Precision to sell homegrown Oneflow

Simon Nias
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gary Peeling, managing director of Precision Printing, has said its in-house-developed workflow, Oneflow, will allow printers to profit from the "only growth market in print" as he prepares to license the software.

Oneflow, which enables ultra-short runs to be produced cost effectively by automating the entire process from file submission to shipping without any manual intervention, allows Precision to handle more than 50,000 unique jobs a day.

The Barking-based printer developed the software because traditional order processing had failed to keep pace with the requirement to process large number of low-value orders generated by web-to-print.

"Web-to-print businesses have created workarounds in many cases to cope with the fact that you can’t create a job ticket for a £15 business card order because that’s your gross margin gone," said Peeling.

"Anyone receiving over 50 web-to-print orders a day is going to have the pain point that Oneflow replaces and those are the companies that we think will benefit from increased automation, visibility and control."

Since announcing its plan to Dscoop members at the inaugural EMEA meeting in November, Precision has done extensive work to prepare the product for market.

This has included the creation of a new company, Oneflow Systems, which holds all of the IP for Oneflow. Development and support staff previously employed internally at Precision have been transferred to the new business.

Oneflow Systems is headed by Chris Knighton and Nigel Watson, who co-founded and then sold specialist software business Aspiren, and Precision Printing technical director Steeve Roucaute.

According to Peeling, the new company will offer a consultative service combining a site audit and recommendations around the physical flow of work through the factory with the installation and implementation of the Oneflow software.

This includes a server-based element onsite and a cloud-based loader, which is the gateway through which all jobs must pass in order to be remapped to the standard data feed used by Oneflow.

Nottingham-based Prime Group and Digital4 in The Netherlands are set to become the first two third-party users of the software in May and will be among an anticipated 10–20 early adopters.

Prime Group managing director Jon Tolley said that the firm had been developing its own workflow by "bolting on new bits and integrating new clients as we go" but that it had reached the point where a ground-up rebuild was needed.

"Having seen the Oneflow solution from Gary, and knowing that he has already gone through all the pain of developing a solution, it is a perfect fit for us and the planned future growth of the business," he added.

Pricing for the software is from around £7,500 for implementation and around £25,000 for the annual subscription, while on-site tablet and server hardware requirements are likely to be from £10,000 upwards.

Peeling said that he decided to license the software because it was inevitable that someone would develop and market a similar system.

"My belief is that this area really represents the only growth opportunity for print; it’s growing double digit every year and that is accelerating so there is plenty of space," he said.

"Other companies having the ability to do what we do isn’t a fear for me from a competitive point of view, I see it as a massive opportunity for the industry."

That opportunity could include Oneflow users collaborating across countries to provide disaster recovery, help deal with order volume at peak times, or outsource work that can’t be produced in-house.


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