DesignMerge Helps Plasti-Fab Improve Their Bottom Line

August 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

Since 1957 Plasti-Fab, Inc. has been manufacturing visual identification products for industrial, material handling, corporate, and retail industries. They use DesignMerge to produce a variety of products including signage, labels, id tags, and more.

Following is a short interview with Steve Orlando, graphic artist at Plasti-Fab, Inc., discussing how the DesignMerge software has helped them to increase productivity and improve their bottom line.

arrowbulletWhat type of work do you do with DesignMerge?

We produce a variety of signage tags and labels primarily for the automotive industry. However we have also printed scannable identification badges and other products as requested by our clients.

arrowbulletWhat kind of challenges have you faced in the Variable Data Printing (VDP) market?

Our VDP needs are fairly basic. Most of the labels and tags that we produce contain bar codes and/or sequential numbers, and therefore we require a software solution that will address these processes.

arrowbulletWhy did you choose DesignMerge?

DesignMerge allows us to print tags and badges with the bar codes and sequential numbers included as part of the output. We need a robust bar code utility which DesignMerge provides. And the “sequential numbering” feature of DesignMerge makes it incredibly easy to produce the numbered output that our clients require.

arrowbulletWhat have been the results of implementing DesignMerge in your workflow?

Prior to implementing DesignMerge, we generated bar codes and sequential numbers separately from the label and then manually adhered them. With DesignMerge we are able to output the label with bar code and/or sequential number in one pass. Eliminating an entire step, particulary one that was extremely labor-intensive, has allowed us to reduce labor costs and increase turn-around time on jobs. Furthermore, where previously we may have turned away work with tight deadlines, we can now confidently keep it in-house knowing that we will meet our clients’ timelines with an accurate and professional product.

arrowbulletIs there a particular feature of DesignMerge that you like?

It’s easy to use! And Meadows has great technical support. The online knowledgebase is very useful, and I have always received fast turn-around on any support tickets. I am not an expert on bar codes, and it has been very helpful to be able to contact Meadows with questions, and to bounce ideas and questions off of them.

To read the case study on our website and see samples of a few of the variable data jobs that are produced by Plasti-fab, please click here.

DesignMerge for Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud

June 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Meadows Publishing Solutions is happy to announce that their DesignMerge Variable Data Software is now available for Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud, on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms! DesignMerge is an award-winning suite of plug-ins that allow users to quickly and easily create variable data output from any InDesign document. DesignMerge includes many sophisticated VDP features including automatic copy-fitting, menu-driven conditional logic programming, multi-up layout support, as well as PPML, PostScript, Creo VPS, and PDF/VT output.

DesignMerge Helps Automate Identification Services’ Badge Release Program

September 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge 

Originally founded in 1971 as a retail provider of engraved products, Identification Services has grown into a full-line manufacturer of promotional products for an international market. Located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Identification Services uses the latest technology for both customer service and manufacturing, and the DesignMerge Variable Data Software is an integral part of that offering. DesignMerge allows Identification Services to easily and quickly merge multiple fields of variable data into predefined templates to create custom products of varying complexity.

Following is a short interview with Jillisa Kraetz, Identification Services production artist, who discusses how DesignMerge has helped Identification Services expand its offerings and improve its bottom line.

What type of work do you do with DesignMerge?

As a supplier to the promotional products industry, we use DesignMerge to merge variable data when creating name badges, promotional magnets, and event bag tags. We also print consecutive numbering for products such as parking passes and employee ID badges.

What kind of challenges have you faced in the Variable Data Printing (VDP) market?

Our main product line is comprised of custom name badges. Customers may want names, logos, photos and bar codes on their badges. We needed a program that allows us to merge all of these fields at once, no matter how many options the customer wants printed on the badge. We also have customers who do short runs (often only one or two badges at a time) and we had to find a way to do this economically.

Why did you choose DesignMerge?

The built-in Group Picture feature in DesignMerge allows us to easily populate templates with “pre- formatted” badges and then merge the unique fields of data onto each badge, all in one step. We also like how DesignMerge allows us to easily merge single badges from multiple customers onto one template that can be printed and die-cut at the same time.

