May 30, 2014 in Software (F)
[prMac.com] Schaumburg, Illinois - 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.
What 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.
What 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.
Why 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.
What 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.
You 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:
DELACRUZ (De La Cruz)
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.
Meadows Publishing Solutions is a software development and consulting company specializing in commercial and custom XTensions(TM) for QuarkXPress(R), plug-in modules for Adobe(R) InDesign(R) and Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) and other extensible technologies. Meadows has developed a number of popular software packages for the database publishing and variable data printing markets, including their award-winning products AutoPrice(TM) and DesignMerge(R). Founded in 1991, Meadows is based just outside of Chicago in Schaumburg, Illinois. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2014 Meadows Publishing Solutions. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.