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  • resistance to new technologies/workflows

    Hello all, I am the production planner at our plant. Currently trying to learn the prepress world. I have been researching pdf workflows and jdf. I have found some things I believe to be really cool, but am having a difficult time getting the gurus to get on board with it. These guys are really great to work with and are teaching me alot. They just seem to try and create reasons to not try these newer ideas. I know that I would be considered an outsider since I don't know everything they do. But I am interested in making everybody's life a little easier. Does anybody out there have any suggestions that would help in this case to get someone interested in the automation workflows out there?

  • #2
    Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

    Yeah, clean house. Seriously. I have been in this boat twice. Prepress people are the premadonnas (sp) of the printing world.
    Twenty years ago it used to be strippers. We (the mac people) looked at these old dinosaurs and said, "I will never be like that".
    However, we have changed.
    I had an issue where a new RIP was coming in. 2/3 of the department left on the same day. Their reasoning: If they were going
    to learn a new RIP, why not do it on their terms?
    I agreed, but I stuck it out and found the best RIP out there.
    Your other option is to get 30 day trial licenses of the software. SHOW them what can happen. To do this you need somebody
    on board that is a champion for your cause. There has to be ONE person in your organization that is not getting the credit /
    power that they deserve. Give em a shot. Let them take this project and if it works and if they are not complete putzs, then
    promote them.
    That is my two cents worth. It has worked for me. We now run PowerSwitch (automation from Gradual software) and we love it.
    My PowerSwitch server is doing things daily that save me so much time and frustration.


    • #3
      Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

      One thing you could do is to point your people towards the following link:

      Here are some online demo movies showing what some workflow and design tools can do to make life easier for production. Check out BackStage ( workflow ), DeskPack ( Adobe Illustrator plugins ), and the others. If you would like to see what JDF can do, go to our home page and see the MIS integration movie listed there. Grab the guys, some coffee, and watch the movies together.

      These products are all from EskoArtwork. Let me know if you have any questions.
      Good luck - peter
      "you never know how the past is going to turn out"


      • #4
        Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

        In your position it is hard - dont you have a pre press manager or production manager to talk to

        Usually most printers workflow is dictated by their pre press supplier Agfa, Kodak etc etc. - depending how much you are likely to spend they may well suggest that they have a demonstration/trainer pop in to just to say hello to the department and tell them what is new.

        Its a start



        • #5
          Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

          What you're dealing with is the fear of job loss. It may sound cold hearted but I'm looking forward to the day that it's me and maybe a designer and a good mac operator. That's where things are going. I'm going out and training customers to make good PDF files. Those files will be submitted to a hot folder, refined, imposed with a standard template from Preps and then sent to a proofing queue automatically. Very little human intervention required unless the job doesn't fit the standards. Little need for intervention means fewer jobs. Of course people want to stop something that will take away their livelihood.

          Just my 2 cents.



          • #6
            Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

            I'd agree it's fear of job loss. What operators need to realize is the entire industry, the way of doing things is changing. It's either change with it or be left behind. Instead of taking a disk, loading files up on a different workstation it originated from and using years of experience to make the job print ready we're now educating the customer and moving that responsibility upstream. Prepress operators are becoming trainers and responsible for troubleshooting different types of issues. Still a valuable position.


            • #7
              Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

              I have to agree with Monkeyboy on that. Automated prepress workflows are cutting prepress operators jobs. And the operators are well aware of that, that is why they try to resist. Unfortunately, there is no turning back. The only motivating argument I could suggest is to try to convince them that the more they will know about such workflows, the more they will be able to call themselves "workflow specialists" giving them the chance to last even longer in that trade. Get workflow vendors to demo their stuff and get your operators involved in the process while keeping a critical eye on their evaluation.
              Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.


              • #8
                Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                Well I see some valid points although I have been at the receiving end of some misguided folks who haven't a clue about what they are talking about usually it's after they read an article about the latest wizbang new thing that will revolutionize the industry (been hearing that one since about '86).

                The problem I see is people are basically told here is what we are going to do period and aren't given the opportunity to be on board or offer opinions, damn straight they are going to resist, I would to if my opinion was not asked for or disregarded since at the end of the day it's ME that has to make it work. As he said they do know more than he does so you need to use them.

                You gotta use a little psychology here folks, if you want someone to get on board with and idea then make them part of it let them feel they are an intregal part and you will be surprised. Fear of job loss isn't as big of a motivator as pride trust me on this.

