Growing California print specialist SoCal Flexographic is embracing Esko prepress technology to increase throughput and minimize errors. Business owner Shawn Kloster explains why he was an early adopter of the latest Esko software innovation.
Established in 2018, SoCal Flexographic has quickly earned an enviable reputation for delivering a quality service and exceptional efficiency with the highest level of professionalism.
With a single print press and a team of 10 experts, owner Shawn Kloster has rapidly built up a significant client base within the continental United States, with customers across the beverage, beauty and nutraceutical sectors and even the burgeoning cannabis products market. Producing everything from packaging inners, outers and pressure-sensitive labels to shrink sleeves and gusset bags, SoCal Flexographic has the experience and skills to tackle just about any job that comes their way.
An expert prepress team works closely with customers to ensure top level graphics and artwork production, with a commitment to using cutting edge technology and workflow software to enable faster turnaround times without compromising on the quality of results.
I’ve had some experience with Esko WebCenter and so when I learned about Share & Approve I immediately jumped at the chance to become an early adopter.
Shawn Kloster, owner, SoCal Flexographic,USA
Our customers choose us because of our service,” said Shawn Kloster, owner of SoCal Flexographic. “We’re very hands-on and we don’t like to rely on using emails or robocalling to get jobs done - we’re very personable.
“This is my first time as a business owner, but coming from a prepress background I am well aware of the technical advancements that are available to improve efficiency. I was looking for an affordable entry point into digital approval, a tool that would enable me to keep my designers, clients and pressmen all in the loop and up to speed on a job, in one go.”
Shawn said that a key factor when choosing a prepress tool specifically for online proofing and approval, was that it also allowed his team to still work collaboratively with customers. “It was important to us that we maintain that personal level of service,” he said. “I’ve had some experience with Esko WebCenter and so when I learned about Share & Approve I immediately jumped at the chance to become an early adopter.”
I have a strong IT background, so this combination of technological advancement and printing prepress is like manna from heaven to me! I downloaded Share & Approve for a free pre-release trial and was so impressed I ordered it the day it was released.
Shawn Kloster, owner, SoCal Flexographic, USA
In the summer of 2019, SoCal Flexographic became one of the first to incorporate new Esko Share & Approve software into its prepress process, enabling users to upload, share, annotate and approve packaging and labels jobs in 2D and hyper-realistic 3D.
Running as a service on Esko cloud architecture, the centralized online tool reduces the amount of approval iterations and shortens the time required to get a job approved, enabling brands and their supply chains to operate more efficiently and drive down time-to-market.
“I’m a long-time user of Esko solutions, about 15 years now, so I always keep up to speed with their new products,” said Shawn. “I have a strong IT background, so this combination of technological advancement and printing prepress is like manna from heaven to me! I downloaded Share & Approve for a free pre-release trial and was so impressed I ordered it the day it was released.
“Share & Approve obviously complements the way we work as a personal service too, as it’s so collaborative,” said Shawn. “I can see what my customers need on their end and from their perspective, without the need for copious notes and explanations.”
Where ordinarily we might process 10 jobs, using Share & Approve enables us to get through half as many again in the same time.
Shawn Kloster, owner, SoCal Flexographic, USA
“One of the main advantages of using Share & Approve is reducing the chance for errors, something we noticed immediately,” said Shawn. “With everything in one central point for everyone, there’s no need to print proofs and mark them up and then e-mail or send them on to someone else, where the scope for errors to occur is huge.”
Shawn said that this reduction in errors led to significant increases in both throughput and efficiency. “Where ordinarily we might process 10 jobs, using Share & Approve enables us to get through half as many again in the same time,” he said. “Another massive plus point is that I can use the 3D rendering capabilities as a sales pitch – I’ve impressed no end of potential customers with it. Being able to access the 3D image of a design on your phone at the touch of a button is quite dazzling.”
“Another feature I particularly like is the plug-in that allows you to upload artwork directly from Illustrator© into Share & Approve,” said Shawn. “It means there is no longer any need to create a separate PDF and then upload it. I can upload a file straight from the design software and Share & Approve just makes it ready and available for all users to review. That alone can save more than five minutes on a job, which soon adds up!”
Shawn explained that SoCal Flexographic was also using Share & Approve in another, slightly different way. “I actually added it into my production workflow as well as my prepress,” he said. “We have a portal in the press room now, and my press operators can pull it up and see all the separations. They know they’re setting up the right job, they can look at the trapping and they are able to ensure that everything is 100 per cent correct, right there and then.”