Desktop publishing with the DAM system - ZFV drives its digitalidation forward with cavok
There are a few solutions that support desktop publishing for publishers. Most of them are very complex, elaborate and expensive. The specialist dentist publisher 'ZFV Zahnärztlicher Fach-Verlag' has taken a different approach to digitalisation. Using a flexible media management system as a basis, ZFV has reconfigured its publishing workflows, ensuring greater efficiency. By integrating the editing tool Adobe InCopy into the digital asset management system, cavok created a customised editing system for the specialist publisher - at a reasonable price.
Patient communication, practice organisation and specialist knowledge
ZFV Zahnärztliche Fach-Verlag is part of the 'Dr. Hinz' company. As well as Fach-Verlag, the corporate group includes 'Dr. Hinz Fachlaboratorium für Kieferorthopädie' ('Dr. Hinz Specialist Laboratory for Or-thodontics'), 'Dr. Hinz Dental Vertriebsgesellschaft' ('Dr. Hinz Dental Distribution Company') and 'Haranni Academie' ('Haranni Academy'). Rolf Hinz, specialist orthodontics dentist, founded Zahnärztliche Fach-Verlag in 1974, when orthodontics was covered by state health insurance. Today, ZFV is the leading media specialist for this specialist medical group, with a wide offering of books, leaflets, appointment and patient consultation systems. As well as a wide variety of specialist ZFV publication series, there are also periodicals: 'DZW - Die ZahnarztWoche' ('TDW - The Dentist's Week'), and the journals 'Prophylaxe Impuls' ('Impulse for Pro-phylaxis') and 'Chance Praxis' ('Practice Opportuni-ties'). ZFV also offers a wide range of organisational materials, from forms to leaflets, to patient ID cards.
'Strategy 2020' for digitalisation
Zahnärztliche Fach-Verlag started to engage with the topic of image and media management several years ago. However, the system that was previously tried out back then by the publisher was unable to meet expectations. "It was very complicated," reports Mario Elsner, who is responsible for the cavok project today as the person responsible at ZFV for graphics. "When we started looking for a DAM system again in mid-2016, we did not have a live image or product information database."
But an important part of ZFV management's 'Strategy 2020' was for various entities in different locations to be brought together, and through uniform media management or desktop publishing. The Kleinofen system house from Düsseldorf gave them the drive to engage with this requirement more closely with cavok. Kleinofen established itself as an IT service provider for medium-sized companies in the pre-press and media industries in the Rhine-Ruhr region decades ago. As a partner of the cavok manufacturer PEAK-14, which is based in Darmstadt, the Kleinofen specialists were of course very familiar with the modern DAM system.
Flexible software architecture, open source modules
"Even after the first presentation, we had the impression that cavok would work a lot better than anything we'd seen before"Mario Elsner
Cavok was first presented to ZFV in September 2016. "Even after the first presentation, we had the impression that cavok would work a lot better than anything we'd seen before," reports Elsner. "The interface was much more slimline and not as clut-tered. It doesn't overwhelm the user. The system appeared to be spontaneously responsive - also due to how workflows could be implemented."
One of the special features of digital asset manage-ment with cavok is that the system can be deeply integrated into other software solutions like de-sign programmes, web shops or content manage-ment systems. This is because one of the system's strengths is its architecture, which is based on a SOAP server (simple object access protocol). The intentionally slim core connects a layer of open source modules. This gives the system the ability to adapt and integrate, which barely any other DAM solution can offer.
Desktop publishing in the DAM system
The installation of the web-based system started at the end of January 2017; ZFV runs it in-house on its own servers. The first test objects were then in-tegrated at the start of February 2017 - ZFV's trade journals. "Today, we have bundled everything that comes from the world of classic desktop publishing into cavok," says Elsner, "just no video formats." This includes all text formats, InDesign and InCopy files for journal production, ECMA and ECML files, all Photoshop image formats, EPS and PDF files, as well as XML files. DAM system users include graphic designers and editors. "We currently have ten cavok users, but the number is growing rapidly," explains Elsner. This is because the first implementation phase has been completed - now the biggest project is being implemented. "We are currently focusing on 'DZW - Die ZahnarztWoche'," reports Elsner. "We intend to have the whole weekly newspaper editorial team working with cavok from May 2018. This is around another 20 users." Elsner is currently carrying out training for small teams consisting of two to three users, which takes three days: the first day covers cavok, the second day covers Adobe InCopy, and the third day covers the workflow with cavok and InCopy.
