It’s a natural reaction to curb company spending during an economic downturn. And let’s face it, we’re all having to tighten our business belts at the moment. So, shelling out on a new web-to-print system is perhaps not what your finance director had in mind when he asked you to see what savings could be made in the coming months and years.
Printers around the world have not only survived but thrived during the ongoing pandemic by accelerating business objectives with web-to-print.
In this blog, we describe the essential steps you need to take in replacing your existing web-to-print system to future-proof your business and hugely increase profitability.
Why should this time be different?
For every print shop that’s developed new revenue streams and automated huge parts of their processes, there’ll be others that feel web-to-print was an expensive vanity project that neither staff nor clients have engaged with.
Often this is because:
* It hasn’t kept up with your needs or the needs of your client(s) – it’s a clunky experience for those who want to order through mobile devices and the backend isn’t integrated with other systems in use.
* The buying decision was made by senior management – critical functionality and compatibility, which would have been an obvious requirement by those using it on the shop floor, wasn’t included.
* Adequate training wasn’t provided when the system was first implemented, so no one really knows how to use it – the finance director insisted on the cheapest provider which meant comprehensive support wasn’t included.
So before you start contacting web-to-print vendors, get feedback from clients and staff that will be using it on a daily basis.
Once you have an idea of what is required, you can speak to providers that only offer the required functionality, compatibility and ongoing support that is essential to your business objectives.
Ideally, form a multi-disciplinary team (that doesn’t just include the senior leadership team) that can have input, not only during the discovery stage, but later in the implementation and adoption stage.
Work out a realistic time frame for implementation
Once you have selected your new web-to-print provider, you need to establish a timeline for implementation. It is incredibly important to set specific milestones for each aspect of the implementation and factor in potential hiccups.
It’s unrealistic to think that even if your web-to-print provider has met your strict criteria, that there won’t be any teething issues during implementation.
Set specific milestones for:
* Beginning implementation
* Integrating with each system
* Receiving training
* Building your first store front
* Moving clients’ products over to new storefronts
* Testing orders
* Ironing out any issues
* Going live
Web-to-print is not limited to a change of technology, it must be a culture change
The reason companies often fail to realise the benefits of web-to-print is by viewing it as an add-on, rather than placing it at the centre of business strategy.
Although not every client or project can be completely automated through web-to-print, by developing a web-to-print culture, you form a habit of looking at how savings can be made with each job, regardless of size or sophistication. If just one aspect can be automated on the most labour intensive job, then that’s a cost saving that adds up over time. So just imagine the savings that can be made on jobs that don’t require any human input at all?
By keeping the project team in place, you can regularly meet to discuss how to further leverage the technology, based on new customer demands, the ever changing business environment and updates from the provider.
When you have created a web-to-print culture, driven by a multi-disciplinary team, there will be no loss in momentum if individuals leave the company. Making sure everyone is trained and mentally invested in the system means there will be not an over reliance on key staff to keep that momentum going.
In-depth e-guide available – download now
Obviously, this is a highly simplified description of what can be an exciting digital transformation project. Our in-depth guide explores how to transition your web-to-print system, without costs spiralling out of control, including
* Key considerations to ensure your business goals are aligned with this new system
* Top questions to ask potential providers and their existing customers
* Insightful advice from experienced industry peers
* Actionable checklists
* And more