In our last post, we covered the Web-to-Print (W2P) benefits gained if you’re in an operations role. Next up: the management team. While many of the topics we covered in our first post are still relevant to management, some key W2P benefits will be top of mind for the CEO and her or his team.
As a print business executive, you’re focused on the holistic picture of the business and driving efficiencies that will maximize ROI. You’ve already made an investment in your printing technology, so what value can a W2P solution bring to your business? The value adds up in a variety of ways:
W2P Benefits for the Print Business CEO
1. Cutting production costs
One of the significant advantages of using an online storefront is lower production costs. Since orders are created and submitted electronically, before being routed through pre-defined workflows for final production, W2P helps eliminate many costly manual tasks such as order-taking and processing.
Many times, the planning aspect of a print job can take up a good portion of your team’s time – from quotes and print options to arranging and placing the final order. With a W2P portal, all of that can be streamlined via built-in automation functions. The end-user can directly input everything they need, before receiving a proof and quote for the job. Once the order is placed, print jobs automatically pass through pre-press automation and are routed directly for production; turnaround time to produce the job is massively reduced.
W2P also eliminates the need to use graphic designers for basic updates to variable items. Instead, more skilled staff members can focus on higher-value tasks, and the print buyer can make the updates online during the ordering process.
The overall result: lower production costs, more efficient resource allocation and time-savings – all of which will boost your profit margin.
W2P Storefronts often require advanced security functions such as single-sign-on, password entry capabilities, HTTPS certification, and secure credit card transaction capabilities. If the W2P solution is up-to-date with all the latest security advances, these features can solve many of the challenges faced by your clients at once. An added benefit: solving problems for clients in this way creates ‘stickier’ clients who are more likely to stay for your services in the long-term.
3. Higher ROI on existing capital investment
A W2P solution is an extension of your print technology, linking your business capabilities to your current and prospective customers online. While, of course, an initial investment must be made, with W2P, you’re extending your capabilities to grow business opportunities in AND outside of “traditional” hours. The 24/7 accessibility of an online storefront not only brings added value to your business, but it also opens new revenue streams.
4. More visibility
If you have a B2C W2P storefront, you’ll attract those, who like many in this digital age, decide to head online to search for a printer. Location doesn’t even matter anymore. If your services are competitive online, you won’t be restricted to just servicing your local area anymore. By having an online presence, your business will gain added visibility and draw in customers that may not have known about your services before. If you’re not online, you’re not going to be found by prospects further afield, and you could potentially be losing out on valuable business opportunities.
Similarly, if you’re creating B2B W2P storefronts for your clients, they will be able to order their branded material no matter where they are situated easily.
5. Simplifying cost recovery
With the improved order acquisition and automation capabilities of W2P, not only can your customers place their orders online, but they can pay on the spot as well. This means more cash flow to recoup investment expenses and grow revenue. Your team can also spend more time finding more clients and getting valuable jobs out the door, rather than getting sidetracked by the above-mentioned manual and time-consuming tasks.
Some Web-to-Print solutions, like our solution StoreFlow, are built using open software architecture; they can be connected to other internal or external systems and you’ll only need to purchase the components you need. Your solution can be scaled up with added power and functionality as your business grows. This is critical to future-proofing your business and ensuring that you can keep up with your clients’ requirements.
7. Product Line Control
Your web-to-print storefront doesn’t need only to offer print products. You can expand your services by providing your B2B clients with a repository for ordering other inventory products too from a single storefront. And if you integrate the W2P system with your MIS, you can help your clients to monitor the number of print and other products in and out of stock and in demand. Manually managing inventory levels on a W2P storefront can often be complicated and time-consuming to maintain. Because MIS integrations update the inventory status in the web-to-print storefront automatically, your clients can now easily access the status information.
With all inventory information in a single, central location – the storefront – your clients can stay ahead of the demand curve, respond quickly to any changes, keep the right number of products to hand, serve their customers faster and achieve higher service satisfaction levels. They can streamline operations, cut down on losses due to errors and reporting delays, and improve cost-efficiency. They are also able to better optimize their storefront for their clients to achieve higher sales because they have better access to information about which print products are in the most demand and which combinations are ordered. What does this mean for your print shop? Very satisfied customers who keep coming back for more.
8. Add High-Value Omnichannel Campaigns to Your Store
Email campaigns or even full multi-touchpoint omnichannel campaigns can also be ordered from a web-to-print store if the solution is integrated with an email service or campaign automation solution. The end-user can simply log-in, customize an email template and send it to their chosen recipients. Alternatively, they can select a ready-made omnichannel campaign flow, customize it for their requirements and launch it directly from the store. These features help you to make the whole process more comfortable for the end-users, within careful brand constraints.