Blog: Graphics Canada, a year in the making

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Graphics Canada Expo are set to see a groundbreaking demonstration of a fully automated workflow, that’s been a year in the making

Infigo Head of Global Marketing, and co-founder of Web Connect + community, Chris Minn, discusses why web-to-print is just a small a part of an optimised workflow and urges Graphics Canada attendees to witness it demonstrated first-hand at a trade show first.

Chris believes that the only way to see if a web-to-print platform is worth investing in, is to see as part of a fully automated workflow, and we agree.

That’s why he co-founded the innovative Web Connect + community. Over the last year, Infigo and its Web Connect+ partners (which includes Significans, Tilia Labs Motionalysis, Elitron and Ronik) have hosted a series of webinars, each focussing on a specific aspect of an automated print process – from ordering, to processing, to cutting, printing and shipping.

This has enabled printers to learn about what exactly is required for an automated print workflow, from software to hardware (and how it’s all integrated), through dedicated experts in each area.

However, the cherry on the automation cake will be the first demonstration of its kind ever, at this year’s Graphics Canada. Taking over the largest booth at the exhibition (which will be more than 100 feet long) Web Connect+ will demonstrate an entirely automated workflow.

From designing a personalized product, through to pre-flighting, robotic cutting and printing, attendees will be able to see an entirely automated workflow in action at the Web Connect + booth 5222.

A culture of partnership

Chris said: “The phrase ‘Turn-Key solution’ is banded around a lot. We have spent the last 12 months working with software and hardware partners, learning about all areas of the PSP workflow and gaining an understanding of what is missing and what value web-to-print can bring to our customers.

“This demonstration literally has been a year in the making.

“Understanding the workflow means we can understand the business – we can then forecast the results, identify the challenges and spot the opportunities.”

Chris said that this approach gives printers a lot better understanding of what can be achieved through web-to-print and an automated workflow.

“Rather than telling potential clients that they can achieve the same results as a printer in a completely different sector, with a different business model that has a completely different workflow, with different machinery, through our Web Connect+ partners we can assess the organisation’s entire print eco-system and give them a consultative, holistic view, of where they need to invest”, Chris said.

“Through the Web Connect+ Community we have developed relationships, integrations and an understanding of the entire print workflow that no other web-to-print vendor can possibly understand.

“The culture and mindset of partnership is what sets the Web Connect+ community apart from any other vendors in the industry.”

Web-to-print is one dimensional

Chris said the issue was particularly highlighted as the world came out of lockdown. It was apparent some printers had rushed to find e-commerce solutions during the early days of the pandemic, without realising that a web-to-print platform was just one part of the automated workflow.

Chris continued: “Web-to-print is one dimensional. It’s not something that you can expect to get out of the box, install in isolation and watch the jobs come flowing in.

“You want to know that when you invest in web-to-print that it’s going to connect with all your other platforms and hardware. So you need your vendor to demonstrate that.

“We often see web-to-print providers sharing statistics in their marketing material. ‘Printer x achieved 150% increase in repeat sales, reduced manual touchpoints by 90% and reduced overheads by 30%’.

“However, what many printers fail to realise, and what vendors won’t necessarily talk about, is web-to-print is just one small cog in the print automation machine.

“You can claim that a client has achieved these results with your platform, and we’re not suggesting the vendor is making false claims, but it’s how it’s integrated into the print workflow that makes the difference.

“For every printer that achieves automation, increased revenue and reduced costs, there will be others that invest in web-to-print and then realise it’s not compatible with critical systems or hardware, so they don’t get a return on investment.”

Education and partnerships = web-to-print success

As a result, Chris realised the importance of creating a community, and forming partnerships, to help educate printers on what’s required for a fully automated workflow.

Following several meetings, this resulted in the creation of the Web Connect + Community, which initially consisted of the founding partners Infigo, software integrator and workflow specialist Significans Automation and AI imposition software provider Tilia Labs.

“Very early on in discussions with Significans and Tilla Labs, I could see we were all aligned to help each other’s customers with a better-combined offering and approach. Sometimes it’s just a case of being aware of what another partner can offer your customer and doing everything in your power to help them drive revenue while increasing profits on existing orders or runs.”

Register for free tickets

Come along to Graphics Canada 2023 with FREE Infigo VIP tickets worth up to $80. The tickets, which are strictly first come, first serve, are available for up to 2 attendees per organisation, so if you’re interesting in stopping by without it costing you a cent, get in touch.

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