                For example, for years I used to butt heads with a VP at another company every idea I had he would shoot down and usually resulted in a shouting match until one day I asked his opinion on an idea much to my surprise he went for it and I never had a problem with him again. If all else fails then you may have to make some hard choices but cleaning house without trying is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

                Oh and premodonna's? not sure about that, you've got arse bags everywhere as a stripper and now a mac/prepress operator I'm going to have to take exception to that comment. I've always been a team player and worked well with every department from customer service to the pressroom and I'm not the only one. I have seen some butt weasels but they were typically the exception not the rule. I mean that's like saying that all designers are no talented clueless hacks that couldn't create a decent file to save their life......oh wait.

                Just kidding


                • #9
                  Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                  IF you want to stay in printing, you need to keep learning new skills. Pretty soon there won't be a demand for people who sit, load disks, write a .ps file and go home. The troubleshooters and the problem solvers will still have jobs. G, I totally agree with you about things that have been promised since '86. I still want my flying car, we were supposed to have those by now too. But a little closer to reality, I have been watching the evolution of workflows for years now. We're finally getting close to those 1986 promises. It's really going to be a different landscape in 10 years. Either get good or get into school for something else now. Don't wind up like the strippers I used to work with, mostly out of what should have been a safe trade.

                  Just so youse guys will know, I'm not heartless. A lot of good people are going to look around one day a wonder what the hell happened. I was a stripper and camera operator, I've dodged the bullet once. If you don't get on top of the technology, it's going to get on top of you.

                  Just my bleak view of the future.


                  Almost forgot: "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."

                  Edited by: HiTech_Monkeyboy on Jan 22, 2008 5:04 PM


                  • #10
                    Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                    Thanks everybody, I really appreciate the feedback. I have been trying to make these guys part of the decision making process and letting them change something here or there even if it is just a trivial detail just so they know that i am not trying to shove this down their throats. I can also understand the fear of losing their jobs - but our management team has made it more than clear that they do not want to get rid of these guys. We are also moving in the variable data and web services worlds and need some intelligent people to move into these postitions. Offers and opportunities are being presented constantly for the guys to learn new things and apply them.
                    Right now we are using Rampage and Preps to make the templates. About a year ago we got Metrix and it is really cool. You can export out a preps template if needed - but in can also impose and send complete jdf out. Once I saw what our guys had to go throught with preps, meaning have all of these seperate templates and break these pages out to go on this run list and then breaking these other pages out to go this other run list!!!! i really thought they would like the solution of have 1 template for the entire job and just setting the run list in rampage.
                    And we are also trying to "train" our customers to give us pdf's - but we have spoiled them for so long now with making any and all changes to their work - they are also resisting pretty hard. That is one thing our prep guys are trying to help push.

                    ps - monkeyboy ---- love the quote man.


                    • #11
                      Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                      Couldn't agree more Monkey, I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't always had the "mean green mother from outer space" attitude and always wanted folks to "feed me"

                      I've worked with folks who couldn't trouble shoot their way out of a wet paper sack, just the other day 2 of our servers couldn't access another one of our servers and a fellow on another shift somehow ruled out the server that couldn't be seen by the other 2 so he procedes to unmount and try to remap the drives, of course, a quick reboot of the other server and they are back (after I remap the drives of course). I have seen many prep depts go from 15 people down to just a few in a fairly short time and you are correct the ones that are left can handle most anything and the so-so's are gone.

                      I guess my point was some folks just need some encourgement and to be felt a part of the process to shine.


                      • #12
                        Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                        Nice "Little Shop" reference G-man.

                        Metrix, which quote?

                        Involvement is always a good thing. BUT... If someone doesn't want to move forward, they need to move on. I'm not going to try to drag people along.


                        • #13
                          Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                          Its funny how people resist NEW technologies

                          I remember when I was a Scitex Operator and there was talk
                          of going to photoshop.All of the operators were
                          saying it would never happen and they would never use PS.

                          I was the first one to Jump ship.....Best move I have ever made !

                          I just Love to learn new things, its what keeps me going in this crazy business.

                          I have been in printing since 1980, things have changed and so have I !

                          Like its already been said, if you don't like change your going to be out of a Job.



                          • #14
                            Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                            monkey - I'm not an evil genius, I just play one at a print shop.

                            Man, I feel like that everyday. It seems there is constantly a line outside my door of people asking "How did you do that?" or "How does this work?". It is not rocket science!


                            • #15
                              Re: resistance to new technologies/workflows

                              Ditto bro, I can't get anything finished because someone is asking for help with something. Between the operators and phone calls from customers, my day is filled with troubleshooting. The customer calls are good, usually I can head off problems but answering the same question from the same operator everyday gets old. Add to that the attitude when a little OT is needed... That's why I said I'd be happy with just a designer and one good operator. Workflow come and they all go home.

                              Quote for the day:

                              "The lunatics are in my hall. The paper hold their folded faces to the floor and everyday the paperboy brings more." - Pink Floyd


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