Rob Coate - Director & System Consultant
An industry expert who builds and transforms automated document factories.
A mainframe Computer Programmer and Project Manager by profession, Rob has successfully transferred those disciplines and practical experiences into the world of digital printing, creating some of the most innovative systems along the way.
A very early practioner of Xerox digital printing technolgies when, in the early 1980s as part of an advanced warehouse automation project at Clarks Shoes, Rob built print on demand systems for barcoded product labelling, production work tickets and customer orders.
In 1984 Rob joined Xerox as a Systems Consultant to help pioneer the early placements of digital printing solutions into early adopter accounts, particularly in the Financial Services, Local Government and Service Bureau sectors. With his extensive mainframe systems experience Rob established himself as a Specialist in the suite of Xerox mainframe tools and, in particular, implementations into IBM AFP environments.
As an experienced solution builder Rob has always been at the forefront of the market and systems development. In the early 1990s Rob was the architect behind one of the earliest "hybrid mail" systems in the UK when he designed and built the composition, printing and mailing subsystem for the Royal Mail EDIPost service.
As digital technology moved into the 21st century, but at a time when the success rate of large scale print and mail projects was not great, Rob joined forces with Sefas Innovation to design, build and deliver one of the UK's most advanced Automated Document Factory projects of its time for the Nationwide Building Society. Using a combination of "best of breed" technology Rob transformed a protracted and disconnected offline printing and mailing operation into a high-performance automated process, simultaneously streaming and mail sorting work in real time from IBM, Fujitsu (ICL) and Unisys mainframes. Jobs were now managed online and by SLA demands rather than in a serial first in, first out basis. Connected inserting systems with camera monitoring delivered assured mail piece integrity, audit trails and automated reprinting of spoils. Images of completed mail pieces were timestamped with the precise production event prior to being indexed and ingested into long-term CRM storage.
Other major ADF implementation followed quickly, for a dual site solution at Pitney Bowes Management Services (PMBS) in Hållsta, Sweden and in Hamar, Norway, and for EDS Credit Services in the UK.
Rob rejoined Xerox 2004 to help drive their European transition to a services-led organisation and managed-services contracts were quicky won at Northern Rock Building Society, Scottish Widows, HBOS Insurance & Investments and in 17 European counries for Genworth.
By 2010 Xerox had started to build an oustsourced services capability to help organisations transition from paper to cross-media communications channels. As with many other forms of technology the Nordic region provided access to an "early adopter" market and by mid 2012 Rob was establishing the first of a network of Nordic Transactional Print and Mail Service Centres in Helsinki, Finland for contracts with a major insurance company, LähiTapiola, and the global IT Services company, CGI.
To ensure a rapid return on investment, using the GMC Inspire toolset for production management, print stream processing and document composition, and Ironsides Technologies APT for print job and mail piece tracking, Rob designed and built an operating platform to rapidly transform legacy print jobs into full-colour, transpromotional communications.
By mid-2014 CGI and Xerox extended their strategic relationship and by the end of 2015 Xerox would acquire CGI's print and mail services in Stockholm. Requiring reinvestment and optimisation Rob utilised Xerox' Lean Document Production (LDP) methodology to transform the operation into a high-productivity, white paper factory, implementing a trio of Xerox Impika inkjet production lines. Four high-speed inserting lines were uprated for white-paper factory productivity gains.
Most recently, in partnership with Åland Post, Rob has established a third Nordic service delivery centre on the tax advantageous island of Åland and in June 2018 the acquisition of NT Media Print's operations in Nässjö, Sweden was completed.
Without doubt Rob can evidence a well-proven and enviable track record of success in the world of digital communications, spanning some three decades, repeatedly designing and building document systems that deliver for his customers.