Over the past 15 years the Electronic Document Company (EDC) has honed its skills to become one of the leading experts in supply chain management for the printing industry. Ever conscious of the need to become more than just a printer, it now provides a range of value added services that have turned it into an award-winner.
EDCs latest accolade is its winning entry in the 2004 BPIF Excellence Awards, in the eBusiness category for its work with Chameleon, an independent training company for the airline industry and travel agents. EDC recommended a business process to Chameleon that transformed the way the company produced training manuals and documentation, utilising EDCs complement of Xerox presses to maximum advantage; the company operates Xerox DocuTech 6135, DocuColor DC40 and DocuColor 3535 systems along with its own software named DocuPump to manage and control the whole process.
EDC became not only Chameleons print provider but its software supplier and developer too after a small project to measure Chameleons Return on Investment developed into a major undertaking to slash its document wastage rates by up to 80%. Turnaround improved to the point that orders for documents were shipped within 24 hours, often on the same day. Orders could be tracked at all stages of the process, and customers client satisfaction soared while errors and complaints fell to an almost negligible level.
The key to the transformation was the switch from conventional to digital printing and the use of software that maximises the potential that short run digital printing can provide. Chameleon develops and delivers around 125 different training documents, with an average of five content components including complex finishing requirements such as tabs, text block, binders and covers. The average re-print order was for around 500 of each document, that were stored for when they were needed and re-ordered from one of many different suppliers. With no accurate audit and the added requirement to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing standards imposed by the airline industry regulatory body IATA, stock control at Chameleon before the DocuPump system was an unknown quantity.
Philip Mattimoe, EDCs business development manager said: The easiest way we can describe DocuPump is to equate it to a tap. Whenever you need to fill up a glass of water you turn it on and off. It is as simple as that. The DocuPump website is not merely a sales tool or a catalogue for e-order placement. It is a powerful program that controls print manufacturing and fulfillment. With the Xerox kit we can also print on demand, in quantities as low as one, which makes for an entirely efficient way to print and distribute the materials.
The DocuPump system allows the customer to build product structures on EDCs website with minimum and maximum stock level targets set to trigger order-driven restock through the production department. This simplified the ordering process at Chameleon enormously, leading to an automated inventory control and a reliable production workflow that provided a realistic alternative to the client having to hold large stocks of products.
The first analysis of the system shows that the anticipated ROI savings of 40% have been achieved. Bruce Applin, operations manager for Chameleon said: We are delighted with the results of the study and the solutions provided by EDS. What started out as an audit analysis soon developed into a full service solution, that was proposed, devised and implemented by EDC. The results have been tangible and immediate, and a clear benefit to the way that Chameleon carries out its business.
EDC has now added the BPIF award to a number of successful accolades collected in the last few years. The company was Highly Commended in the Printing World Awards 2004, and finalists in the e-commerce Awards 2003 in both the National Innovation and e-Business Solutions categories. Its work has also been showcased in the Print on Demand Initiative (PODi) case studies, an amalgam of print providers dedicated to promoting the value of digital print, as an example of what digital printing can achieve.
EDCs Mr Mattimoe said: The recognition from the BPIF of the value of our work is gratifying as it is from the industry association and judged by our peers. The Xerox presses show the level of versatility that can be achieved, especially using the DocuPump system. Our expertise now lies in document solutions and 90% of our revenues comes from using the DocuPump system, but behind it all lies the Xerox printers which make it all possible.
Peter Taylor, Xerox UK director of graphic arts said: We are delighted that EDC has picked up this recognition for its work from the BPIF. It shows what can be achieved with digital printing technology; coupled with a streamlined and automated workflow it widens the boundaries of traditional printing and allows print companies to add a whole range of new value-added initiatives to what they do - something that EDC has accomplished extremely well over the years.