ID Cards and Web-To-Print Technology

We all know that ID cards are used by everyone. Be it school students or people working with multinational companies. It is used as an access card for time and attendance systems or for secured entry to premises. ID cards are mandatory for people working in access-restricted environments.

Be it a simple photo ID card or smart card, it carries information about the person who is using it along with their photo, division, student/ employee code, etc. Though it might look like a simple ID card, it comes with main personalised card along with lot of accessories/ parameters such as personalised lanyards (most of the time company name is pre-printed on it), printing option (one colour/ multi-colour), width of lanyard along with a background colour of lanyard. These parameters are based on corporate guidelines of the company/ institution using it.

The other main challenge in ID card market is that they are printed in masses (with individual detail/ VDP variable data printing) for thousands of people/ students for the first time, but the editing comes in small quantity. For example, in case of corporates, when it’s implemented for the first time, you get all employee data in one go (most of the time Excel sheet), job is easy with VDP. But as a part of a maintenance contract throughout the year, you will have to attend to individual requests or group of requests (if the company/ school is too big) for following situations

  • When someone is promoted or changes the department
  • For some reason their cards are lost or damaged
  • New employee join

Same applies to schools. They will give you standard/ grade/ class data for all students from the school. In case of schools, as we know most students are promoted to next class/ grade every year and they might send individual request in following situations

  • When student loses the card or damages it
  • Ever year when they are promoted to next grade (again, this can be handled in masses with VDP by adding +1 to all students who are promoted)
  • If they change their residential address or emergency contact details
  • New student joins

Most of the time, this is done manually and sent to the printing company. We receive lots of calls from companies into ID card markets and hence we understand the challenges better. All said and done, this industry too involves printing but it is more personalised, in this scenario it’s not about the standard quality or paper quality, but it’s more of personalised for a huge group. It is personalised the first time and has a very short run, but still personalised for the next time. All other printing methods remain the same, the only change is the material on which it is printed, and for lanyards most of the time it is Nylon or smooth cloth.

This industry must implement web-to-print solutions for the first time as well as for editing. We had many sessions and understood the methods adopted in schools: physical forms are distributed to student/ parent who go to a photographer, paste photo, and submit to the school, who in turn submit all forms (thousands in number) to vendor, who manually enters data and creates proof of each student and the school re-distributes to all students again to confirm if what they submitted is right in proof. If there’s a mistake by the vendor, the whole process is repeated.

When a card is lost, same manual process is followed and if school sends only a few cards, vendor might charge more or wait for his sheet to be full and ready for printing.

If you read the situation carefully, web-to-print technology helps at many places to automate the whole process, reduce the error and wastage. Each school or corporate can give direct access to their employee or student to their website and as soon as they enter their student/ employee code, they can see information registered with institute and they can change details, see digital proof and submit request. Request comes to admin who confirms the validity of student/ employee working with their institute. Web-to-print system then collects minimum charges for one print and imposes on one sheet and sends it to printing company after they get authorization from school/ HR of corporate.

The complete process of requesting data collected at the beginning of year for school, and new employees joining in, for printing and later changing can be managed automatically by web-to-print/ online printing system. We are working closely with corporate houses and schools and are in a better position to guide you in case you want to implement the same with your clients. Write to us to learn more.

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