Have you ever wondered about the process your print job goes through? We spoke to the staff behind the prints at Gemini Print Group and followed the process from start to finish.
We start with Elaine in Sales. “We receive enquiries through phone, email or the web portal which can be from a sole trader, corporates or charities and then we each have our own client base ad it’s passed onto a member of the sales team best suited, as we each have a different experience.” With an incoming enquiry, the team needs to determine what the client wants and how Gemini Print Group can achieve this. This is where the client can be shown samples, showcasing the paper, the binding, the finish and more. The team can then write a spec and booking in form and the estimator takes it from there.
The sales team also check the client has artwork and if not, we hand them over to our in house design agency Ream Creative.
Ream Creative is Gemini Print Groups in house creative design agency run by Martin. “If the client needs artwork on or offline, they would come to us.” This can include but is not limited to re-branding & web development. Ream Creative use the full Adobe suite and Quark to bring life to the client’s ideas.
“The sales rep could call us to discuss the job or the client direct and then we can determine what the client would like from the artwork, whether brand recognition or to get out a certain message or replication or update of existing artwork. We need a strong brief to create a strong design, so the more information the better in this stage. We will need a deadline to work to and then we can plan the design, colour, text, branding and then we can send it back to the client/rep for approvals.”
There can have a lot of back and forth until the client arrives at the correct design then when this is finalised Ream Creative get the artwork print ready and send it to the reprographics team and then booked into print.
Whether artwork is needed by the client or not, the next step in the process is where we meet Lauren, Digital Estimator and Account Executive. “We receive an email or a call from a client then we determine what they need and consider paper, size, colours, quantity, whether it needs to be printed Digital or Litho (find out more about the difference between digital and litho here). From here we use Tharstons software to give us an estimate and we can send this back to the client and wait for a response.” this is where the sales team could re-contact the client to make sure they are happy with the estimate. Then when the client has confirmed Lauren, she books the job and makes sure all the information is correct, delivery and client details, for example, then send it all to the Studio.
Mark is an Account Executive at Gemini Print and explains his role in the process. “My role is client-facing, meaning I deal with the clients and make sure they are happy. After the estimate has been approved, we then convert this into a job and use software called Smart Review to make sure the job is correct, this is where we highlight specifications with the client, making sure they understand each process and are happy with the outcome. We then send all the jobs to the studio to proof.”
Considering the financial aspect of the print process, we talk to Owen, Gemini Print Groups Financial Director. “If a job is created by the Account Executives, we are in charge of processing the payment for that job. We have an impact through the entire life cycle of this job, firstly reviewing the client and accessing what their line of credit will be. When the credit is agreed and the job is booked, we then may have to talk to outsourcing companies and add that to the financials, some suppliers require upfront payment so this is something we have to consider and liaise with the client over.”
The financial team process invoices and Gemini Print Group accept many forms of payment including BACS, Cheques as well as an online payment link, that clients are sent via email.
We speak with Ollie, Pre-press Operator who receives the job in a space called the studio. “Work comes to me from the Account Executives and is ready to be proofed. I process this in the proofing software to check all the images and colours. I then send this back to the Account Executive to send to the client so they can proofread also, this is the last chance before it goes off to print for the client to feedback.”
Once confirmed the team in the studio then impose the prints and consider the style of the print, colours, quantity and paper and consider what printer Gemini Print Group may use, the team would then send it to Dave for scheduling.
Dave deals with the scheduling and is Gemini Print Groups Operations manager. “I have to work towards the deadline, so after receiving the print from the studio imposed and proofread I make sure we can complete the work. I follow the whole process from here to the finish, I liaise with all members of staff from the Account Executives, to make sure a true time scale is given and with the Despatch team to make sure it can be delivered in this time.”
Dave might also have to work with outsourcing if Gemini Print Group needs to work with other companies. Dave works hard to make sure that all problems are solved and the job is done for the client well and on time. “We are a 24hr business, so I also make sure that the night shift workers know what needs to be done for the following morning.”
Depending on the printer chosen for the job which can depend on quantity, colour and paper the team at Gemini Print Group selects the correct printer.
Karl is the Litho Print Room Manager “Before the print comes to me, Dave decides what Litho machine the job needs to go on, this is due to the number of colours and the quantity of prints desired. We have 105 – 10 colour, the XL 75 – 5 colour, the 106 – 5 colour and the SM52 – 2 colour. All of these machines are excellent but used for different requirements desired by the client.
We receive dockets with the job name and job numbers on then we create plates using the prints supplied to us by the studio.” Plates are then used to create the Litho print onto the paper. When Karl & his team have completed the print job, these plates are recycled. The print room runs 24 hrs a day, so as a team they need to ensure they maintain the machines and take good care of them so they can produce good quality prints in large quantities.
If a print job is digital then it will be picked up by our Operations Digital Print Manager. “All digital jobs come from the studio, just like Litho. We have 3 digital print machines the Kodak Nexpress SX3300, which works with toner and the HP Indigo 7800 which works with wet ink and a Xerox machine. Depending on the quantity of the prints, I will decide what job goes on what printer.” Like the Litho printers, the digital printers run 24/7 so they need to be well maintained and looked after, the digital team do this every day to ensure the quality of the prints.
Also in this area, there are machines that can collate clients’ jobs into brochures, books, leaflets as well as a laminator, an industrial guillotine as well as a printer that can produce envelopes, with a logo or return stamps for example.
After the print job has been printed whether digital or litho, your print work may very well go to Alison, Hand Finishing manager. “To complete the end product it may need mailing, drilling, stitching, shrink-wrapping, collating, poly-wrapping, binding or creating boxes or pockets for folders for example and that’s something my team & I can do.” Alsion then inspects the prints, to make sure she’s happy with the overall quality. The final print jobs go in either overnight trollies or trollies for our Gemini Print Group drivers to collect.
Kevin our Despatch manager runs Gemini Print Groups despatch, the last point of contact for the job on site. “I make sure all the loading is correct on time. After receiving the jobs from hand finishing or other areas of Gemini Print Group I manage the jobs and the team to make sure that we get the print job out on the Gemini Print vans on time, this means I’m often in early to start the day at 5:30am.” It’s always busy in Despatch for Kevin and his team. Vans are constantly on the move and there can sometimes be delays on prints, so Despatch tries to make this up where they can, being flexible in this area, comes with the territory.
Dean, the Transport Manager oversee’s all the deliveries once they have left Gemini Print Group HQ. “After we have received a job and it’s ready to go in transit, I have to confirm information with Dave to confirm the delivery date, location and time. I use the despatch list to make sure that we have enough drivers for the job and plan the route, we have several routes and send vans all around the country.”
Dean keeps track of the deliveries and the drivers, checking delivery notes using the software Big Change. “This allows me to also see failed deliveries and work on re-delivering these. Sometimes we receive jobs straight from Litho and send out sheets of prints instead of hand finishing so we communicate with several different members of staff to make sure the jobs go out complete and on time.”
All the staff at Gemini Print Group are dedicated to your print job, however big or small. The time and care that goes into each job and each process proves that when you think of print, you think Gemini Print Group.