Print Perspectives

GUA 2023 defined the best practice in workflow automation

May 11, 2023

GUA Atlanta 2023

Live and in-person for the first time since 2019, the long-running Graphic Users Association (GUA) Conference brought together both long-time and first-time GUA attendees to learn about the latest KODAK PRINERGY Platform innovations and best practices, while providing valuable networking opportunities. Workflow aficionados from print companies serving the commercial, in-plant, and book printing segments met at the Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort from April 19 to 21 to absorb the latest updates, share experiences, and develop their strategies for ongoing workflow automation.

Starting the meeting, Jim Continenza, Kodak's Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, described how he intends the company to continue to shape the future of Print – analog and digital. His commitment is to innovation as he continues to ensure Kodak's focus on providing customers with the tools they need to be successful regardless of how they print or what they print.

Continenza proudly says Print is the company business, which comes through as he talks about the plate, press, and workflow innovations. While he did mention that toner-based products will be discontinued, he is bullish on the growth of Kodak inkjet solutions, including the new KODAK PROSPER 7000 Turbo Press and the KODAK PROSPER ULTRA 520 Press. He points to the offset quality, substrate range, and commercial speed as the proof points. He reminded us there is a market for all Kodak print solutions, from process free plates to high-speed inkjet and the PRINERGY Platform of products that enable shops to print to the best device for the job.

Jim Barnes, the Chief IT Implementation Officer, reinforced that workflow is the path to reducing costs, increasing revenues, and consolidating synergies by simplifying, standardizing, and scaling processes through automation. He brought home the point that a centralized hub based on automated data is an essential element of modern workflows. Gathering and analyzing data to create the best view of your products, people, and processes is the most effective way to mitigate the risks every business faces while optimizing for growth.

GUA Atlanta 2023 J Tomblinson

The GUA recipe for success is that it brings the entire workflow community together. For long-time and new PRINERGY users, the goal is to create optimized workflows that eliminate manual touchpoints, integrate with the range of software suites in modern print shops, and leverage data to guide business decisions. Listening to the questions, it was clear that PRINERGY users are at varying steps of the journey, but they all see the value of becoming more adept with building rules-based automation (RBA) and integrating their MIS/ERP solutions to get the most from workflow automation.

From a product perspective, attendees embraced the variety of offerings, including the newly unveiled Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, KODAK PRINERGY Access. Access is a centralized content management solution that automates the file management, approval and routing process for modern print shops requiring affordable options that deliver efficiencies and scale. It joins the growing number of cloud-enabled and hybrid solutions. Whether a business prefers the server-based PRINERGY solution, a cloud solution, a hybrid cloud solution, or managed services, KODAK PRINERGY has the options and a team of experts that can tell you how to get the most value from your workflow.

One of the valuable facets of GUA is that customers share their knowledge and experience. Across several presentations, we heard stories of success using RBA as a competitive weapon, while others focused on the value of analytics. The RBA stories highlighted how rules bring the benefit of fewer touchpoints, which makes it easier to train new staff, thereby lowering labor costs. Another important takeaway was the value of digging into available data to discover unused capacity and hidden bottlenecks.

If you missed the 2023 GUA Conference, keep your eyes open for the announcement of the 2024 edition and consider attending. From Kodak subject matter experts to attendees who share their missteps and successes, this is the event that defines best practices for modern workflow automation. The conference was a valuable resource for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in the print industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Kodak is committed to innovation and providing customers with the tools they need to be successful.
  • The KODAK PRINERGY Platform is the industry-leading solution for print production.
  • The GUA Conference is a valuable resource for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in the print industry.

Kodak, Prinergy, InSite, and ColorFlow are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.