As a result of an audit by CMYUK, Northampton-based large format printer Studio One has seen a rise in margins and improved insight into costs and profitability through the addition of various software integration and automation tools and process review.

The company had installed an EFI Pace MIS system prior to the pandemic but had not found time to fully investigate and implement it. The downturn during the Covid restrictions allowed this to be addressed.

‘It was becoming increasingly obvious to us that we were fairly blind when it came to understanding profit. We were waiting until the end of the month to understand if we were profitable or not. Where we were making money was at best blurred. The issues were becoming more embedded as the company grew in size,’ commented managing director Jon Sayers.

‘The pandemic has given us a real chance to knuckle down with Pace.  We’ll have a much stronger understanding of the business and make the most of all the work that comes in. We’ll be able to understand better what our customer base is, and see what areas of the business are doing well or not. We’ll understand our capacity a lot more, schedule more effectively and run a slicker ship than usual, ultimately to the benefit of all our customers.’

During the detailed Pace implementation, CMYUK conducted a workflow audit, something that it offers free to EFI customers, to evaluate the overall efficiency of its prepress, printing and finishing operations. A number of detailed recommendations were made, resulting in the addition of Esko i-Cut for an existing Kongsberg cutting table and Enfocus PitStop Pro, as well as EFI Metrix imposition software, plus the installation of digital screens in both production and office areas.

A particular focus for Studio One was on estimating, with shop-floor data capture allowing hand finishing and packing operations to be captured and taken into account, providing a clearer view than the usual cost-per-square-metre approach. Inventory control was also revamped, which simplified stock-taking operations.  In the six weeks following the completion of the audit and implementation process, margins have risen by 10% without any rise in turnover.

Mr Sayers added, ‘This has been a business-wide change. From something that never existed, Pace has now become our nerve centre and the most valuable part of our business. It touches every single extremity – there’s no individual or department that hasn’t been affected by it in one way or another. I don’t think they’ll be anybody a month from now who doesn’t prefer it to anything we’ve done.’