Hallmark Cards have an annual production of 2. 2 billion cards worldwide, 8 billion of which are sold in the United States. Once the king of the card market, in the 1990’s Hallmark found they were lagging behind in the market. After much internal and market analysis, Hallmark discovered that in order to remain a major competitor in the card market a major change would need to take place. They had been using the same design process since the company began and it had worked…up to now. With the increase in technology, things began to move faster in the world.
Hallmark discovered that in order to maintain their status as a major card company, they would need to move faster as well. They discovered that tasks that had been done manually could now be done much faster with the help of computer technology. In the past, graphic designers had to link thousands of variants of editorial content to the proper barcodes and designs. It was a paper based system that input the same data over and over. The repetitive nature of this process left it open to error and could be quite costly.
Hallmark hired a well known software company, Mapsoft, to custom design a software program for them that would allow them to reduce errors, free up the graphic designers and enable to Hallmark to mass produce cards at a rate that would keep up with the current market demand. Mapsoft came up with a program called Card Create. It is a PDF server based software program and fully automates the process of linking the barcodes and designs once done manually by the graphic designers. The margin of error was greatly reduced as was the manpower needed to oversee these tasks.
No longer did the graphic designers have to manually repeat everything on a template over and over. No longer did they have to worry that the eight number bar codes frequently used throughout each template would contain an error they may have overlooked. Hallmark implemented the new program at its Hambledon Studios division, which produces its wholesale cards. The output with the new program was as expected, fewer errors, less time wasted, more cards produced. The program enabled Hallmark to input up to 200 variations on a card and then use the software to inset it on the cards individually at the touch of a button.
The barcodes are now monitored by the system and require no individual visual inspections. Hallmark is once again on top of the card market and is very pleased with its jump into the world of technology. It can once again mass produce the cards that are so well know to so many people all around the world. (n. d. ) Automated Card Create Solution for Hallmark Greeted with Success, Retrieved November 15,2006 from Mapsoft Newsletter.
http://www. mapsoft. com/Mapsoft%20Hallmark%20newsletter. pdf