TWiST helps Rapid Flyer manage its growth

January 20, 2016 1:33 pm Published by

Rapid Flyer is an online printer that offers both marketing and print production. Launched in 2002, the website quickly gained momentum and by 2013 had reached a turnover of 10 million euros. Further growth is expected for 2014. The company now has 42 employees, about half of which work in pure production and the other half in e-commerce, including customer service, order preparation and IT development. How does DALIM SOFTWARE fit into the specific ecosystem of web-to-print? We asked M. Nicolas Perrier, director of Rapid Flyer.

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What problems led you to DALIM SOFTWARE?

We had a major problem: the business was growing, handling more and more orders, 500 a day at the moment. However, all files have to be checked before being printed, and these checks were being performed manually. The operator had to open the file, check that the fonts were there, that the images were not low resolution, etc., then validate and send for printing. And this had to be done 500 times a day. Our growth ambitions were not compatible with this process; we needed to automate it one way or another.

What problems led you to DALIM SOFTWARE?

We had a major problem: the business was growing, handling more and more orders, 500 a day at the moment. However, all files have to be checked before being printed, and these checks were being performed manually. The operator had to open the file, check that the fonts were there, that the images were not low resolution, etc., then validate and send for printing. And this had to be done 500 times a day. Our growth ambitions were not compatible with this process; we needed to automate it one way or another.

What advantages have you found in DALIM SOFTWARE that you haven’t found in rival products?

The first advantage is that DALIM can be adapted to an in-house workflow. We developed our own ERP, and not only can TWIST be incorporated into this system easily, it is also “intelligent” enough to edit the files without taking too much of a risk. This is not the case with the majority of competitors who will set up alerts to indicate non-compliance of files without then offering an appropriate way of handling this. Without going as far as talking about artificial intelligence, TWIST does give us the ability to edit files in a logical way. That is what seemed interesting to us.

m-nicolas-perrier

So, TWIST would give you a more “Business”-oriented solution?

Yes, and above all, it would be more compatible with our target customers who are not print professionals. About 80% of the files we receive require some kind of modification, however slight. We couldn’t settle for a solution that just says “it’s good” or “it’s not good”.

What kind of customers visit rapid-flyer.com?

We work primarily on a B2B basis. About 20% of our customers are private individuals, but most of them are small businesses, associations or graphic designers. The small businesses are mainly tradesmen, shopkeepers, restaurants, professionals…

How does TWIST integrate into your system on a practical level?

We have our front office website where customers upload their file, which we then receive on a website a bit like an FTP. From there, a copy is automatically written to our internal ERP. The operators open the file from the ERP in TWIST, which will check, edit, validate or invalidate the file. Validation will involve either the ripping machine, for digital printing, or provision in a hot folder, for offset. We are in the process of developing additional automation at this stage.

Can you measure the productivity gains brought by TWIST?

Of course: we started with 0% automation, but now 70% of files are processed entirely by TWIST. This does not mean that we have gained 70% in terms of time because we still have to process complex files manually, but we have freed up at least 30% of operator time thanks to TWIST, in a little less than a year. The remaining 30% of production does not go through TWIST, for example large-format prints, which are too time-consuming and CPU-intensive, or those that require additional operator work such as complex brochures.

Can you measure the ROI obtained?

Thanks to the TWIST parameterization work, done in collaboration with Max-André Carru (from the company Galilée), this 30% saving represents 30 thousand euros a year.

What are your development prospects now?

We are thinking we would like to automate all the pre-press tasks, from receipt of file to digital printing, or to preparation of the printing plate for offset. We will have made good progress in the next six months with automated imposition by Metrix. Then, in connection with our growth objective, we will have to get an additional hardworker for TWIST. Here, the advantage of DALIM is that we will be able to increase our processing capacity without jeopardizing the overall system.

Interview by Didier Destabeaux

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