It was an exciting moment for us when Schwab Offset’s CEO, Mr. Alexander Kimpel, chose HYBRID Software to drive their digital transformation forward.
For us, this project is characterised by the fact that all their departments now benefit from CLOUDLFOW’s central application and communication and quality control have become more efficient.
We are especially pleased that Schwab Offset can now offer their long-standing customers better service than ever before!
Learn their story:
Schwab Offset is a company with a long tradition. The family business in Hainburg, Hesse, has been in existence since 1965 and has been manufacturing sheetfed offset printing for 40 years. In addition to classic commercial products such as brochures, flyers and calendars, the print shop’s product portfolio also includes posters and billboards, maps and flight maps, folding cartons, displays and trays.
Since 2014, Alexander Kimpel, the youngest member of the family, has been at the helm of the company and is driving forward the “digital transformation” that is being discussed everywhere. But what are the prerequisites for this?
“In a print shop today, it is no longer just a question of printing alone, but rather the printing press is at the center of an ecosystem whose components need to be coordinated with one another and in which the processes must mesh efficiently and as seamlessly as possible,” explains Alexander Kimpel. “Even if we end up producing a physical good, it is still the result of a largely digital process. And this process will only be efficient if everyone involved communicates cleanly with each other, is well informed at all times – and everyone can concentrate on their core area.”
To be able to control the digital process in its entirety, Schwab Offset decided to expand its in-house prepress department. It soon became clear that this would mean not only producing the printing plates, but above all performing all the preparatory digital work itself, thus optimizing the coordination processes with the pressroom.
“It soon became clear that we were missing professional tools that would enable us to optimally prepare the entire product mix. This was particularly true of the digital prepress stage, where all the information relating to the product comes together and where all content and quality adjustments for the subsequent printing process have to be made directly in the digital data.”
In his search for a suitable tool for editing the print images of complex maps with millions of elements as well as those of folding boxes and posters, Alexander Kimpel discovered the PDF editor PACKZ from HYBRID Software.
Alexander Kimpel remembers: “In the first step, we were looking for a pragmatic solution to make graphic processing in prepress more efficient and reliable. After a benchmark with HYBRID Software, it quickly became clear: this is exactly what we can achieve with PACKZ! But it was also clear to us that this would require a rethink and would mean a learning process. That’s why our users first qualified extensively and then successively introduced PACKZ into production. And we learned more in the process than we actually expected.”
It seems to be the typical experience of a digital transformation: once the starting signal has been given, one’s own perspective develops independently. Insights lead to new ideas, approaches to solutions are developed, revised and revised. The perception of one’s own process changes and rarely pauses.
“There are few topics in the company that are not close to my heart,” says Alexander Kimpel. “In a small company like ours, everyone is important and the cooperation between the individual departments is very close. So it’s obvious that I, in particular, as managing director, must have a stable basic knowledge in each area and must actively participate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s constructional issues such as water treatment, air humidification or machine planning. And I also wanted to “be involved” in the digital process. So now I’m pretty well-versed in IT infrastructure and I support my colleagues in the setup of our digital workflow.”
To improve interdepartmental processes and communication, Alexander Kimpel decided to implement CLOUDFLOW after the success with PACKZ. Several aspects played a role in this decision: “We had planned to centralize data management in the company in order to give everyone the opportunity to have a quick look at digital print data and also to be able to participate in quality control steps. At the same time, we wanted to reduce the risk of misunderstandings and mistakes. Thanks to CLOUDFLOW, we now have a direct link between processing, prepress and pressroom – everyone accesses a central platform. In addition to a noticeable increase in efficiency, this has also significantly improved understanding between departments. One now has more of an idea of what the other needs or can achieve.”
It’s no secret that family businesses can often create a very special bond with their customers. Schwab Offset is no exception, confirms Alexander Kimpel: “By introducing PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW, we can now offer our customers better service than before. We have become faster, more reliable and above all more transparent. In the next step, we will use CLOUDFLOW to integrate our customers directly into the digital process.”
But where is the digital transformation at Schwab Offset now? “Actually, it never really stops,” remarks the young managing director. “We’ve already come a long way, but we’re also aware that we’ve only just begun. But that’s certainly because the list of our ideas is growing almost daily and we see so many opportunities and possibilities that we would like to tackle. Therefore, I am glad to have found in HYBRID Software a partner who can serve us as a real sparring partner and with whom we can work constructively on a good, personal level on the development and implementation of our ideas.”
Finally, the question arises: will a managing director also have to master script programming in the future? Alexander Kimpel laughs: “This will probably remain a speciality, but as long as it gives me pleasure and I have the feeling that I can contribute something with it, I’m happy to do it!”
- Sheetfed offset, a printing press
- Offer: commercial printing, packaging, tray, display, cards
- Long company history
- Active work on internal optimization through digital processes