IC Simplicity Publisher – March Newsletter

Dear Valued ICS Publisher,             
I hope this email finds you well and that you have had a good start to 2022. 
In a continued attempt to improve our services and communication to our growing number of greeting card publishers, The Imaging Centre will be sending a monthly newsletter to all our IC Simplicity Publisher members.
From the orders coming through, recent news reports and speaking with many publishers at Spring Fair, it would appear that the Greeting Card industry has had a great start to the year and we look forward to working with you all to make this our best year yet. 
Whilst orders and demand for cards continue to grow, and 2022 has had a really positive bounce-back, we do also need to consider the challenges that the industry still faces. As was recently reported in PG here, soaring prices and global supply challenges continue to be a very real concern and something we are keeping a very close eye on. At The Imaging Centre we have had the foresight to pre-empt this and have reacted swiftly in order to minimise the impact on our customers. We have fundamentally changed the way we order and invested heavily into the bulk ordering of all our stocked board in order to overcome the challenges we all face. Even with that, I believe there has never been a more important time to work closely with your suppliers. If you have any concerns or need to make us aware of any changes to your ordering then please do contact your account mangers so that we can be proactive in finding solutions.
As prices continue to escalate, we are having to find other ways to combat this to keep your prices as competitive as possible. One area we can do so is by further reducing waste. We currently have a minimum requirement of 6 cards of any single design, with quantities after that being completely flexible. However, in order to reduce waste by making the most of our sheets and to hold prices at their current level, we will be keeping the minimum of 6, but also introduce multiples of 6.  
Turnaround Times:
Since installing and migrating all IC Simplicity publishers onto our new integrated operating system and Store Front we have seen significant improvements in our turnaround times. Our aim is to continue to improve this, so we will communicate these with our customers each month. Please note that these turnaround times are an average and not a guarantee as other factors can have an effect, for a more accurate turnaround time on a specific job please do contact your account manager. 
Averages are calculated from date of orders received through IC Simplicity:
Proofs: 5 Working Days
Print Only: 5 Working Days
Print & Packed: 7 Working Days
Special Finishes: 9 Working Days
Special Finish & Packed: 12 Working Days 
You Said It, We Did It:
We have been listening to all the feedback from our customers on the new IC Simplicity Publisher platform and are working through the requests and suggestions put forward. This section of our newsletter is intended to bring you up to date with all of the latest updates available on the site and to keep you posted on other longer term projects.
Proof Portal – The proof portal is currently being worked on. We will be separating the proof portal from the upload portal in an attempt to simplify this process. We have also decided to increase the number of free proofs our ICS Publishers can order per month from 20 to 30. Please do note however, that proofs do need to ordered within a single job to receive them FOC. You will receive an update shortly on how to process proofs using the new portal.
Upload Portal – Many of you have requested access to updating files live so they can be ordered immediately. This is something which we will continue to work on, however this is not currently possible due to changes in how FSC has to be recorded.  We have now arranged to run a daily automated script so any upload requests should always be actioned within 1 working day and in most cases within a few hours.   
Category Folders – Another request we have had from many customers is to reinstate sub folders for your cards, to house them by range or category. We have worked on this and managed to apply a fix. We can now “tag” files by range or category, so you can search by a description. This is already in place and can be actioned on your site at any time. We only need to know how you would like to file your designs: e.g. Designs codes IC001 – IC025 = Imaging Centre Range 1. When typing Imaging Centre Range 1into the search function it will only pull in design codes IC001 – IC025.   
Packing Options – As some of you require different packaging options for different retailers multiple packing options are also now available, if you need us to apply to your site then please contact your account manager.
Job Descriptions – We are working on showing more job details within your order history so that you can view the PO or Customer Name. This is ongoing and we will keep you posted on progress.
New Products & Services at TIC:
We are currently focussing all of our efforts on improving our current offerings, however we have lots of plans in the pipeline for new products and service so please keep an eye out for updates. 
Also do remember (as it may have been missed in the madness of the past 18 months) that the HP Indigo 15,000 is now completely up and running which means that our capacity and ability to run larger runs is hugely increased. If you have a large order (10,000+) that needs quoting, then please just get in touch. Not only will we quote bespoke for the job, but we will include the quantity ordered on your next volume discount review.  
On the larger press we can now print single sheet gift wrap, which like cards can be ordered completely on demand.
If you would like to discuss any of the points above or put forward any other suggestions, we’d be grateful of the feedback.  
Kind regards
Adam & The Imaging Centre Team