CompuSchmooze June 2005: AIIM On Demand Conference Spotlights Digital Documents

CompuSchmooze June 2005: AIIM On Demand Conference Spotlights Digital Documents
By Steven L. Lubetkin
Copyright © 2005 Steven L. Lubetkin. All rights reserved.
WORD COUNT: 656

From May 17-19, more than 20,000 professionals involved in document creation, publishing, and distribution converged on the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia for the AIIM On Demand conference, one of the largest exhibits of technology devoted to printing, publishing, and document delivery.

Gutenberg would have been amazed at how far publishing has come.

The globalization of business is forcing companies to customize their materials for different markets, languages, currency conversions, and cultural demands.

“The old way [of printing] is long-run, manufacture and ship. It’s about the beauty of the [printed] piece,” said Gary Kusin, president and CEO of FedEx Kinko’s, who was one of the conference’s keynote speakers. “The new way is about effectiveness and efficiency without sacrificing quality. It’s about quick response to a rapidly changing market, and it’s about the logistics of getting the message right content to the audiences quickly, as customized and as efficiently as possible.” (You can hear Kusin’s entire keynote in our podcast associated with this column.)

FedEx Kinko’s has had dramatic success in on-demand delivery of printed materials since merging the express delivery service and the Kinko’s print shop business, Kusin said.
He told how FedEx Kinko’s had arranged to deliver a customer’s work via email to its print facilities in Australia for subsequent shipping to Malaysia. This allowed the customer to deliver customized training materials in 48 hours, compared with the previous two-week lead-time required. Organizations can use the time savings from digital demand publishing for greater customization of materials and more in-depth treatment of the topics, he said.

Demonstrating his belief that “information logistics” is the big opportunity for his firm, Kusin announced that FedEx Kinko’s will open a 28,000 square-foot commercial printing plant at the FedEx distribution hub in Memphis. Customers will transmit large commercial printing jobs directly to Memphis for what he described as “the latest drop-off time available” for FedEx overnight deliveries.

Other vendors demonstrated technologies allowing organizations to use the same content in different forms, such as training manuals, web pages, Acrobat PDF files, and other formats.

“Electronic Content Management,” or ECM, allows users to edit a document in a single web-browser interface, and have the change automatically appear wherever that content is used.
One firm, SilkRoad Technology, provides a system called Eprise OnDemand (http://www.eprise.com/products/hosted__wcm/index.htm) that lets individual users update organizational websites without understanding the HTML language that’s used to create the look and feel of the web page.

At a press conference called the “Declaration of Education” program, six manufacturers joined forces to offer a live demonstration of how technology can be used to prepare books of classic literature (such as “War of the Worlds,” “The Odyssey” and “Frankenstein”), print them, and bind them at the rate of one book every nine seconds so that 10,000 copies could be distributed to Philadelphia school district students.

You’ll probably never encounter the suppliers involved in this creative demonstration of the power of digital publishing technology, since they are mainly selling their technologies to other large companies. But I like projects that try to help disadvantaged students get a little bit of an edge, so I think they deserve some credit for being engaged in this project. They were:
Weyerhaueser (http://www.weyerhaeuser.com), which provided its special Lynx Digital Opaque paper, designed for digital printing; paper;
Océ (http://www.oce.com/en/default.htm), a Netherlands-based printing company, which provided a 1300-page-per-minute digital printing system; Lasermax Roll Systems, which contributed page cutting technology that can slice 450 feet of paper per minute
Lasermax Roll Systems (http://www.rollsystems.com), which contributed cutting equipment to slice continuous strips of book pages into single sheets at a rate of up to 450 feet per minute.
MBO America, Inc. (http://www.mboamerica.com), which added its folding equipment; and
Muller Martini Corp. (http://www.mullermartiniusa.com), whose binding equipment created finished books at the rate of about 1,000 books an hour.

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