Significant improvements in productivity and reliability in prepress production for the Time Out publications have been achieved thanks to the installation of DALIM TWIST at the international media group’s London headquarters.
If you’re at a loose end in London and want some ideas for what to see or do, the chances are you’ll look at Time Out for inspiration – and if you’re in New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Hong Kong or a large and rapidly growing number of other cities around the world. Since its inception in 1968, Time Out has come to cover 89 cities in 38 countries.
Its digital presence has expanded substantially over recent years, but print remains an essential part of the publishing mix, as Group IT Director Simon Chappell explains: “We are a digital first company, but our magazines continue to be highly successful and are integrated into the full mix of our digital channels, so that you can get inspiration from Time Out whenever, wherever and however you want it.”
The company has always been proud of being at the forefront of prepress and print developments, but by late 2013 its in-house developed production systems still required a high degree of manual intervention and super vision which was becoming increasingly unwieldy as the publication portfolio boasts around 30 guide publications in addition to the weekly magazine.
Chappell’s team experimented with commercial automation software but experienced problems with reliability, scripting requirements and visibility of production status information until long-standing partner systems integrator LGS showed them DALIM TWIST. He explained that what was needed was a production tool that in addition to reliable performance, would provide timely information on production status, including detailed pre-flight error reporting so that problem could be identified and resolved speedily.
Time Out’s IT and production staff drew up a list of requirements that TWIST would need to meet, including the ability to automate a wide range of highly specialised bespoke production rules. LGS confirmed that TWIST could meet these requirements and the software was installed at the central London Time Out headquarters shortly before Christmas 2014. Two to three weeks were spent fine-tuning the system, better defining the requirements and testing the error reporting capabilities before live production commenced in January 2015.
Chappell is so impressed with the capabilities of TWIST that he says he didn’t have to work out the ROI. “I knew it would deliver. We could see that right away because of the speed of the roll-out and the new automation, which is probably saving at least six hours a week. That’s significant. It frees up production staff to do better housekeeping by taking out the menial and repetitive tasks and we’re hitting deadlines sooner. It’s proved itself on everything we needed to do.”
DALIM SOFTWARE: https://www.dalim.com
Time Out: http://www.timeout.com