Custom Publisher Pulls Prepress Inhouse

Pohly & Partners Inc., a custom publisher with clients such as Coca-Cola Co., Direct Marketing Association, Western Union and Verizon, brought its prepress services inhouse.

The Boston-based company previously used a prepress vendor to place all advertisements, pre-flight native files, create the final printer files and output contract color proofs that appear in its many publications for clients.

“We're doing this for two primary reasons: reduce costs and shorten publication cycles,” said John Heffernan, vice president of production and operations at Pohly.

Vendors previously swapped the low-resolution image with the high in Pohly's native layout files. All the publisher's ads were placed in the publication layout files. They were checked for bleeds, font issues and low-res images.

The next step was preparation of the final file that the printer used to print the publication. Finally, the contract color proof from the final printer file was produced for ultimate approval and for the printer to use as the printing guide while on press.

“Handling this process inhouse allows us to have more control over the entire process and shorten the overall production schedule by up to five days,” Heffernan said. “Obviously, this helps us get work through quicker and give our clients what they are anxiously awaiting for in a shorter space of time without sacrificing quality.

“Reduced costs obviously helps the bottom line. Also, it allows us to be competitive in the marketplace and have the opportunity to win additional new business.”

Much of what Pohly brought inhouse is not unique to custom publishing. Many firms output proofs. But not all are specifications for Web offset printing contract color proofs.

Technology is at the core of Pohly's plans for 2005. Starting this summer, the company will integrate the Microsoft Project Server as part of its efforts to improve workflow efficiency.

Heffernan said Microsoft Project Server will become the central repository for all project-related data. This includes schedules, estimates, invoices, maps and other information that needs to be shared with multiple users.

The new system will let Pohly link with others in place, like Clients & Profits and Microsoft Exchange. The incidence of mutilated data entry will be reduced, too.

Also, by using Microsoft SharePoint technologies, Pohly can provide a password-protected extranet site for client and user access to time-sensitive data like schedule updates, new estimates and page layouts either as live images or PDF downloads.

“This new technology will allow us to plan capacity much more efficiently so we can get out ahead of resource planning and pricing projects,” Heffernan said.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

Related Posts