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.

Multi Packaging Solutions and DesignMerge Makes Digital Variable Signage a Top Customer Offering!

December 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) has its heritage in the healthcare, media, and consumer goods markets, with a proven track record of customer focus, creative ideas, technical innovation, and manufacturing excellence. Recognizing industry trends toward more frequent, smaller-sized orders, MPS has developed a hybrid approach to manufacturing which combines flexographic, digital, offset, and rotary letterpress printing to achieve the desired graphic results for any given project. Success is derived from listening to customer needs and combining talent with capabilities to achieve superior results in print and packaging.

When MPS began building a network of leading print and packaging companies in January 2005, it included a division in Indianapolis, Indiana, formerly known as Hilltop Press. MPS-IN houses a digital, on-demand department known as “EXPRESS.” The department name says it all – they specialize in on-demand, fast-turn digital and variable print. Beth Coleman-Valdettaro, Director of Digital Technology at MPS-IN recently provided insight into how DesignMerge has helped them to meet client challenges while expanding their business opportunities.

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

While the graphic arts industry has been singing praises of variable data printing for years, few printers have been able to take their customers beyond the basic typographical mail merge, direct mail application. Because many customers fail to grasp the concept and value without visuals, MPS was challenged to develop a variable customer offering that could be easily presented and understood by non-data-oriented clients. Using DesignMerge to create interesting variable graphic images in QuarkXPress files, helped to sell the concept, employing big impact messages to a specific customer audience.

One customer had been struggling with the need for customized signage featuring a variety of products and pricing in more than 2000 sales locations. MPS designed a customer-specific solution using the client’s data to create consistent artwork templates, variable signage and digital prints, customized down to the location level. The original application in 2004 was designed to do 16 different signs for multiple locations daily. The scenario today includes more than 100 different product signs in various sizes and materials, all customized and shipping to dozens of markets weekly.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

We chose DesignMerge because it fit our customer’s application perfectly. There was a need to interface with QuarkXPress artwork, and be compatible with Xerox DocuColor printers. Much of the graphic content of each sign was photographic or contained design elements, as well as type. The application had to interface well with customer provided data, as well as the Fiery RIP on the digital printing devices. Over the last several years, DesignMerge has retained its strength and flexibility in an ever changing world of technology offerings. It was, and continues to be, the ideal variable solution for this complex customer application.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

The success of the display and signage program led to variable sales binders and promotional materials, all customized to the individual location’s pricing and product offering. Many products have transitioned from large conventional press runs to print-on-demand orders. Currently, 80% of the digital work printed at MPS-IN is variable.