July 31, 2019

5 Reasons NOT to cut corners when optimizing PDFs

Lynda Hansen | Sr. Manager, Product Management
computer monitor in digital world

Most of us have heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Essentially it means don’t meddle with something that is functioning adequately.   Perhaps that may be true with home projects, but adequate does not work in today’s competitive world of print and mail outsourcing.    Print and mail service providers don’t win or keep jobs and clients when their tools, systems and processes are just adequate.    But given the many other areas that need focus on a daily basis, it can be easy to just deal with processes and tools that “ain’t broke”.

PDF optimization is one process that is often overlooked.  It may seem that the processing of your PDF files is "functioning adequately" and not causing any obvious issues.  However, chances are it is causing downstream inefficiencies and challenges with print.  Below are five issues due to problematic PDFs and the key reasons why you want to focus on optimizing them.

  1. Missed SLAs

PDFs that are not optimized require extended processing time and, in some cases, could even fail.    And depending on the file size, that additional time could be hours - not minutes. With increasingly tight SLA turnarounds, operations can simply not afford to lose any productivity.   As the saying goes, “Time is money.”

  1. Asset ROI

Directly tied to the first issue, any slow down or loss of productivity impacts your ability to turn a positive ROI across assets.   And that doesn't take into account financial penalties for a missed SLA.  Adding additional servers or upgrading existing assets are certainly possible solutions, but why choose an expensive alternative when optimizing the PDF may be the most cost effective and simple option?

  1. Workflow disruptions

Efficient, optimized production is key when it comes to print and mail workflows.   Introducing new processes or assets that don't seamlessly integrate with existing workflows can open the door to disruptions and extended implementation challenges.   Large or bloated pdf files can lead to challenges from composition through to printing and possibly your reprint process.   At each of these steps, resolution requires additional time and resources.

  1. Limited flexibility

The only constant is change and having the right tools to get the job done is critical if you are going to stay on top of new industry requirements.    Not all PDFs are created equal and operations need a solution that optimizes PDFs for purpose - whether for print, archiving, multi-channel delivery or accessibility.   Continuing to process PDFs that are not optimized impacts workflow efficiency that limits operational productivity and the opportunity to grow revenue.

  1. Additional labor requirements

Extended processing time, workflow disruptions and multiple iterations translates to adding more resources to get the job done and meet SLA requirements.   PDF files that are not compressed can lead to inefficient workflows that require more manpower or printer issues that require unplanned service support.   Incurring the additional labor expense does not help with challenge #2 - Asset ROI.

If your operation is experiencing any of these challenges, it may definitely be time to consider fixing “what ain't broke" and make sure your PDFs are optimized.   Crawford Technologies has the solutions and more importantly, the expertise to help organizations achieve their desired business results including significant savings in time and money.    Read how Crawford Technologies helped a large Print Service Provider improve efficiencies by cutting processing time from hours to minutes by optimizing their PDF files.