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Colorman Ireland increases efficiencies in pre-press with Packz

Packaging Solutions

Colorman Ireland Ltd has chosen to partner with Hybrid Software to speed up operations in the pre-press department. The company has seen substantial time and costs savings since introducing Packz, the native PDF editor, into its workflow.

Located in Broombridge, Dublin, Colorman has a large portfolio of high end clients and produces a wide range of print and packaging solutions. These include litho, digital, secure print and gift card manufacturing – ranging from healthcare fulfilment to print enhancements.

After investing in two floating Packz licenses, which are accessed across four Mac workstations, the time spent preparing each file for print has been cut by up to 50% on average. David Noone, prepress manager, commented: ‘The jump up from our existing workflow and processes has been impressive, and we are now able to run a much leaner operation. The transition to Packz has also been remarkably simple and the software fits in well with our production workflow.’

Colorman was first established in 1959 as a silk screen printing company, specialising in point of sale and poster hoardings for the advertising market. Over the years, it expanded into litho printing, and in the 1980s began diversifying into supplying the multinational IT sector.

In 2005, the company ventured into packaging and began supplying folding cartons to pharmaceutical and medical device clients. Since then, that side of the business has continued to expand, and today makes up over 50%. With more and more packaging jobs coming through the pre-press department, it was becoming clear that a dedicated, more effective solution was needed to continue on this growth path.

The team at Colorman started investigating the next level software solutions that could replace the systems that were currently in place, including Packz from Hybrid Software.

As a native PDF editor, Packz has been developed specifically for labels and packaging with a number of features that eliminate repetitive tasks by introducing higher levels of automation. Version 6, released late last year, comes with a redesigned user interface that contributes to an even better user experience.

During the evaluation process, Hybrid Software conducted a number of tests using job files from Colorman to show how the software would benefit its production. David explained, ‘The Hybrid team asked me to let them run one of our client’s jobs through the software, so we could compare like for like and really understand how many mouse clicks that could be saved. From there, we were able to quantify how quickly the investment would pay for itself and base our decision on that data.’

The job file testing in Packz was done remotely by Hybrid’s solution engineer Matt Dutch, who sent videos of the whole process back to Colorman’s pre-press team for analysis. ‘We can demonstrate something until we are blue in the face,’ said Paul Bates, Hybrid Software’s UK, Ireland and Global accounts manager, ‘but Matt took David’s files and ran them as if he was one of their own production guys, so they could see the real life advantages, rather than looking at one of our pre-prepared demonstration files.’

Once the software was installed, the Mac operators were also trained remotely by Tony Lawrence, who joined Hybrid Software six months ago with extensive experience of using Packz from his time as a studio manager. The sessions were scheduled around the productions shifts at Colorman to ensure a smooth and quick transition.

‘The training was great and quite straightforward,’ said David. ‘Hybrid was very accommodating and flexible, and the operators were very happy. Hats off to Tony too – his experience with using the product as a client really shone through.

‘PAckz is a big step up from what we had in place before. There is a lot more efficiency there, and it was obvious from day one that we could get through file preparation so much quicker.’

The sale was facilitated through Hybrid Software’s agent in Ireland, Litho Supplies, whose sales director is Richard Styles. He said, ‘Colorman has been able to reduce the number of steps in its processes, greatly increase efficiencies and demonstrate real time savings thanks to Packz. It is further proof that our decision to add Hybrid Software to our product offering in Ireland is truly paying dividends for our clients.’

The investment in Packz came just at the right time for Colorman and there is no doubt that it will be a vital factor in supporting the company’s future growth. ‘Packz has removed a bottleneck in our workflow and allowed us to free up significant amounts of time that we can now use more productively,’ concluded David. ‘Most importantly, it enables us to respond quickly to our customers’ needs, especially in the packaging market, where we have seen a large increase in demand during the pandemic.’


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