WAM Print|Mail|Fulfillment Uses DesignMerge Software to Build on Their Reputation For the Finest in Print and Mail Services

May 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

For more than 50 years, the professionals at WAM Print|Mail|Fulfillment have provided their customers with design, printing and mailing services with a focus on superior service and quality. Their goal is to combine current technology, talented employees and team effort to provide efficient, on-target mailing, printing and data services. WAM offers a wide array of services, including everything from mail piece design and digital printing, all the way to pickup and delivery to the post office. A large part of their business also includes variable data printing services with output on a variety of digital color presses, including the Konica Minolta C8000. WAM’s commitment to customer service and quality ensures that they will continue to be a leader in the industry for many years to come.

Following is a brief interview with Graphic Designer and IT Specialist, Janessa Stam, of WAM. Janessa shares a few details about WAM’s implementation of DesignMerge software in conjunction with the Konica Minolta C8000 and other digital color presses.

arrowbulletWhat type of work do you do with DesignMerge?

We do quite a bit of Variable Data Print, primarily for producing direct mail pieces, personalized postcards, and the like. Many of our designs require real-time data and layout processing features, which allow us to craft our direct mail pieces for a particular client or audience. The Rules engine that DesignMerge offers has been instrumental in the success of our targeted mailings.

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

Our primary challenge was to find a software program that was both well supported, and also able to handle highly variable pieces. In addition to variable text and images, we wanted to be able to vary document layouts and other styling features to potentially achieve a different look and feel for each piece. We also have a number of specialty data situations such as complicated Title Case and data manipulation requirements that we needed to address.

arrowbulletWhy did you choose DesignMerge?

DesignMerge offered the capabilities we required to meet our customers needs at an affordable price while giving us options to expand our variable data capabilities. Additionally, DesignMerge offered quick and thorough responses to our questions, and assistance with any problems we had. Beyond that we have been able to use the DesignMerge scripting capability to address a number of sophisticated data processing challenges.

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

We love the ability to merge to a variety of output types, and our customers have been very happy with the new capabilities that DesignMerge offers. Because DesignMerge is based on Adobe InDesign, we have complete freedom over our designs, and this has really helped us to think outside the box when it comes to VDP applications. We have used DesignMerge software on jobs as large as 800,000+ records, and the “job chunking” feature of DesignMerge means that we can just set it up and let it run with no need for any manual intervention.

arrowbulletYou mentioned using the DesignMerge Scripting features for a couple of projects. How did that work out?

For one mailer, we were in need of a solution to handle title case switching of first and last names. The data provided by the client contained all caps, and we needed to convert those into proper case without having to edit the database information. In addition, we needed a solution to handle more complicated title case conversions, for names like MACDONALD or ONEILL, where there is more to it than just capitalizing the first letter. The DesignMerge team provided us with their MPS Title Case script that handled all of our requirements, and it was incredibly easy to implement. Here are a few examples of the title case conversions the script can handle:

Table

On another job, we needed to be able to strip out partial pricing information from full price values that were being imported from the database. For example, we needed to import only the dollar portion of a price, so if the data contained “10.00″, we only wanted to merge the “10″ portion of the price. Meadows provided us with another script called the MPS Price Parser which easily handled this condition. The script also provided other features for stripping cents and percentage values from pricing data, which we may use on future projects. Implementation of the script for this project was fast and very easy to do.

WAM-logo

DesignMerge Helps Yorke Increase Productivity and Grow Their Business

April 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

Yorke is right-sized by design – small enough to give each job close attention, big enough to respond quickly and effectively. Offset printing is where they earned their reputation. On the digital side, they can handle anything you can throw at them – black& white, color, variable data, digital storefront development, you name it! Their pricing is competitive and their streamlined digital work-flow means turn-around times are insanely fast. The real advantage to using Yorke for digital printing jobs is that they apply the same quality control and attention to detail that they would on an offset job.

Following is a short interview with Yorke discussing how the DesignMerge software has helped them to increase productivity while offering new services to their clients. The result has been a steady growth in business that they see continuing into the future.

 

arrowbulletWhat type of work do you do with DesignMerge?

We use DesignMerge for both offset and digital printing. We apply DesignMerge variable data techniques for business cards, name tags, labels, mass appeal letters, reply cards and postcards, as well as self promotion mailings for our business. We also reprogram client data to match preprinted materials.

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

Previously when we received an Excel file with data, we would copy the information from the Excel file and paste the information directly into the application file. Now, we make an InDesign file of the base art and a layer with the variable information and DesignMerge does the rest, merging the files together. We can choose to create a variety of file types for the end result, including an InDesign file. Recently we have been reprogramming the data files from clients to match or change character size and/or style in order to maintain their corporate graphic standards.

The Meadows support team has been very responsive to our needs; helping us along the way to fulfill each client request and working with our prepress department until all issues are resolved. The support team often gives us step-by-step instructions which is extremely useful. The Meadows website contains an extensive Knowledge Base along with training videos and webinars that we can access anytime they are needed, giving us multiple ways to find the answers we need to service our clients.

arrowbulletWhy did you choose DesignMerge?

