Training Customers--It's Your Job
Customers aren't usually motivated to change traditional behaviors and adopt print-on-demand processes. It's your job to help them.
The familiar print-on-demand (POD) mantra—print what you want, when you want it and where you want it—can be the source of compelling benefits for in-plant customers. But not every benefit is immediately obvious, or available, to every in-plant customer; nor are these customers necessarily motivated to change traditional behaviors.
Therefore, training customers on the benefits of POD is one of several new jobs in-plant managers must take on. Others include understanding the latest information technologies (or forming alliances with those who do) to specify and maintain effective POD systems that cut production costs and deliver new value.
Managers also need strong marketing skills to better understand how their companies use documents and to fashion compelling pitches in favor of appropriate POD processes. And they need better negotiating skills to persuade upper management to fund POD development.
POD clearly benefits the print shop operation. It eliminates steps in the printing process, improving productivity; it reduces paper waste and storage; and it introduces valuable services based on management of digital information. These services foster closer relationships with customers and add value for them:
• Enhanced productivity and more economical short print runs mean faster turnarounds.
• Electronic storage means that documents are always up to date, since they are printed from current files.
• Documents are always available, because they can be printed at any time.
• Costs can be more easily controlled when documents are printed as needed, rather than in long runs.
Tight integration of POD operations with Internet-based services are providing additional customer value today. For instance, the Web offers a familiar, convenient and efficient alternative for job submission. A well-defined submission process, complete with a hard copy proof prior to running the job, should help to make even nervous clients comfortable.