DesignMerge is also the only program we have found that has built-in copyfitting. This feature automatically adjusts both letter spacing and word spacing in order to fit the merged data into the layout without manual intervention.

And for those jobs that require consecutive numbering, DesignMerge tackles this requirement without issue.

What have been the results of implementing DesignMerge in your workflow?

DesignMerge has been a big time-saver for us. It allows us the capability of merging multiple layouts (with numerous variable fields) for various customers into a single file, which also results in a materials savings because we are able to “gang” jobs up.

Having DesignMerge has allowed us to more fully automate our popular “Prepaid Badge Release Program,” which makes it easy for customers to order the small quantities of products that may arise after placing their initial order. On the initial order, extra product is paid for and placed in our online inventory system for later release. When customers are ready to order more personalized product, they simply go to our website and enter the required names into predefined fields and submit their order. We can then gang hundreds of small orders together saving materials, time, and finishing costs.

Do you see this aspect of your business growing?

Yes, as the economy continues to grow we expect to see an increase in badge and ID requirements, as well as other personalized marketing and promotional materials.

To read this case study online and see sample output from their “Prepaid Badge Release Program” please click here.

DesignMerge at Minuteman Press 2013 World Expo

July 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events 

We will be showing DesignMerge at the upcoming Minuteman Press World Expo in Chicago. The dates are August 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. If you will be attending the Expo, please be sure to drop by booth 417 to see DesignMerge in action!

Graceland University Relies on DesignMerge to Target Student Recruitment and More!

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Graceland University is a private, liberal arts university with 2,300 students and 150 faculty members located on a residential campus in Lamoni, Iowa and an urban campus in Independence, Missouri. The sponsoring church is the Community of Christ, though Graceland celebrates its non-sectarian heritage dating back to 1895 when the university was founded. Students enjoy more than 50 academic majors and programs, a 15:1 student/faculty ratio and 19 varsity and 10 junior-varsity sports.

Following is an interview with Steve Edwards, Director of Creative Services at Graceland, discussing how DesignMerge has helped tto arget student recruitment efforts, while also providing for an increase in general marketing efforts to current students, their parents, alumni and more.

What VDP challenges have you faced in the Education market?

Our most significant business challenge was to cost effectively market to high school students interested in a liberal arts university for higher education. As with most colleges and universities, there is a lot of competition with student recruitment, and the process has become more competitive over the years as universities have implemented variable data technology to personalize their message and target interests directly to prospective students. While we recognized the need to implement variable data printing into our marketing campaigns, each time that we looked at doing variable postcards through an outside service, it was decided that the cost was just too high.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

Graceland was looking at doing variable data brochures and postcards. And at the same time we were also evaluating several new digital presses. We purchased a Canon C6000 and were thrilled that DesignMerge was part of the purchase! We were immediately pleased with the DesignMerge software.

How important do you feel it is to create personalized marketing materials for the purpose of student recruitment/retainment?

The studies all say that you get an increased rate of return when personalizing. I think it’s similar to when main-stream printing moved from black-and-white to all color. Personalization has become so widely adapted that I think it really stands out in a negative way when a piece, especially a postcard, doesn’t have it. It would be along the lines of not placing the recipients name on a letter.

What type of variables are considered in a recruitment piece?

We use VDP for addressing, personalizing names, event-based text (i.e. if a student hasn’t yet paid their deposit, we include a sentence encouraging them to do so), photos based on gender of recipient, entire pages based on academic and sport interest. The simple fact is, if we can imagine a way to segment a population by data, we can use VDP to reach them.

In what other ways have you utilized DesignMerge?

We use DesignMerge in our Annual Fund program (again, a postcard). The VDP on these range from a simple name and address to changing out the entire card face based on academic major or graduation date. We’ve also used it in our homecoming mailing packet, printing multiple letters, pre-filling registration forms with name and address information, and swapping out entire letters based on graduation year. Nametags for various events are extremely easy to produce with DesignMerge. And we’ve also seen an uptick in campus offices having us merge their letters since we can do it faster with DesignMerge than they can through MS Office.

