With WebCRD, we believe we may meet our sales goal for the first time in 14 years.
Customer Background/Solutions Overview
The Toronto District School Board is the largest in Canada and one of the 10 largest in North America. Their 40,000 employees serve approximately 235,000 students in 583 schools throughout Toronto, and more than 100,000 life-long learners in Adult and Continuing Education programs. The district’s print center serves customers in each of these locations as well as more than 1,500 non-school district departments. Print jobs from office administrators, department administrators, and teachers include teaching booklets, tests, teaching tools, flyers, and business cards.
The print center is a six-person operation including one production coordinator who delegates work to the five print operators to make sure the jobs are completed on time before being closed out. The print center is led by the logistics manager and an assistant manager who helps educate customers and walk them through their project to allow print operators to stay focused on production.
The district purchased WebCRD Web to Print and ReadyPrint prepress software to provide a quicker, easier way for customers to submit jobs and for the print staff to reliably track and oversee jobs in process. The new system went live in late 2022.
Immediate Access and More Accurate Orders
In the past, all jobs were ordered through email into a common mailbox or phone calls. Then jobs would be passed from one person to another. It was inefficient and led to a lot of manual work and a lack of visibility of all jobs in process for both customers and print center staff. There was also a chance that job details would not be communicated accurately.
“With WebCRD in place, when orders are submitted by a customer, they show up right in our queue,” explains Gulshan Thapar-Mohammed, Logistics Manager. Every operator can see every job including when it came in, who submitted it, what their request is. WebCRD provides reliability that the job will go directly and accurately into the queue without getting lost.
“The WebCRD portal has taken the place of staff needing to educate customers over the phone,” says Thapar-Mohammed. “We used to have to inform them of paper weight and sizes and various finishing choices each time, and now their choices are all laid out for them on the screen clearly. Our staff only needs to step in if an order seems odd.” With the SurePreview™ feature in WebCRD, customers and print center staff can see exactly what each job is going to look like and make any needed changes before it is sent to the printer.
Greatly Accelerating Turnaround Time
I’ve heard people calls us ‘The Amazon of the Toronto District School Board.’ A majority of our jobs are now turned around in one day.
The WebCRD production dashboard ensures jobs aren’t lost during shift changes, they are run quickly, and staff can always see the status. With the print queue visible to all print staff, they can select the jobs they’re most suited for and ensure simple and complex jobs are tackled effectively. Staff can also see exactly how many jobs are in queue to realize when they need to increase productivity.
Efficient Prepress Is the Key to Quality and Speed
“The team likes ReadyPrint because it helps them make changes quickly,” says Thapar-Mohammed. “I like it because it helps keep billing accurate when those changes are made.”
Integration with WebCRD means operators can pull jobs into ReadyPrint, make needed changes, and put them right back into production. Ticketing stays intact and pricing is automatically updated if something like a new page numbering impacts cost.
All Jobs Accurately Priced, Valued and Billed in the Same Month
Before WebCRD, customers didn’t know job cost up front and when they would be billed. All the school district’s print jobs were lumped together, and the approximate value of each print job was then charged out to the school—not necessarily on time. Billing could be delayed by up to three months due to the manual billing process. This delay created accounting issues relative to each schools’ budget tracking.
With WebCRD, customers can see the exact job cost when they submit it, and the print center can accurately bill each job in the same month. “On Monday morning all closed jobs are included on a single, automated WebCRD report that is sent directly to me and the department admin,” says Thapar-Mohammed. “We clearly see all the orders that were closed and shipped out and we can do a journal entry to those school budgets every week instead of months later.” Instead of only knowing the total billing of the department in a month or year, the print center now knows exactly what was ordered, what paper was used, and how much they charged for each job by day, week, month, or year.
You Can’t Meet Your Goals if You Can’t Track Your Jobs
Material waste and lost print jobs were impossible to track with a manual system. If there were errors and reprints, the print center couldn’t track exactly how many or which jobs were incorrect. While they knew they were losing money at times, with their manual system they didn’t have data to prove if jobs were billed incorrectly, late, or unbilled entirely.
“We went live with WebCRD on October 31st, 2022 and I won’t forget that day,” says Thapar-Mohammed. “It is such a good thing for the department and the board to have a tool that can help us increase our business and our sales and actually show what we were doing.”
On Pace to Meet Sales Goal in First Year
When the school district print center purchased their software, they expected to be able to reach their sales goals within two or three years, but WebCRD’s accuracy and accountability has improved billing enough to put them on track to possibly meet their sales goals in the first year. “We are now making sure that every job is submitted, completed, closed, and fulfilled,” says Thapar-Mohammed. “We believe we’re going to be able to meet our sales goal for the first time in 14 years. We’re already halfway there and just now hitting our peak period where schools send in their yearbooks.”
Web to Print Will Help Keep the Print Center Revenue Neutral
Toronto District School Board operates a revenue-neutral printing department. Printing service fees charged to schools, teachers and departments must fully cover the costs of all materials, contracted items/leasing fees and salaries. With the efficiency and accessibility of WebCRD Web to Print and ReadyPrint Prepress software, the print center now plans to offer their services to outside customers. Revenue from these customers will supplement current income and help lower prices for school district customers.
© 2023 Rochester Software Associates, Inc. All brands and product names are registered trademarks of their respective companies. 6/2023
Application Study Industries
- Manual workflow hurting billing accuracy
- Lack of visibility of jobs in process
- Inefficient prepress process hurting turnaround
|Students at 583 schools:
|Full-time print center employees:
|Annual impressions (during COVID; current volume rebounding):
- WebCRD™ Web to Print Pro OnDemand
- ReadyPrint™ Prepress
- On pace to meet or come close to annual sales goal in first year
- Staff can reliably track, select and oversee all jobs in process
- Simplified ticketing during changes and 1-day turnaround on most small jobs