A central solution for media and editing
"This means we'll be saving a lot of formatting time and correction loops."Mario Elsner
"From the beginning, one of our requirements was that we didn't just want a DAM system to manage images. We wanted it to be an editing system too," explains Elsner. "The combination of cavok and In-Copy means we were able to do exactly that - so it's a bit like a mini editing system. Dedicated, expensive publishing systems certainly do more," says Elsner, "but a lot can be achieved with cavok - at a reasonable price." InCopy is a text editor programme that Adobe offers specifically for its layout and typesetting programme InDesign. One big advantage of InCopy is that it allows editors to write in text fields very precisely and in specific lines. ZKV is now mapping this editorial workflow in cavok - in a central location.
"This means we'll be saving a lot of formatting time and correction loops," reports Elsner. "cavok allows us to successively work through and complete tasks, whilst breaking work steps down into parts." It's even possible for copywriters and layout artists to work together either with a time delay or in par-allel. "Today, graphic designers can lay things out in the very first manuscript and complete it up until the printing stage," says Elsner. The cavok/InDesign integration also allows us to work in a way that is forward-looking and we are able to prepare things in advance. "So for example, we can complete a whole stretch of work for a journal in spring, even if it's not going to be released until autumn."
The DAM system as a management tool
"Without cavok, we wouldn't have any transparency over the processing status of a file - which is something we can view at a glance today in the user interface."Mario Elsner
Another advantage of a central DAM system that maps DTP workflows is the overview that the publisher has through it. "Without cavok, we wouldn't have any transparency over the processing status of a file - which is something we can view at a glance today in the user interface. cavok is a great management tool for us," says Elsner. The system doesn't just give you control over the status, but also over licences, versions and even data protection, for ex-ample for images relating to people. "Each user group had new ideas about useful metadata," reports Elsner, "editors suggested including captions or adding processing editors to the metadata." In contrast to traditional DAM systems, cavok isn't just a master of well-known metadata standards EXIF, IPTC and XMP. Instead, it has its own highly flexibly metadata model that can be used to set up everything needed for internal processes. Adding and setting up metadata fields are changes that Elsner made himself. "Using simple configuration, you can implement lots things in the system yourself and also customise things very quickly," he says. And if you need support from the manufacturer, it's quickly available.
Integrate all locations and departments
Even if the editorial and graphic team for 'DZW - Die ZahnarztWoche' also work with cavok and InDesign in summer, the ZFV DAM and editorial solution roll-out will still not be complete. "As an example, we want to also connect our online publications to cavok," says Elsner. Even now, ZFV is laying the foundations for this with media-neutral colour management - so that all types of media can also be adapted in the future without any manual technical intervention, and used across various chan-nels. "The next big phase of introduction is to in-volve the whole company in cavok, to extend across all locations and departments," declares Elsner.
"For example, we want to involve Purchasing and give them access to print PDFs. And we'll be investing in product and image databases from cavok for our commercial division." As sleep medicine is based on the field of orthodontics, ZFV offers 'peacemakers'. These are orthodontic products that tackle snoring and sleep problems. "Many of the images we use for this don't come from traditional stock photo agencies," explains Elsner. "Medicine is too specialist a field for this."
"It's fun to work with the system and improve workflows"Mario Elsner
Mario Elsner's conclusion is very positive. "Many try powerful editorial systems for DTP, which involve high costs and a lot of effort," says Elsner. "We deliberately went the other way, by integrating cavok and InCopy. This means we have more modest options - but we also use them." ZFV is consistently pushing forward digitalisation: in the medium term, all departments, locations and external employees will be connected to the central DAM system. "It's fun to work with the system and improve workflows," Elsner finds. "I'm already excited to see where things will go in the future."
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