Optimus–XMPie Integration Leads to Success for Wide Format Printer
At A Glance
Storbildsbolaget, based in Helsingborg, Sweden, has the largest production capacity in Scandinavia for large-format printing. It delivers a wide range of applications, including promotional signage, outdoor advertising, wallpaper displays, and more, directly to the retail industry and via other print businesses without in-house wide-format capabilities. It focuses on building lasting customer relationships and turning wide-format dreams into reality. To always stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry, Storbildsbolaget is a versatile business, quick to adapt to superior workflows for processing jobs across a wide range of inks, substrates, sizes, turnaround, and customisation.
Since 2015, the Optimus-XMPie integration partnership has helped print shops across Europe boost operational efficiency, increase profits, and grow their businesses. Optimus and XMPie offer a fully integrated Web-to-Print and Management Information System (MIS) for linking a client-facing print ordering system to the print shop’s pricing and stock system.
Optimus has supported Storbildsbolaget from the beginning of its digital transformation over ten years ago, bringing XMPie onboard at a later stage to support Storbildsbolaget client-facing eCommerce rollout.
In Storbildsbolaget’s prior workflow, orders were received and processed manually. A staff member would accept the job via telephone or email, key in the order details to create the job estimate, wait for approval, receive approval, and finally key the order details into the print workflow for fulfilment. Little to no data about order details or customer history was ever stored, so managers had no intelligent data or production overview with which to make business decisions and keep the business flowing. It had no control of the value chain, could not keep up with the fast-moving and volatile market, could not make intelligent price strategy decisions and relied on too much human intervention at almost every stage.
Storbildsbolaget ’s end goal was end-to-end automation and transparency across every stage of its workflow via an integrated end-to-end estimating, planning, production, and eCommerce solution. It began searching for a business workflow solution with the following capabilities:
- Manage fulfilment regardless of substrates, processes, or products.
- Sync data bidirectionally to avoid duplication.
- Calculate job prices and expedite invoicing processes.
- Classify customers and store order history.
- Detect and prevent bottlenecks.
- Simplify inventory management and forecasting to reduce excess, prevent stock shortfalls and process orders faster.
- Provide clear visibility to all with real-time status updates.
- Minimise waste by optimising every sheet.
- Measure the sustainability of the operation.
Along with automating its behind-the-scenes workflow, Storbildsbolaget sought a flexible new ordering process to minimise staff intervention, put the print buyer in the driving seat, and allow it to take advantage of new wide-format opportunities, including customisation, versioning, and variable data. The solution needed the following capabilities:
- Support wide-format print.
- Expedite job ordering.
- Offer unrivalled customer service with easy navigation.
- Enhance tracking and visibility throughout the product’s life cycle.
- Produce customised template-based wide format print on demand and enable user-submitted artwork.
- Feature localisation for the Swedish market
- Comply with brand guidelines and secure corporate-controlled content.
- Support multiple customer roles, authorisation levels, and a permission-based approval process.
- Display accurate proofing.
- Generate custom-fit-themed stores for each B2B brand (and its B2C store).
- Integrate with multiple payment gateways, including Sweden’s most popular payment gateway, Klarna.
Above all, it was essential for the new print production management and ordering systems to integrate seamlessly to maximise efficiencies and avoid duplication.
Print Production Management
Initiating a staged rollout, Storbildsbolaget first selected the Optimus dash solution to optimise its print planning and management information system.
Optimus dash is a process-driven module-based Print MIS suitable for any print shop. It can be adapted to each business’s unique production requirements and offers fast job quoting and cost estimation, bidirectional data sync to remove duplication, instant job creation to reduce errors, and real-time status and stock updates for absolute transparency across the entire workflow.
With Optimus dash managing its print information, Storbildsbolaget could ditch its manual calculations and decipher an operational complexity previously out of reach.
eCommerce Print Ordering System
Once its Print MIS was up and running, Storbildsbolaget set about selecting and installing its front-end print ordering system. Since hyper-customisation, brand control and integration with Optimus dash were top of its wish list, XMPie’s StoreFlow eCommerce Web-to-Print was the perfect choice.
XMPie StoreFlow, built for maximum software integration via APIs, is an all-in-one Web-to-Print software solution for creating and managing online stores and marketing portals. It removes the need for human-led sales, ordering, preparation, and production, making brand-enhancing print services supremely efficient and accessible. At its core is XMPie’s document composition engine PersonalEffect which, integrated with Adobe InDesign, offers unrivalled personalisation capabilities.
With Optimus dash’s bidirectional pricing system, pricing is calculated automatically and available on the StoreFlow store in real time to give the print buyer complete transparency. When an order is completed, all information received from the StoreFlow store is seamlessly passed to the Optimus dash MIS, which instantly generates the job with accurate specifications, files, and production information. There is no re-keying or loss of information, and job status is automatically updated on Optimus dash and visible as with other similar scenarios.
Recent projects processed by Optimus Dash and XMPie StoreFlow integration include:
"Storbildsbolaget is always solution-focused and has the ability to deliver under extremely tight time frames," - Johan Gerdevåg, Marketing Manager Biltema Sweden AB.
Storbildsbolaget delivers wide-format marketing material directly to each branch of Biltema, a Swedish chain of 55 leisure retail stores. Via its marketing portal, branch staff can order from hundreds of branded aisle signs, campaign signs, offers, or other marketing materials to drive sales in their store. As well as template-based designs for customisation, the branch can also upload its original designs. The order goes directly into production and is printed, packed, and shipped within two days.
"Storbildsbolaget has been quick-footed and responsive to our needs. From the first contact to the webshop being up, it didn't take longer than a week." ֿSara Nordström, Marketing Manager Visita.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, Visita, which represents hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises in the Swedish hospitality sector, launched a campaign to help reassure visitors to its members' hotels, restaurants, and campsites across Sweden of
the measures taken to minimise the spread of Covid-19 infection. In just three days, Storbildsbolaget launched a Web-to-Print marketing portal for Visita's 7,000 member organisations to quickly order branded safety notices, including floor decals, table riders, posters and reboard displays.
With seamless integration between Optimus dash and XMPie StoreFlow, Storbildsbolaget has eliminated duplicate data, considerably reduced technical and operational costs, and strengthened customer relationships.
- The efficiencies achieved from the new workflow is equivalent to the output of three full time workers.
- Order errors have almost been eliminated.
- Tenders have been won because of the workflow’s high level of customer convenience.
- Now 25% of all orders are input via StoreFlow, and Storbildsbolaget aims to increase that to 50% within a year. All other orders are still entered into Optimus dash, but per order this only takes seconds to achieve.