Blog: Why replacing your web-to-print platform could have consequences in the future

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There have been many times in recent years when it might have felt that we’d all woken up in a dystopian future, much like the alternative timeline in Back to the Future 2.

Political unrest and upheaval in Europe and the US, a global pandemic and escalating conflicts. Sometimes it seems that we’re living in Biff Tannen’s altered future. And like the imagined 2015, where Marty finds himself surrounded by advanced technology, it feels that it’s impossible to keep up with the latest innovations in web-to-print software.

And like Marty’s dabbling with time travel, investing in the wrong web-to-print platform can have unintended consequences in the future.

Web-to-print platforms that printers invested in 5 years ago are no longer fit for purpose.

Either they can’t be integrated with the latest software and hardware or don’t have the flexibility of the most innovative web-to-print solutions. So how can you avoid making the mistakes of the past when replacing your web-to-print platform?


How do you make sure you’re not trying to channel a lightning strike on the bell tower when your competitors are able to create nuclear power with a futuristic food blender?


Download our free white paper


By completing the form, we outline some of the essential steps you need to take in replacing outdated web-to-print systems to future-proof your business and create revenue streams as predictable as betting on sporting events when you know the outcome.

Why should this time be different?

For every print operator 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 your MIS.
• 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 who will use 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


Marty’s problems in the Back to the Future trilogy started once terrorists turned up, trying to reclaim the plutonium Doc Brown had stolen from them. This rushed Marty into jumping into the iconic DeLorean before he had been properly trained on the flux capacitor.


And despite Doc’s faithful dog, Einstein, successfully completing a time travelling adventure, the time machine wasn’t ready to be put into full operation.


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.


Set specific milestones for:


• Beginning implementation
• Integrating with each system
• Receiving training
• Building your first storefront
• Moving clients’ products over to new storefronts
• Testing orders
• Ironing out any issues
• Going live


“It’s your kids Marty, something’s got to be done about your kids”


We often say that web-to-print is as much about a cultural change as technological. And much like Marty’s children have adopted future tech in 2015 more comfortably than he has, the new generation of print workers and print buyers, have a very different view of digital technology. They see it intrinsic to working life (after all, they have grown up with the internet), rather than an “add on.”


They want tools and solutions that can automate and provide seamless experiences, much like the self-lacing socks that are worn in BTTF2’s depiction of 2015.


So, it’s imperative to get the views of your most senior and junior employees and users, not just the C-suite.  By getting a range of views on what your web-to-print investment needs to achieve, you are more likely to make it the future of your business strategy.


A roadmap to the future


Obviously, this is a highly simplified description of what can be a daunting journey into the future. For an in-depth guide on how to replace your web-to-print solutions, without costs spiralling out of control, download our white paper by completing the form.


In this insightful free white paper, we will guide you through the entire process, with actionable checklists, so you can develop new revenue streams within weeks.

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