From Work Frustration to Work Flow - Designing Print Productions More Proficiently with BPMN

Are you familiar with this scenario? It's just before the printing deadline of the long-awaited annual product catalog. Customers have been asking for it for weeks, the sales department is restless for it and the print shop is in the starting blocks. It's clear that the new, exclusive, product catalog needs to get in the hands of those who need it immediately. After it has been quickly created in the ERP system, it finds its way into the PIM system, where it is enriched with the relevant marketing data on the same day, the images are produced in parallel, the placement is determined and the new product is there in time for the last proof - directly on page 1. Is this everyday life? Hardly.

"There's another new product!" you hear from the marketing department. "I think it still has to go into the catalog!" Oh dear! That too. A few clicks in the ERP verifies that it was created a few days ago and has already been imported into the PIM. Upon realizing this, you call the product manager: "You still have to maintain the data here! And the product should also be in the catalog!". Several more few phone calls and e-mails later, it's clear that samples still have to be procured, the colleague from advertising who takes the catalog photos is on vacation for the rest of the week, and it's unknown who will do the approval again. Is the approval done now in the PIM, or only later in the PDF? Why do you have to approve the product twice? Is this similar to your daily routine? Unfortunately for many, this scenario is very close to reality.

The analog era of stacks of physical paper files being moved from desk to desk, making it visibly clear how much still needs to be processed today, is simply over. The digital data flows in companies are becoming increasingly complex. Several departments are involved in processes and responsibilities are scattered in such a way that it is typically not at all clear what tasks are actually pending at the moment or who is actually in charge. All of this needs to be done in unison with standard to day-to-day business operations and with many other systems that are also highly complex. Somehow it all has to work together... efficiently. And so, in our above example, three software solutions and four departments must pull together for the seemingly simple task of promoting a product in a newly produced catalog - and they have to do it quickly with 100% accuracy.

But what can remedy this situation? What brings us closer to the ideal of the "catalog at the push of a button" and helps to make workflows more transparent and efficient? The solution comes from the field of process management - the industry standard Business Process Model and Notation, also known as BPMN (currently in version 2.0). Its strength lies in the comprehensible and quickly learnable representation of processes of any complexity. Regardless of whether you are dealing with automated processes such as a regular data import, human workflows such as maintaining data, or automatic notifications such as sending tasks by e-mail - BPMN can be used to describe and cover almost everything you need for your data flows. It clearly shows who needs to perform which action and when, so that you don't get lost on the way from start to finish.

Many ERP and PIM systems understand this language- including the priint:suite database publishing solution from the priint Group. This means that your product can be closely accompanied from the ERP system to the approved print PDF, across systems and transparently, regardless of whether you want to have the photos created in parallel to the data creation; or whether your colleagues prefer to be notified by e-mail or want to pick the tasks themselves from the automatically created To-Do; or whether correction loops are the rule or the exception at your company. BPMN provides the simple documentation of the processes right here. Understandable symbols and a set of rules facilitate understanding and make it easy to make adjustments at any point in case of process changes.

We're here to help. Contact priint today to help you jointly model your optimal workflow!