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Whats with the trend of New Files from Client?

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  • Whats with the trend of New Files from Client?

    Here is our workflow.

    We get a PDF or Native files from the customer
    We work the files, Generate hard copy proofs that get sent to the customer.

    The trend we see is customers then send us NEW Files with the Changes, Sometimes before they have even seen the 1st proofs, not even telling us what changed (It could be a period in a 24 pager for all we know).
    We wouldn't mind so much if Designers could set up there files perfect every time but that is rare and often there is extensive work that goes into it on our end to make them printable.

    It's gotten to the point where when we send out proofs we are starting to send them our Native files back to them to make the changes too, instead of starting with their garbage 2 or 3 times.

    Has anyone else been seeing this trend.
    Last edited by gsterwald; 05-31-2018, 02:34 PM.

  • #2
    Sometime we see the same thing. We've developed two solutions so far:

    a.) we bill every move. We send out the actual billing info after each step, and wait for it's acknowledgement. We don't do any more moves without a positive answer (regarding payment of the prepress work and the cost of proofs & delivery).

    b.) we ignore all the versions up until the point where the production must be started in order to meet the deadline. At that point we force an approval/signing process; after that we don't accept any more versions (stating that printing has been started).

    After 1-2 sour lessons they learn or lay off the actual client account who got them into trouble.

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    • #3
      I’m not clear on what you mean by your clients sending you “jobs” Are your clients sending you PDFs or native application files?

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      • #4
        Gordo,

        They send both PDF and Native files.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gsterwald View Post
          Gordo,

          They send both PDF and Native files.
          The reason I ask, is that if you are making changes to PDFs then the resulting PDFs no longer reflect what was i their original native files. So, to keep their files up to date they will have to redo their native files - otherwise chaos ensues.
          If you make changes to the native files then return your version to them then the issue of native files vs their PDFs being out of sync doesn't happen.
          I don't understand it when you say that you send " Native files back to them to make the changes too". When they send you their native files those files are the originals. If you make changes to those files then your version becomes the "originals". There is no need for them to redo what you did.

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          • #6
            I've found that the only way to get your point across is to hit them in the wallet. Just keep billing them for your time (ALL of it!). Sooner or later, they'll either get the point, or, if not, you'll at least have an additional revenue stream.

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            • #7
              I have seen this some. I would think it is so that the customer always has the most up to date file and they minimize how many versions there are out there. Especially if they have multiple printers.

              At my previous company the CEO would sometimes promise customers to send them back native files with all the changes we agreed to so that they could send them to other printers if they so ever chose to. We would have some jobs we were looking to win and we had to match samples and we noticed the customer provided artwork would differ from the samples provided. It could be elements were different dimensions, strokes were thicker, the over all design was resized, some elements were moved, etc.

              If we printed using the artwork provided we would not match what the customer was currently receiving from their printer.

              There are also cases where the customer file has typos. Some customers thank you for noticing it and simply ask you to fix it for the print job. No request for the corrected native files.

              I am seeing at my current company that some customers specifically ask for no changes to be made. If we find anything that needs to be adjusted we must communicate it to them and they will send new files. In practice so far, I have notified them but they simply ask me to fix the file myself and don't request the native file.

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              • #8
                Gordo, I think Gsterwald meant that if necessary, he fixes any issues in order to make it print-ready, then sends native file back to customer for any revisions they might make, like typos, copy edits, etc. At least then the issues that might have prevented it from being print-ready have been dealt with.

                We do that as well, and still customers don't always use the file we send back, and they're not always appreciative, interpreting it as a criticism of their work.

                I ran into a situation last week. We supplied a template for a simple trifold. File came in with incorrectly sized panels, so I corrected and sent file back to designer as we made proofs. I didn't know the designer didn't work for the client, so client OK'd proofs as is, but designer made revisions and sent a file back. Our sales rep was very confused when a new proof was generated after the client had told her the job was approved to print. LOL.

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                • #9
                  It´s rampant, as in "how dare you lowly pushbutton printer suggest that I as an artist made a mistake?"

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                  • #10
                    Trend?

                    I guess how you deal with it depends on the extent of the fixes you have to make each time they send a revised file, and how much you can automate them.

                    For instance, we have one client who's attempting the world record for different ways to specify Pantone 186 U + black in one file, so I build them up in an Acrobat Preflight mapping action as they come.
                    Last edited by Danny Whitehead; 06-07-2018, 07:58 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Unfortunately, this trend is just getting worse and will probably continue to do so. As soon as film and matchprints were phased out in favor of CTP and inkjet proofs, companies stopped charging customers for changes out of fear that the customer would take the business elsewhere. If new film had to be run, that was billed, and because film and bluelines were expensive it helped to keep the revision cycle down somewhat. But once we could make changes right up until the plate is burned with no material costs, owners decided to start eating the labor costs. Or, they would try to bill it but then let the customer off the hook when the customer complained about the AA charges.

                      Now we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube!
                      Dan Curry
                      Prinergy 6 • Preps 7 • SmartStream Designer

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                      • #12
                        We are a small digital only printer and have been in business over 23 years (always digital). Used to be when you rec'd a supposedly "Print Ready" file from a designer - most of the time it would be ready to print. Today not so much - the designers we are dealing with have no idea how to set anything up for print. Many times they are doing graphic work for the customer (mostly web design) and they tell the customer they have set the file up "Print Ready". Has been getting progressively worse over the last 10 years and we do not expect it to improve - graphic designers are not receiving the training they need to set files up for printing. No standard solution - each case requires something different. One of our favourites is receiving a power point or excel file for something like a booklet. Great fun! We hard copy proof everything and do charge a fee for what we describe as "File Processing" on every job - this can be minimal but can also encompass more time consuming work. We communicate with the customer and let them make the decision about these "extra" costs before we do anything. Seems to work so far. Of course Vista Print et al - do this for nothing - right?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Puch View Post
                          Sometime we see the same thing. We've developed two solutions so far:

                          a.) we bill every move. We send out the actual billing info after each step, and wait for it's acknowledgement. We don't do any more moves without a positive answer (regarding payment of the prepress work and the cost of proofs & delivery).

                          b.) we ignore all the versions up until the point where the production must be started in order to meet the deadline. At that point we force an approval/signing process; after that we don't accept any more versions (stating that printing has been started).

                          After 1-2 sour lessons they learn or lay off the actual client account who got them into trouble.
                          that seemd a good solution!
                          by the way, same story here!

                          Anyway... I think is a matter of 'educating the client' but most of us - read it as: most of our sales guys - don't wanna bother clients by the risk of loosing them for such "sillinesses" as redoing the same prepress job many times.
                          Last edited by darioluca; 06-08-2018, 12:57 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Every day I get this. I work at a number of commercial printers and in-house print rooms in the UK. Print rooms have to do the work or some sensitive entitled person makes the most extreme allegations imaginable. Commercial printers do the work FOC because they are scared of losing the client. I do not know the solution. I have only been doing this for forty years.
                            System6.0.7, Illustrator'88, FreeHand2.02, PageMaker3.02CE. . .

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