It really is the dream, isn’t it? To arrive on the shop floor and discover that you’ve taken $10,000 of orders overnight. Not only that but they’ve been pre-flighted and proofed and are ready to go as soon as you switch the printers on.
And you know you’re not going to be interrupted by customers chasing those orders (because they’ve received automated emails updating them at each milestone). And because they finalized the design themselves, with the online editor, you’re not going to get a last-minute call asking you to “move the logo slightly to the left.”
But we’re not talking about a fantasy world. This is the reality for thousands of printers (and their customers) around the globe. That’s because there has been a steady shift to print e-commerce for both the B2B and B2C sector over the last few years. A trend that’s massively accelerated due to the pandemic.
However, despite forecasts that 80% of all B2B sales interactions will take place online by 2025, (Aspect Insights, 30th March 2021) many printers still haven’t made the switch to web-to-print. But why would they?
The old way of doing things
Let’s say one of your clients is an accountancy firm. Every time one of the accountants needs a new set of business cards they email their office manager, who then emails you with the request.
After exchanging several emails over the course of a couple of days you finally receive the file that’s the right resolution and has the client’s most recent branding. Four days later you receive an email asking when it’s going to be shipped out.
After spending 20 minutes looking at several different systems you email the office manager to give them the shipping tracking number. Two days later you get an email from the office manager telling you that the accountant has been promoted but the business card has their old job title on it.
In short – the client’s wasted money, you’ve wasted time and you’ve got to go through the process all over again.
The web-to-print way of doing things
Alternatively, you create an online portal (using a really easy-to-use drag and drop CMS) that perfectly matches the client’s branding. That portal contains a range of products and templates, personalized to different job roles. So, the newly promoted accountant logs on and sees the products that’s relevant to them (rather than a sea of templates the marketing department uses).
They select the business card template (where certain design aspects are locked in, to maintain brand consistency), edit the fields which contain their job title, email address, and phone number, and click on the order button.
They receive an automated email to confirm their order has been received. They then receive further updates, so they know when the order has been processed and shipped.
Integration = automation
So, what’s happening from the printer’s perspective? The order is received through the web-to-print platform. Because the web-to-print platform is integrated with all the other systems that’s part of the workflow (from pre-flighting to shipping) human touchpoints are significantly reduced.
For example, because the client has updated their job title on the web-to-print storefront, that data is updated on your CRM. Likewise, because you have an integration with a shipping partner, the delivery address is automatically synced.
But when you consider that the platform can also be integrated with your MIS, payment providers, and editing software (to name but a few) then you begin to realize how you can massively improve productivity. In short, you can grow your business without employing extra staff.
Web-to-print = web-to-profits
Because of the flexible nature of the best web-to-print platforms, they can be used by a variety of organizations – from printers to packagers, to label manufacturers and beyond.
With a leading web-to-print platform you can quickly create an e-commerce storefront (which is easy to learn, even if you have little web-design experience) and add products that can be easily edited by the client (using a powerful browser-based editor) and start taking orders.
While web-to-print can be used “out of the box,” users who get the best return on their investment are those that can customize and integrate.
However, sometimes you need outside help to help identify areas that you can integrate and automate as well as provide the technical support to achieve it.
If you think your organization could benefit from automated print workflows and maximize profits with web-to-print, then get in touch.
Significans Automation recently announced a partnership with global web-to-print provider Infigo. The partnership demonstrates our commitment to helping printers, labels, and packaging manufacturers significantly reduce costs and waste by partnering with Infigo.
Infigo provides innovative web-to-print e-commerce software solutions for business users across a vast range of industries. Our goal is to strengthen our clients’ businesses by improving workflow efficiency, enabling new revenue opportunities, and delivering a competitive advantage. Through strategic partnerships, we have rapidly expanded in the marketplace, becoming one of the world’s leading web-to-print providers.
About Significans Automation
Significans Automation Inc. specializes in delivering next-generation automation to the Printing and Packaging industry. The company offers programming and expertise in custom workflow development, communication and project management, color management, prepress training, and end-to-end business integration. The company is driven by the conviction that customized automation is the only path forward.