There are different possibilities to transfer files to the Workflow as well as store them in a structured and accessable way. Depending on the organisational structure of the company, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways.
Learn more in this chapter about:
- Which working methods can be mapped to the Workflow
- Which method is preferred in connection with the Workflow
- Which version of the Workflow must be installed for which mode of operation
1. Data storage and structural organisation
Storage methods of Customer data vary tremendously between companies. Typically data is usually stored on servers in directories according to various criteria such as year and month, customer name, customer order number or production order number. The directories themselves can be and often are nested and arranged in specific ways. However, with each organisational system there is typically a main directory/folder in which the original data of the customer, consisting of the print file, information on the order and possibly CSV data for variable data orders, are stored. Each system also contains a directory/folder where the approved print data is located. The naming of files and the locations of those files is therefore of critical importance concerning how we use and process this data.
The structure of the filing system must also be strongly linked and compatible to the working method of the applied ERP system. Companies must have the capability of handling individual products, orders or extensive projects in order to ensure timely, cost effective production and delivery to the customer.
In many companies, interaction between the ERP system and the way data is handled in production scenarios is only possible when strict naming and storage conventions are used and maintained.
2. Alignment of the Workflow
When we created the Workflow the goal was to offer the possibility to map all these services found in the Print Industry regarding data storage, file structure and operational fluidity, the Workflow also offers the ability to automatically create file structures, files and Production Jobs, etc. With the integration of the Workflow a company can reorganise and restructure their file storage system as long as they are willing to accept a couple of caveats. The Workflow offers the following conventions and advantages:
- Hierarchical Directory Structure – All data storage structuring takes place automatically in the Workflow, the references to the directories/folders are stored in the database on the Workflow.
- File Names – The naming conventions for all Print Data is completely irrelevant in the Workflow, because each file is assigned a unique ID, which also handles the reference to the file in the database.
- File Versions – All Data versioning is automatically mapped in the Workflow. The user always works with the most current version unless explicitly chosen, and the user also has the ability to revert to older versions and compare them as well.
- Protocol – All changes made to files is documented and can easily be traced and scrutinised.
- File Management – Since the Workflow has access to all files and directories the user must not rely on the in-house IT department to connect directories/folders or administer user rights to each co-worker. The Workflow organizes and allows access for each user with an account and grants acces to specific directories and files by managing Users and Rolls.
The Workflow can also be adapted to customised systems, but with the caveat that the structural integrity of File Structures and Management cannot be guaranteed. When integrating custom structures and systems there may be events which render the system vulnerable to possible security issues and therefore we do not recommend this option.
3. Workflow Solutions
- Production Method (Basic) – The Workflow is used to create Production Jobs and assemble and render the print data. Color management, including color optimised output, is also part of this method.
- Article-based Method – Data can be stored in the Workflow without using either an existing job or creating a new Production Job. The data is structured and can be prepared for production, customer-specific mapping of colors can also be implemented and applied. The end product is assembled and output in the form of an Order or Production Job on demand.
- Order-based Method – In the Workflow, data is stored and structured in an organised systematic manner according to an Order based hierarchy, customer-specific color mapping is possible and is then labeled and stored as an Order. The user has the option here continue the production process by creating a Production Job for example.
- Automated Method – The creation of Articles, Orders and Production Jobs can be automated based on information from the applied ERP system. Whether the data preparation is to be carried out manually in an intermediate step or created directly from the ERP system is up to the preferred organisational work habits of the company.
Your optimal Workflow method will depend both on your personal preferences as well as the License purchased: