In recent years, the printing industry has rapidly expanded while growing increasingly competitive. Market leaders have consistently reduced their prices, forcing smaller enterprises to balance between cost reduction and profit generation.
Additionally, printing itself is becoming less preferable by customers for the number or reasons. Firstly, advancements in digital advertising, e-books, and online news are disrupting the media landscape and pushing newspapers, magazines, business cards closer to obsolescence. Secondly, do not forget going paperless initiatives which have been gaining traction over the last two decades, despite the printing industry’s considerable efforts to prevent this from happening.
At this point pure technological and administrative ways of improving have reached their limits. It is innovation that can make your business really thrive. So, what aspects of a printing business can benefit from innovation? The answer is all of them, from the manager-customer relationship to the printing-press capacity.
Having a vast experience working with printing businesses we offer both leading-edge and time-tested solutions to help your business withstand the price pressure, introduce vital innovations, and win new customers.
In this post, we’ll share the essentials of web-to-print implementation, as well as automation and optimization solutions. Besides, we’ll give a brief overview of some new approaches that can transform your business.
Supercharge your business with web-to-print
Adaptability is an inexhaustible resource for any business. We all know that digital channels offer new ways to execute communication, design, and printing, along with shipping and advertising. So, instead of competing with digitalization, use it, make it your own competitive advantage. Therefore, it’s essential to have a functional, responsive website that also has a smart mobile version.
With this in place, the next step (and the first step on the innovation path) is to implement a web-to-print solution. With web-to-print tool embedded on your website, your clients can self-handle routine tasks like design and order fulfillment, and cut out the middle man. Within the design editor users can upload an image, apply it to a mockup, and preview the outcome. The system then automatically converts everything into print-ready formats, allowing your clients to get right to project approval.
Custom web-to-print solution can be a boon for addressing the issues and obstacles that might be keeping your business from flourishing. For example, it can include a unique “polyfunctional setting tool” that automates order calculation while also serving as an easy-to-use online calculator for your clients. Another area where a web-to-print solution shines is payment. Here it can function as a built-in payment system that handles invoicing and online payments. Giving you a huge advantage of the upfront payment it guarantees the targeted use of your resources.
As always, synergy is important: a web-to-print tool really maximizes its marketing firepower when it’s synergized with a content management system (CMS) and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
A CMS allows you to populate items on your website in any data form, create content according to your customers’ demand, and ultimately attract more prospective clients. Once this is in place, your website can be optimized for search engine marketing and social media marketing – for example, generating push notifications, reviews, ratings, customer accounts, and automated/personalized email marketing. Meanwhile, your CRM collects customer data in order to optimize communication targets and positive response. This collection process usually includes performance data relating to all past/present deals and future sales forecasts.
From a customer’s point of view, one of a web-to-print solution’s main selling points is the What You See Is What You Print (WYSIWYP) interface. It’s a huge benefit for a customer to be able to immediately see what you’ve created and comment directly. Moreover, such guided environment eliminates the potential problems associated with traditional communication – i.e. ambiguities, misunderstandings, and the risk of human error.
To cut it short, by implementing a web-to-print solution you:
- Accelerate the work delivery;
- Increase the productivity by elimination and automation of some routine management tasks;
- Are able to offer template-based products, therefore, accurately plan purchasing and get rid of extra expenses;
- Present your services in a way that maximizes their appeal and ease-of-use, especially for inexperienced customers.
One final note: remember that a technology investment of this scope needs to be seamlessly integrated into the rest of your business, while complementing the customer’s own policies.
Next Level. More automation = less waste of time and money
If you already have a working W2P solution, there are some further steps you can take with us to help your company become an industry leader.
First up – printing workflow automation. This means connecting all of your production processes into one comprehensive system that is controlled by custom-developed software. Doing this will noticeably improve your business’s productivity and efficiency.
Also, you’re no doubt aware of the many time-consuming secondary tasks surrounding the printing process. These are the tasks that should be at the top of your “for automation” list. For example, a W2P tool can automate your order management – and if you’re unsure how this could integrate with your existing processes, no worries! Reach out and we’ll share with you a terrific range of solutions.
Job planning is another area where automation is crucial. With a W2P system, you can build process flowcharts that offer real-time access to every production step at every stage, ensuring that everything is going according to plan. Similar to this is paperflow management. For instance, linking job planning to accountancy the system automatically sends invoices, manages payments, and documents the shipping of the final product.
This type of automated approach not only helps your business run more smoothly, it also creates a trasparent environment for all stakeholders: workers, management, and last but not least, clients.
There is always room for perfection. Optimization insights
Even when sales are good and production runs smoothly, you should never stop improving – and what better time to do this than when you have the resources to do so? One popular improvement step relates to the fact that the paper industry is among those most at risk of contributing to pollution. As such, customers value companies that embrace sustainability guidelines and ecological awareness.
The helping hand here is the implementation of optimization tools and new printing approaches:
- Optimization software can not exist beyond automation. So, as they team up, they minimize the number of non-productive operations, sort similar orders to be printed together and arrange the layout to eliminate the material and time loss.
- Recently cloud printing method has gatecrashed the market. It is an innovative technology which is already adopted by industry leaders such as Linux and Lexmark. The essence is that the worker can perform a remote print job without any software driver. Printer is launched straight from the cloud service.
- Another way of saving your resources is printing on demand when you print only ordered amount of products and do not waste materials on extra printed copies. Print-on-Demand is a trend which many e-commerce store owners have already successfully implemented and highly appreciated.
- We can also add variable data printing to the list of newest optimization approaches. It expands your business capabilities allowing to change the content within a single press run. Saving lots of time and inventory, this approach is most appealing for marketing and promotional purposes, as it enables cost-effective production of a targeted personalized message, which dramatically increases the response rate.
As a result, all these solutions will help you reduce waste of materials and paper consumption, lessen the environmental harm, and save your money and resources.
To sum up
It is never time to stop improving and even if your sales are high and production is effective there are plenty of ways to become better. Let your business stay competitive and don’t be afraid to innovate and implement web-to-print, automation and optimization solutions.
We’ll leave you with this final thought: the printing industry is constantly evolving. The more you innovate, the more competitive you’ll be!