Ironsides Blog


Printing industry news and commentary

Nov 03, 2020 |

Back to the Future…

Covid issues are echoed repeatedly in commentary, forecasts and prognosis about our Print industry. Highly respected experts are making very direct, very candid, and sometimes very cold comments on what will happen, and what the industry must do to prepare for our “new normal”.

While experts note that getting much better prepared is really no longer an option or wish list item, what if you could take advantage of proven solutions right-now that already today, meet their “prepare for the future” recommendations? What if, literally, a “back to the future” solution suite already exists…because, it has already been done.

Marco Boer, VP of IT Strategies ( is a frequent keynote speaker and frequent commentator in leading industry publications has been a strong voice about positive disruptive changes long before Covid. Today Marco states “You have no choice but to plan and reinvest,” and emphasizes the requirement to obsessively track everything to know your true costs and profits – per each job.

Likewise, David Zwang, principal at Zwang & Co ( editorialized recently about the need to “future-proof” your business with the correct technology investments today that are open to future technology changes and facilitate the integration of production and business systems.

Pat McGrew ( has long been a proponent of “Smart Workflows” which connect all production components of a document factory, from onboarding orders, through prepress and into and out of every single production step.

Many technology offerings suggest solutions to one or several of these recommendations/ future needs. Ironsides certainly does, and we have the track record right now to prove it.

In 2020 – yes, 10 years ago – Ironsides was brought into a US document factory to help launch some new and vitally important applications. From this initial project, their line of business has multiplied remarkably; hear what our client has commented since then:

  • “Ironsides APT allows older and proprietary tracking methodologies and information management systems to be integrated creating a truly accessible, enterprise-wide job tracking and output management system”

As their business and volumes increased, so did their equipment and technology platform:

  • “Ensuring continuity in a multi-vendor environment can be difficult. Each vendor has its own tracking and reporting processes, but they rarely play well with each other. Vendor-agnostic Ironsides APT has been a boon to our business”

They continued to expand applications built around their proven tracking, accountability and 100% fulfillment expertise

  • “In addition to printers and inserters, some of our production workflows utilize a variety of inline and near line finishing equipment such as booklet makers, cutters, collators, UV coaters, and book binders – equipment that is frequently not supported by ADF systems designed for simple flats or folded mail. The flexibility and device independence functionality that comes standard with Automated Production Tracking (APT) from Ironsides Technology was a key factor in the successful application of the solution. We placed a very high value on APT’s ability to operate on any piece of equipment, from any manufacturer.”

Six years ago, in 2014 Ironsides was brought into a new UK site as a key solution to “future proof” the business.

  • Our Goal: Find equipment and software that could deliver their envisioned performance and flexibility to meet future needs. He wanted his shop to be “future-proofed.” So he avoided software that tied him too closely to any single manufacturer that might preclude future innovations by their competitors—he acquired best-of-breed systems and equipment
    • “Ironsides APT was the only solution on the market that could give us the integration we needed across all of our kit. And the promised after-sales support has been fabulous”

Increased productivity led to new clients and increased output volume …

  • “Some of that productivity gain enables a larger development team, for performing upfront work required for new clients. That is, the efficiency of the new system enables the resources to attract, win and on board new business.”

Ironsides solutions have been a game changer in their highly competitive market:

  • “The real key to all this is giving people the confidence that effectively, I’m controlling all their data. I can touch any square image on the dashboard, and it will bring up the number of records and show the individual packs that are going out. I can drill down into one of these packs from an audit control, and say, ‘Show me what happened to that pack.’ It gives the operator name and when they printed it, same for inserting. If you do that in front of customers, we found it’s very powerful, because it shows you’ve got whole complete control over the workflow from start to finish. For a print shop manager, that’s a thing of beauty”.

Why do Manufacturers of highly personalized secure document put their trust in Ironsides?

  • We help them to win, right now, and moving forward …“If you want to win, do the ordinary and necessary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out”

Knowing your real costs and profits; knowing your job status and tracking everything, everywhere; supporting your customers with real time information are all necessary to win. In the new normal, to your customers it will be ordinary. Ironsides does this right now, and we can help you, too.

You didn't come this far, to only come this far...



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