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Publishing Case Study

Changing the Traditional Workflow in Publishing

Feb 02, 2018

Anyone who has worked in a traditional publishing business knows that the process from ideation to print takes a very long time, sometimes years depending on the scope of the project. The workflow timeframe though for digital publishing is considerably shorter. Even without print and paper costs included in the equation, costs are substantially reduced just because of this.

A newly released case study by Gutenberg Technology (GT) shows how combining a simultaneous true print workflow with a digital workflow can save both time and costs associated with publishing. Essentially, the solution involves implementing GT’s modular software as a service (SaaS) MyEcontentFactory (MEF) to redefine workflow and allow traditional and digital methods to work together.

The case study proves that publishers who can accomplish a truly simultaneous print/digital workflow can achieve significant savings in both time and cost. While print and digital publishing are certainly not synchronous, a simultaneous workflow can overcome inefficient elements of traditional publishing methods. In very general terms, about 47 percent of time can be saved, and close to a third (30%) of costs can be saved.

How Traditional Workflow Compares to Digital First Workflow

There are many elements of traditional and digital publishing that are the same, even though the end result is quite different: usually a printed product versus an eBook or PDF. But traditional publishing follows a different pattern, incorporating, for instance, flat plans, design concepts, author manuscripts, copy editing, and proofreading processes.

While all these processes require attention, the traditional publishing workflow can be reorganized and streamlined to make the overall process more efficient. So, while a typical publishing workflow might start in July and continue to November the following year (17 months in all), the first 11 months would likely follow a traditional process, while digitization would only kick in after a year. But by using the GT method of automated digital-first workflow, the whole process for print and digital publishing would take only nine months. 

Motivation for the GT Case study

GT pushes the boundaries of technology in order to push the boundaries of knowledge. This, in turn, makes learning more attainable, more appealing, and ultimately more engaging for learners. The goal is to find the best most innovative, comprehensive solutions to meet the needs of publishers and the high-ranking C-level executives who drive companies.

Recognizing the overlapping timelines in print and digital publishing, as well as competing technologies, some of which are redundant, the challenge of the study was largely to identify how the two could be aligned to operate with a single workflow that would work for both. There are so many common needs and processes, but together a print and digital workflow is totally disjointed. There is no dispute about this. Simplistically, the idea was to implement MEF as a solution to overcome the lack of coherency and rationality and to introduce the concept of a digital-first workflow that would cater for both print and digital publishing needs.

The intention was clearly to show how time and costs could be saved, at the same time improving the quality of the published product whether printed or digital.

About the GT Study

Entitled Major Time and Cost Savings with A True Print & Digital Simultaneous Workflow, the GT case study examines the impact of switching from a print-first to a digital-first workflow even when the final product is to be printed in the traditional way. The mission of the study was to show how this could be done simply with powerful results for both publishing methods.

The study analyses workflow and time and uses GT’s MEF to show how to streamline the process. Inefficiencies in the traditional print workflow methods are identified and ways to address them are highlighted. A comparative analysis of the traditional versus MEF workflows is compelling and convincing.

The study also shows how the use of the GT MEF can be used to make a significant return on investment (ROI) by unifying and consolidating print and digital production methods and restructuring workflow. Potentially, publishers can save millions of dollars, depending of course on volumes of products.

If you want to know more about how to save time and money by switching from a traditional to digital-first workflow, download the Gutenberg Technology new case study now.

Read the Case Study

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