Tim Cox takes a look at the top 10 most common pitfalls found when deploying a Web2Print platform.
1. Lack of a brief
A detailed brief should always be taken in order to detail the specification of the Web2Print project. Not only does it align expectations in terms of what’s being delivered, and when, it also ensures that everyone understands what a successful project will look like. It also makes it easier to handle scope changes as they occur, and charging for these where appropriate.
2. Your customer is too busy and doesn’t like change
Show the customer how much time and money automation can save them, and why these changes are a positive thing for their business. This is especially important if employees feel their jobs may be at risk, so talking about redeployment of resources is better than talking about manual elimination.
3. The solution is not suited to the environment
It’s crucial that the customer is fully briefed on what’s suitable for a Web2Print environment and what isn’t. For example, what browser is the customer using, and does it support the technology? Can the customer afford to licence all the users that need access? Can the system handle the number of users needed? Are the products and artwork suitable for the system? When reviewing a Web2Print system, you need to make sure it’s affordable, scaleable, and easily connected to internal systems.
4. The corporate browser is not compliant
Some large organisations are still using older browsers. You need to check that the browser supports the technology add ons that may be required, such as Silverlight, Flash and HTML 5. Internet usage may also be restricted for certain users which would impact usage.
The internal sell has been good, but resource should be specifically allocated to implement and support your “on boarding” of a Web2Print client. This could also be put in place if the Client does not have enough staff, or time, to implement, or you need to show that savings in time will become visible (but not always immediately).
This could mean that the system has not been looked at as a process solution, but as a something to add to the IT services, with no cost justification for the return to the business. It has to work for you as much as the customer in delivering ROI to your business as well as theirs. One order per month is not going to deliver enough financial return as costs, such as delivery etc. are not cost effective on such small volumes. This will impact internal appetite for building out Web2Print as a viable service line. Look at how you can scale quickly, and work with customers to ensure they are maximising their use of the system.
Integration brings so many additional benefits, particularly in time accuracy and cost savings that directly add to efficiency, accuracy and price of print jobs. Having a standalone system may not work for users, as it could create additional effort for the user to process a simple function. Client-CRM/ERP – linking into client proprietary software brings great benefits, whereas Workflow – automating Workflow/MIS brings great efficiencies.
Who do you go to? You have to have support either internally, or from your Web2Print provider. Is your business able to support software if the client asks for assistance? Are you supported by your provider, what are the 1st/2nd & 3rd levels available are all questions that need addressing. What happens if there is a technical question or a change required? Think about these questions in terms of operational effort, but also cost, both to you and your client.
Generally this is where a PSP is working for a Print Management company where the Print Manager is selling the solution as their own (even though it is not). What often happens is that the brief is coming “via” someone who is not trained in Web2Print. This sometimes leads to a situation where what’s been sold may not be what can be practically delivered in an achievable time frame at the same initial cost.
The idea sells, but benefits are lost without a solid training and education plan. Change is difficult, especially when different teams of people are involved, but when you make the effort it is rewarded. User adoption goes up, and your revenue from the system you’ve sold increased. Education is key to knowing what decisions are best to make to support both your business and the customer relationship.
Do not be reactive in the provision of a Web2Print solution, pro-actively manage the process and
find the right partner/solutions provider who will support you longer term, especially post sale, and
have an end goal to make your business more profitable/efficiency/scalable with automation.