Digital Workflow Improves OOH Velocity & Precision
a message from Circle Graphics
Circle Graphics’ Digital Workflow Improves OOH Velocity & Precision
Today’s society is all about speed and precision – whether at a Starbucks drive-through or when ordering a product online that arrives in two days. Once an out-of-home ad contract is signed, the race begins to get that ad displayed and put the advertiser’s money to work. Pressure mounts on the creative team, the printer, the media vendor and the installation crews. Time really is money (ask anyone who has signed off on a credit invoice!).
As far as OOH production, our prepress team is a critical early step in the process and can sometimes be a bottleneck. Artwork files are large and inconsistent. Creative agencies and customers do not always use templates or build files correctly. “I didn’t know you needed bleed.” If the process was automated, artwork submitted at 4:00 pm on a Friday could be approved and on press by 5:00 pm to print over the weekend.
Circle’s obsession is in making sure OOH is at work on time!
Early in our history, Circle Graphics envisioned an artwork flow that was “low touch, no touch.” Over many years and millions of dollars, we built a proprietary digital workflow (DWF) system. Art files are “inspected” by our custom software to start the process. Successful files move to the DWF stage where we begin to build and add information to the file, including bleed, print registration marks, and barcodes for production and shipping processes. We generate print files, label files and proofing files, and our system automatically sends a proof to the customer. Once the file is approved, our digital workflow runs algorithms against current orders, current capacities, and ship to locations, using our “factory engine software” to determine which print queue to assign a job. By Monday morning, the artwork is printed and ready for finishing.
According to Matt Lautemann, the architect of the DWF at Circle Graphics, “Each month tens of thousands of posters and bulletins go through DWF seamlessly. The prepress process is quick and precise, and the quality control is superb. It frees up our prepress team to focus on more custom and value-added work.” Lautemann is quick to point out that for any files that require additional manipulation, like a large wall or bus wrap, “We’re happy to work any job in any way – it’s whatever customer wants. We’re here to serve them.”
Ralph Fisher, VP of Customer Experience at Circle Graphics, adds “People have so much going on right now, they might not have the time to watch tutorials or change the way they work. That is why we have experienced professionals dedicated to meeting the customers where they are. Likewise, if a customer wants to do everything they can to increase the velocity and get that ad on the street, we have tools that can make that happen.”
While artwork flow can be low touch, the Circle customer experience team is “high touch.” Within one hour of an order arriving at Circle, your account manager will review and process it. Regardless of whether the job is from a new customer or the largest account in the portfolio, there is a dedicated account manager assigned to ensure each order is produced to the correct specifications.
Since its founding 20 years ago, Circle Graphics has invested millions of dollars in its out-of-home production systems to ensure the speed and precision demanded by our industry. The OOH industry stays relevant when the full impact and value of the media space invested in can be realized. Circle’s obsession is in making sure OOH is at work on time!
a message from Circle Graphics