We chose DesignMerge because we felt the price was right, the interface was user friendly, the capabilities were wide ranging, and the level of technical support provided was expansive. After reading other testimonials, we felt Meadows was a company that mirrored our own philosophy on customer service.

arrowbulletWhat have been the results of implementing DesignMerge in your workflow

Using DesignMerge has increased our productivity and allowed us to offer new services to our clients, which positively impacts our customer relationships and revenue.

arrowbulletDo you see this aspect of your business growing?

We have seen steady growth in the use of VDP and expect that trend to continue. We are excited to offer this service to our customers and feel we will be very successful in doing so. Our responsiveness to client needs is a key differentiator for Yorke, and the addition of DesignMerge to our toolbox has definitely improved our capability in that area.

To see samples of a few of the variable data jobs that are produced by Yorke, please click here.

yorke

PDF/VT and DesignMerge

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

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has released a white paper explaining what PDF/VT is and its advantages. GWG believes that support of PDF/VT is essential for variable print markets. Our DesignMerge product, always on the cutting edge, fully supports PDF/VT. To read the press release from GWG, and access their white paper, please click on the following link:

http://whattheythink.com/news/68148-gwg-explains-pdfvt-easiest-route-variable-data-printing-workflow-success-new-white-paper/

 

AutoPrice now available for Adobe InDesign CS7 Creative Cloud!

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Meadows Publishing Solutions today announced the release of their award-winning AutoPrice software for Adobe InDesign CS7 Creative Cloud, for both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. AutoPrice is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, plug-in module that streamlines the updating of pricing, pictures, and other information in InDesign documents.

Click here to read the full press release.

New Training Packages for AutoPrice & DesignMerge

February 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

We are pleased to announce several new training options for the DesignMerge and AutoPrice software programs. Whether you are a new user or just looking for a refresher, we have a training option to suit your needs.

Webinar Training Package: Our expert leads an online training session, with the trainee actually “driving” the software.

On-Site Training Package: Instruction is held on-site at the client’s premises. Our expert leads the training session, which covers all available features while offering insights and tips.

Job Setup Package: As an add-on to either our Webinar or On-Site Training package, the Job Setup Package provides an added measure of confidence for the client’s first application of the software. Our experts will provide the setup for your first job and then schedule an onsite session to review the process with you!

Consultation Package: Setup as a Q&A session, this package is for clients who have been previously trained, but would now like further insight and tips on using the software to its fullest capacity.

TrainingBenefits

Scripting & Print Automation Modules

February 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

For the ultimate in workflow automation, Meadows offers a Scripting Module that provides access to a very robust scripting library. This module allows several of the Meadows software modules (including DesignMerge, AutoPrice, and CopyFit) to be controlled and directed from within the AppleScript, JavaScript or VBScript environments. In addition, DesignMerge customers can create custom “actions” that can be attached to any DesignMerge rule.

For print-based workflows, the MPS Print Automation Module extends the Scripting Module capabilities by providing access to a set of scripting commands used to control full PPML output. This module is a must-have for any DesignMerge or AutoPrice power-user.

Stop Sending Me Junk!

February 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

MyPRINTResource.com features an interesting podcast by Dave Fellman. Sales trainer Dave Fellman says he doesn’t classify direct mail as junk just because he didn’t ask for it. But he does call it junk if it’s unlikely to provide a return on the marketer’s investment. In this podcast, he explains how to use QR codes to overcome that problem and add more value to your customers’ marketing projects. To hear the podcast, please click here

The Meadows 2D Bar Code Module is a FREE plug-in that allows InDesign users to quickly and easily create QR codes. To download the FREE Meadows 2D Bar Code Module, please click here

 

PDF Exporter Module Available for AutoPrice

February 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

If you are creating PDF versions of your Adobe InDesign catalog pages, and you need to embed hyperlinks for product information in those PDF files, then the Meadows PDF Exporter module is for you!

The 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.

  • Converts placeholders into PDF hyperlinks
  • Style each link during export process
  • Share URLs for hyperlinks across documents
  • Supports URL and relative document hyperlinks
  • Hyperlink URLs can also be imported from any external database field
  • Ideal for PDF catalogs, or embedding links in online page-turning catalogs
  • Full batch processing available – create hundred of PDF files in one session

Squinch (Square Inch) Reporter Now Available

February 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

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 plug-in is for you!

  • Calculates square inch values
  • Easily manage non-standard shapes
  • Combine multiple squinch areas into one
  • Track brand information along with Squinch area details
  • Preview Report & Squinch Scanner features make for easy setup
  • Full Batch processing-process hundreds of documents in one session!

Square Inch Analysis

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Here is an interesting article on Square Inch Analysis for Catalogers, by Jim Coogan, founder and president of Catalog Marketing Economics:

Going From Square Inch Analysis to…

Meadows recently released their “Squinch” (Square Inch Analysis) software module for use with AutoPrice. For more information, please visit our website:

Meadows Squinch Software Module

Meadows AutoPrice Software Module

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