In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the importance of involving your clients, considering their pain points and implementing a diligent approach when considering a B2B web-to-print solution. Today I want to talk about the importance of “future proof” web to print technology.
Web to print solutions have come a long way. They’ve evolved from simple “print job systems” to complete marketing portals that handle much more than print products and workflows.
Print demand shortages, industry change, advances in technology and more complex customer demands have pushed SOME web to print applications to evolve to more comprehensive solutions. New features, more intuitive user interfaces, greater performance and more elastic communication with other systems have and will continue to get better.
Technology will keep moving fast. The print industry will continue to change. The market will continue to demand more complete services from printers. That said, printers must go with a web-to-print software provider that has proven to evolve and will continue to evolve over time.
What you buy today (TVs, phones, wearables) will be outdated in two-three years. The same applies to web-to print platforms. If your software provider does NOT continually update its system, your team and clients are probably dealing with a lot of pain.
Why do printers switch to other web to print systems?
One of the main reasons printers switch to a new platform is because their current system becomes outdated, hard to use, it lacks the features their clients want or it doesn’t play nice with other systems. The system becomes somewhat obsolete pushing them to venture out and spend time and money looking for a new one.
Web to print are naturally sticky solutions. It takes a lot of effort to get them up and running. Plus, introducing a new system to clients is normally very painful.
Ideally you don’t have to worry about learning curves, training, and forcing your clients to migrate to a new environment. Ideally you found a software provider who continues to update its platform over the years saving you from the pain of implementing a new platform all over again.
It is important to understand that you invest on the product as much as you invest on your software provider’s ability to improve the system’s performance, user experience, integration capabilities, and develop new features you and your clients require as the market evolves.
What to look for in a web to print solution?
Today your web to print offering must be excellent. Your clients expect powerful features, quick loads and rendering, fast performance, an intuitive order experience and the ability to access they system from any device. On the other side, you need it to communicate with other systems and simplify job management, production and fulfillment workflows.
When shopping around for a web to print solution make sure to ask the software provider how old the system is and how frequently it is updated. Clear elements such as look, feel, and speed can help you asses how often a software provider updates a system. Does it look like it windows 95?
Why should printers care?
While some printers strictly want to print and only need a basic “print job system”, other printers want to offer marketing services, tap deeper into the marketing supply chain and uncover new revenue opportunities.
Limited technology limits what you can do for your clients.
Think about those bigger clients who want to host and distribute print, promo, apparel and digital files via the web (web to print systems). They require a combination of POD, VDP, JIT, inventory pulls, and direct mail workflows. They need to enforce branding and spending rules. They need to implement approval workflows, offer multiple payment options and access real time reporting -all from a solution that is intuitive and looks great regardless of which device they use.
You need the system to simplify job management tasks, communicate with other vendors and procurement systems and ideally help you consolidate and streamline warehouse management tasks.
Is your current web to print system up to all that?
Web to print Solutions – Future Proof Matters
With technology moving so fast these days, clients expecting more from their print producers, and the print industry evolving, it is important to pick a solution that is proven to keep up with market and technology trends.
Make sure you invest on future proof technology. Make sure you invest on a web to print solution that has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve. Your web to print offering only goes as far as the technology you implement.
Drop us a comment
Drop us a comment and lets us know if your software provider is a future proof software provider or if you haven’t seen an upgrade in the last 3 years?