enabled by Pressero and AWI means that we can receive orders, automatically queue them for imposition and RIPping, and come to work Monday with a full queue of RIPped, ready to print files. All we have to do then is a quick preview and release to print. This is a huge manpower savings for us; previously we still had all the RIPping to do when we arrived. Now it is all ready to go.”
In this new workflow, Pressero assigns a job number when the order is received, and the job number and other relevant information is automatically transmitted in a seamless workflow through print production.
“This configuration has opened up many new opportunities for Pint-Size Productions,” Alessi adds. “In addition to customized and personalized books, we can also print short runs for test marketing or for distribution to publishers as a finished-product example for a more effective sales process. Publishers respond better to a physical prototype that shows the book concept than they do to a proposal or electronic copy. It’s more than just a promise. They can see exactly what the end product will look like.”
While Pint-Size Productions initially employed Pressero to cost effectively test market its new solution, the company is pleased with the longer-term relationship it has built with Aleyant and the robustness of the solution. “As we continue to grow our business,” Alessi concludes, “Pressero and AWI will grow with us, ensuring that we have an affordable platform that will carry us into a successful future.”