Introducing HP SmartPlanner 3.0

BARCELONA, Spain, 11 May 2010 - HP SmartPlanner 3.0 is a newly enhanced job estimation and business planning tool. Part of the HP Graphic Arts Capture Business success programme, it is designed to take the guesswork out of estimating.

Available to HP Indigo customers free of charge, HP SmartPlanner 3.0 is ideal for print service providers (PSPs) wanting to expand their businesses, move into new markets, increase their companies' revenue or purchase a new press.

For PSPs specialising in commercial printing, label production, publishing or direct mail, there is a version of HP SmartPlanner 3.0 designed to suit every HP Indigo user's needs.

HP SmartPlanner 3.0 is able to help define the cost of producing jobs on any HP Indigo digital press against any offset press. It can calculate job costs for both digital and conventional presses, in terms of time, costs and margins. HP SmartPlanner 3.0 can be used to accurately determine the end-to-end cost of a job, including printing, finishing and supply chain parameters, to establish a breakeven point between different production processes. This allows users to analyse profit margins so as to make a better informed decision when choosing how to produce a job.

As well as establishing the cost of simple jobs, HP SmartPlanner 3.0 is able to calculate the cost of complex applications, such as books and direct mail, by splitting the item into different sections for analysis. This allows users to select the most cost-effective form of production for each component to maximise revenue from every opportunity.

With new, automated features, the system enables users to build a profile for a typical month's production, by importing jobs from management information systems (MIS), to obtain a detailed breakdown of the potential conversion of jobs from conventional to digital production, increasing overall profitability.

HP SmartPlanner 3.0 is user friendly, with increased functionality for added flexibility and reliable results. The tool has the ability to receive automated updates, ensuring that the results are based on current information, allowing users to make informed decisions based on the very latest technology. 

Adrian Tolley, production director of HP Indigo PSP, Prime Group, based in Nottingham, UK, tested HP SmartPlanner 3.0. "The tools are simple to use and it took me no more than half a day to create my company's profile and to obtain accurate results. From a user's perspective, the really great feature of this software is that it allows you to see all the pricing, from both our digital and conventional equipment side-by-side for a direct comparison. It makes it really easy for the user to choose the most economic and profitable production process."

For PSPs investigating the possibility of purchasing a new digital press, HP SmartPlanner 3.0 can be used to help define a pricing strategy based on the investment. "This is a great tool for those looking to buy a new press. HP SmartPlanner 3.0 allows users to test the commercial viability of presses before making the decision to purchase it. At a glance, the user can see how profitable potential new equipment is compared to existing kit and can use this information to make a successful investment," said Tolley.

Key features and benefits

  • Turnkey systems for comparing and contrasting digital and conventional output using custom or supplied press profiles
  • Automated calculation of crossover points to determine the run lengths where a job should be produced by digital or conventional methods
  • Support for the entire HP Indigo press range (sheetfed and webfed presses) and finishing equipment in costing calculations, with pre-set comparative costing information for a wide range of offset equipment
  • Advanced modules for costing of complex applications such as books, direct mail and marketing collateral
  • Ability to import jobs directly from a customer's MIS
  • Available in 15 different languages, with multiple currency choices and imperial/ metric measurements
  • Mac compatibility using Windows® emulator software 
  • User-friendly interface
  • Online software updates
  • Graphical representation of data for fast interpretation of estimates
  • Comprehensive forms for establishing profiles and job specifications, including fields for manual prepress set up and digital file preparation

HP SmartPlanner 3.0 can be downloaded on the 'My HP Indigo' online customer portal at