What are the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

We’ve found that DesignMerge’s seamless integration with Adobe InDesign has allowed our creative department to generate complex database-driven publications without having a database reporting specialist. Furthermore, since implementing DesignMerge we’ve been able to greatly reduce our inventory, save money on our overall mailing costs and reduce the number of printed pieces we send out since those that we do send are much more targeted.

See Us at Print 13

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events 

Meadows will be demonstrating the very latest versions of DesignMerge and AutoPrice in booth 4943 at PRINT 13, September 8-12 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. Please stop by for a personalized demonstration.

To obtain a FREE exhibits-only pass, compliments of Meadows, please click here.

We hope to see you in September!

PRINT 13 graphic

 

AutoPrice Optional Software Modules

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

AutoPrice software is still the premier data publishing, price updating and reporting software solution for major catalogers around the world. And now with the availability of the following three optional software modules, AutoPrice expands upon its flexibility even more!

AutoPrice PDF Exporter Module

The AutoPrice PDF Exporter module can automatically convert your AutoPrice placeholders into fully customized and embedded hyperlinks. The module supports a robust set of replaceable parameters that can be used to customize each of the links as they are exported. Full control over link styling is also provided. This module is ideal if you are creating PDF Catalogs, or exporting PDF pages with embedded hyperlinks for use in an online page turning catalog.

AutoPrice Squinch Reporter Module

The AutoPrice Squinch Reporter module produces comprehensive Square Inch Analysis reports from one or more catalog pages prepared using AutoPrice. Full SKU-level details about catalog square inch utilization is provided in a customized report format. Support for global, shared and combined square inch areas is also included as a standard feature. If you are tired of wearing a green eye shade and measuring your catalog pages with a ruler, then this one is for you!

AutoPrice Data Exporter Module

The AutoPrice Data Exporter module allows you to organize and extract
content (text, picture, and styling information) from any set of Adobe InDesign documents. The extracted content can then be used to populate Web, e-Commerce, or Digital Content databases.

AutoPrice Update for QuarkXPress 8 & 9

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Meadows Publishing Solutions has released software updates for AutoPrice for QuarkXPress 8 and 9. These releases include the following changes:

  • Fixes a problem with assigning Aux keys to a placeholder. Previously the keys did not hold with the placeholder, or QuarkXPress crashed.
  • Added support for <SEARCH_KEY()> and <DOC_TEXT()> parameters in PDF Exporter code. This allows the user to specify a series of characters to strip from the search key or doc text before assignment.

If you are currently running AutoPrice for QuarkXPress 8 or 9, we recommend that you update to the latest release at your earliest convenience. The software may be downloaded from our website at:

http://www.meadowsps.com/site/downloads/downloadsap.htm

When updating the AutoPrice software, you will be prompted for an activation code. Please enter the activation code that was provided to you when you purchased the AutoPrice software. Should you have any questions about installing the upgrade, please call or write us at support@meadowsps.com.

If you are not currently at these revision levels, but would like purchase or upgrade information, please contact Mike Clancy at sales@meadowsps.com or by phone at 888-983-6746.

 

Are You Ready for Intelligent Bar Codes?

January 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Video 

Intelligent Mail is Here!

On January 28, 2013, the Postal Service will require the use of the Intelligent Mail barcodes to qualify for automation prices. Say goodbye to PostNet!

All Mailers and Printers will need to be able to create and print Intelligent Mail barcodes. Luckily, our DesignMerge software for InDesign and QuarkXPress is ready to go, providing built-in support for fully variable Intelligent Mail barcodes.

To see DesignMerge in action, please click the link below to view a movie of this process, or visit http://www.meadowsps.com/usps/ for more information.

video re: Creating Variable Intelligent Mail Bar Codes with Designmerge

MPS 2D Bar Code Product Review

October 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Brian Lawler recently posted a great review of the Meadows 2D Bar Code Module. Please take a moment to read it by clicking here!

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