Seven common variable-data-printing mistakes
If you're just starting to think about getting involved with variable-data printing,
it will benefit you to take the time to gain a basic understanding of the issues
outlined below. Paying attention to these issues can make the difference
between a successful attempt to make money with variable-data printing and a
Citation Software offers variable-data-printing solutions from several leading
vendors. We offer a FREE consulting service to help you identify the best solution
for your technical requirements and budget. (We are compensated by the vendors
that we represent.) Call us today at 888-260-7316, and allow us to help
guide your decision-making process. We are here to assist you!
MISTAKE #1: Buying a new printer to do variable-data
printing and then buying variable-data-printing software later, after you already
own the printer.
It is very important to make sure that your software and your
printer are designed to work well together. If you don't do this, you might
end up with a system that is difficult to use or prints very slowly or — worst
case — does not work at all!
The issues that factor into a good match between software and printer for a
variable-data-printing system are quite
complex. For advice, look to a company such as Citation Software. We've been
involved with variable-data-printing technology since 1986, and we offer
a FREE consulting service to help you choose a software solution and a printer
that work together properly and are designed for the kinds of documents
that you plan to print.
Note, however, that you should not necessarily assume that you need to buy
a new printer to do variable-data printing. Depending upon your specific
requirements, you might be able to set up a profitable variable-data-printing
operation with the printer(s) that you already own.
MISTAKE #2: Assuming that in-line finishing
operations work the same way for both static and variable-data printing.
If you are printing static (i.e.,
non-variable) documents and performing finishing operations
in line (such as stapling or folding), don't just assume that everything will work the same
way when you start printing variable-data documents.
What happens behind the scenes
in a printer or RIP when you are printing variable-data
documents is very different than what happens
behind the scenes in the printer/RIP when you are printing static documents.
Because of this, you must choose your variable-data-printing software very
carefully — otherwise, you might not be able to do finishing operations in line.
A solution provider with variable-data-printing experience can offer guidance in this area.
MISTAKE #3: Buying software and/or printer
without testing them together.
Reputable software companies and reputable printer dealers will make an
arrangement for you to try before you buy — so you should test the
software that you plan to buy with the
printer that you own or plan to buy to make sure that everything works
the way it should. Do this BEFORE you spend any money on printer or software,
and be wary of any software company or printer dealer that is not willing
to make arrangements for you to do some testing before you pay for anything.
MISTAKE #4: Assuming that your printer dealer
understands variable-data-printing technology.
Many printer dealers lack an understanding
of variable-data-printing technology but are otherwise very competent.
If you're getting
advice from your printer dealer about which printer and/or
which software to buy, get a second opinion before finalizing your decision.
You should also be aware that some printer dealers will try to convince you to buy a
particular variable-data-printing application simply because it's the only
variable-data-printing application that they sell.
MISTAKE #5: Buying variable-data-printing
software that requires highly skilled personnel.
Understand that your operation will
probably be more profitable if you choose variable-data-printing software that is
easy to use.
There are many different variable-data-printing solutions available today. Some
have a easy-to-use, point-and-click interface; some do not have a point-and-click
interface but instead require scripting or programming; some have a point-and-click
interface that can be used for most tasks but require a little bit of scripting or
programming to do other tasks.
The relationship between profitability and easy-to-use software is simple to
understand. What it boils down to is that you'll have to hire somebody with
programming skills if your variable-data-printing software relies heavily on programming
or scripting; but if your variable-data-printing software allows most things to
be done by pointing and clicking with a mouse, all you'll need is a person with basic computer
skills and a knowledge of common document formats. Since programmers usually
demand higher salaries than people with basic
computer skills, you'll spend less money to set up new jobs if you don't need to
rely on a programmer.
MISTAKE #6: Assuming that software that's easy to use
is not as powerful as software that's hard to use.
This is a common misconception, and in many cases it simply isn't true! So don't
dismiss a particular variable-data-printing application because it seems
"too basic" unless you've taken the time to read and understand the
documentation that comes with the software.
MISTAKE #7: Not allowing enough time to do your
first variable-data-printing project.
In most cases, it is a mistake to assume that you can get your first variable-data-printing
job out the door the same day that your new printer and your new
variable-data-printing software arrive in your office. To protect your sanity
and to ensure that your deadlines can be met, accept the fact that you'll
experience a learning curve with virtually any variable-data-printing solution
— even if it is very easy to use.
Let our Wizard help you find the right product!
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