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Simplify Production Print Job Onboarding with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The process of setting up new workflows in a production print environment can be a daunting and time-consuming task. In addition to an application and content specialist that knows the information and formats, you’ll need talented technical staff that can quickly and efficiently develop complex business rules, select variables and address information from the print files, establish the elements to be defined when a new document stops and starts, and connect print files with your automated mailing equipment. However, with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses can now alleviate the pains of job onboarding. In this article, we will explore how AI and ML technologies can streamline the onboarding process, saving organizations valuable time and resources.

Challenges in Production Department Onboarding

Before delving into new automated print, mail application, and job onboarding solutions provided by AI and ML, let’s first review the common challenges faced by every large production print and mailing department during the application onboarding process:

  1. Application Understanding. Processing simple letters with personalized information is relatively straightforward. This is considered variable data processing (VDP). However, when dealing with complex variable statements, bills, or marketing materials with multiple data elements, understanding the content and identifying key points for reprints, data auditing, and insertion becomes crucial. Many times, complex communications require application experts that are familiar with the content.
  2. Integration with Manufacturing Equipment. In today’s digital printing and mailing landscape, barcoding has become essential for tracking, data verifications, and auditing processes. Ensuring the accuracy of 2D barcodes on documents, bills, letters, and statements creates the necessary control files for mail inserters and other post-print manufacturing equipment, all of which are vital for seamless operations.
  3. Normalization of Workflows. Many print production departments aim to run as many applications as possible through a single production workflow. However, efficiency is hampered when each application requires extensive customization and training, and advanced “normalized workflows” are essential for improved productivity. Being able to process hundreds or thousands of applications through a few key workflows is the best way to succeed as staff becomes harder to find.
  4. Quality Assurance and Verification. This final step involves hours of human intervention and thorough review, verification, and quality assurance. Configurations, relevant information capture, barcoding, document boundaries, inserter information, and compatibility with reprint and archival tools all require meticulous attention to detail.

Introducing SmartSetup: AI-Enabled Onboarding Solution

With the advent of AI and ML, the future of production print automation and onboarding simplification has arrived. SmartSetup, a part of Crawford Technologies’ Enterprise Communications Processing (ECP) suite, offers a groundbreaking automated tool for job and application onboarding.

How SmartSetup Works

SmartSetup leverages AI and ML technologies to overcome the challenges of traditional onboarding processes. Here’s a breakdown of how SmartSetup simplifies the onboarding journey:

  1. Automatic Indexing and Configuration Generation. SmartSetup programmatically indexes each document or letter type, identifying key information such as address blocks, account identifiers, barcodes, and document boundaries. By intelligently detecting changes in the information, it autonomously creates configuration files required for running applications in production.
  2. Seamless Integration with Production Tools. By generating setup files for an automated document factory (ADF) and providing barcode information for workflow tools, SmartSetup ensures a smooth connection between the onboarding application and the organization’s existing production tools.
  3. Rapid Onboarding Process. Traditionally, onboarding complex applications could take anywhere from 2 to 4 days. However, with SmartSetup, the onboarding process can be completed within minutes, without the need for application developers or document specialists. This significant reduction in time and resources allows organizations to save thousands of man-hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Benefits of AI-Enabled Print Job & Application Onboarding

Implementing intelligent ECP onboarding tools like SmartSetup brings several benefits to organizations:

  1. Time and Cost Savings. By automating the onboarding process, businesses can significantly reduce the time and resources required for each new print application setup. This results in substantial cost savings and greatly increases operational efficiency throughout the facility.
  2. Enhanced Accuracy and Consistency. AI and ML technologies ensure accurate identification of key information, and relevant data aspects and consistent application of configurations. This reduces errors and improves the overall quality of production workflows.
  3. Streamlined Operations. With SmartSetup, production print departments can seamlessly integrate new applications into their normalized workflows, complete with barcoding, postal processing, splitting segmenting, and co-mingling, enabling smoother and more efficient operations.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the way organizations approach job onboarding for production print environments. SmartSetup, an AI-powered onboarding solution, offers an automated and streamlined approach to configuring applications, significantly reducing the time and effort required. By embracing Crawford Technologies intelligent ECP tools, organizations can simplify the job onboarding process, enhance productivity, and optimize their production print workflows.

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Revolutionize Onboarding: Accelerate Customer Success with SmartSetup’s AI-Powered Solution

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July 13, 2023


  • Ernie Crawford
    CEO & President

    Ernie Crawford is the founder and CEO of Crawford Technologies, a global leader in the print and electronic document industries. With over four decades of experience, Ernie is a respected thought leader and innovator in the field of document management and has been recognized for his contributions to the industry with numerous awards and accolades. He is committed to delivering innovative solutions to his clients and has led Crawford Technologies through significant growth and expansion while maintaining a focus on exceptional customer service. Ernie is a sought-after speaker and has presented at numerous industry events and conferences.

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