Leading Financial Print Company, London.
Customer and Industry
A specialist Financial Print Company providing a host of services, including a workflow for Regulatory Financial Reporting document and the preparation and management of them.
The customers existing typesetting and workflow systems had evolved over 30 years, based around a product that was no longer being developed or maintained. As a result they were not able to facilitate more exacting requirements within their workflow around document comparison, production speed and supporting new technologies.
For this reason, they started looking for replacement systems and components to deliver what was needed to remain competitive in the market place, while eliminating some highly expensive solution proposals and various pagination platform technology stacks, including XPP, Quark and InDesign.
The challenges became clear from the early specification stages that the system must include, amongst other things:
- Improve the workflow production and turn around speed at every proofing stage.
- Be easy to re-train and use for Typesetter/Operators in multi-national global locations.
- Have the ability and capability for both manual and semi-automated pagination.
- Improve the quality of output and accuracy of comparison proofs in compliance with strict STBL (UK) & BaFin (DE) requirements, something that the customer was not able to fully achieve automatically with Word or DeltaXML comparison.
- Within a fixed budget and schedule.
Custom requirements included such needs as:
- Process and handle various quality MS Word customer source data into a manageable format for custom Typesetting and Comparison.
- Typeset data professionally to either the customers’ or ‘in-house’ style, with full manual control plus semi-automated components with potential for fully automated pagination.
- Accurate blacklining (strikethrough/red-lining/change tracking) at multiple proof cycle levels.
- Split/Sub large documents during composition and/or correction stages while retaining document integrity and custom workflow extensions.
- Produce a document comparison proof at any stage between any 2 cycle/proof levels according to strict compliance for the UKLA and German regulators.
- To deliver and output typeset PDF & MS Word readback.
- Pipeline options for XML/XBRL/Edgar2 conversion from completed typeset documents.
Outcome & Benefits
After a period of feasibility studies followed by an extensive specification building and requirement gathering process and working very closely with the customers’ team, our recommended approach was accepted. The new system would replace the entire Pagination System and existing document comparison tools and proof generation workflow.
The core components and what they provide within the context of the solution are outlined below:
- Data Conversion and Cleaning
Custom built Baton Docx utility is a fast and effective MS Word document processing tool which can extract data, styles and embedded content from any MS Word .docx document in a matter of seconds, into clean and valid structured typesetting friendly tag formats. It also has many configuration options on how the source content components should be extracted and transformed.
- Financial Composition Environment
The typesetting, main UI and system bridges are provided by our custom financial centric environment and code library for the Arbortext Advanced Print Publisher (APP) (aka 3B2). It is specially configured for working with bespoke data tagging which we also designed, to enable quick, highly flexible and powerful typesetting and dynamic composition capabilities.
It includes a wide range of in-built shortcuts and a stylesheet enabled for fast pagination with complex layouts and financial table rules. It also provides workflow features such as a custom build document subbing (split and re-joining) system and an MS Word output pipeline facility.
- Comparison and Validation
Our Comparison and Validation Engine is a highly capable software tool, with its main principal purpose to validate and accurately compare two different versions of the document content as print ready regulatory compliant pages for PDF and/or HTML quick view. The Comparison Engine works hand in hand with APP’s environment to produce composed comparison documents and provide tagset validation, error node handling/locating and use guidance to the operators.
After the initial delivery which came in on time and on budget, a period of system review, user training, feedback cycles and beta testing was undertaken before the system went into live production work in early 2017. The system has delivered improvements at each stage of the production process with a more intuitive, modern future proofed and highly extensible system.
This solution was developed and delivered in a collaborative partnership between tformat Ltd, AJS DataSolutions Ltd and Ajeeo Ltd. collectively now under a single umbrella of Squaremoons Publishing Solutions Limited.