Web-to-print Leaders and Laggards
What are the secrets to success with Web-to-print software? NAPL research offers a clue.
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Last month I was part of the In-plant Graphics webinar titled “Cracking the Code to Web-to-print Success.” It was a very interesting webinar, which featured a presentation by Jim Sinclair, production manager at the International Association of Lions Clubs, about how his PTI Web-to-print system was critical in his ability to increase sales and reduce outsourcing.
In my presentation, I discussed the results from several NAPL research surveys as well as lessons learned from consulting projects. The most common questions I hear from companies interested in Web-to-print are how much do these solutions cost and what determines their cost? Generally speaking, the cost is associated with the number of features and how those features work with other software packages such as print MIS and PDF workflow solutions.
In our 2014 NAPL white paper titled “Workflow Investment Survey: Where, Why and How Much Companies are Investing” we compared in-plant investments to commercial printers and learned that more commercial printers invested in automation software such as Web-to-print, print MIS and PDF workflow in the last three years. However, in-plants felt that their investments were more worthwhile.
We divided respondents into leaders and laggards. Leaders tended to invest more often (89 percent of leaders invested in Web-to-print as opposed to 72 percent of laggards). Also, leaders tended to invest more money in Web-to-print.
In our 2013 NAPL white paper titled “Web-to-print: The Promise, the Potential and the Reality,” we learned that 58 percent of respondents reported that sales increased and 55 percent reported that profitability increased after investing in Web-to-print. However, 58 percent said that less than 5 percent of their customers were using it, 51 percent reported the clients were using only a limited number of features, and 22 percent reported integration and implementation issues.
Perhaps one of the most interesting findings from the NAPL Workflow Investment Survey was that more than 140 companies said that Web-to-print was their most worthwhile investment while more than 40 companies reported it was their least worthwhile investment.
After dividing the responses into leaders and laggards, we discovered that 65 percent of leaders reported that Web-to-print was their most worthwhile investment as opposed to 18 percent of the laggards. Since the same technology is available to everyone, the obvious question becomes, what do the leaders do better than the laggards that results in their overwhelming success?
If you want to learn more, I encourage you to listen to the full webinar here:www.inplantgraphics.com/webinar.
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Howie Fenton is an independent consultant who focuses on analyzing/benchmarking the performance of printing operations. Fenton helps companies use metrics, best practices and workflow strategies to streamline operations. Call (720) 872-6339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org