Everyone is busy, but being busy for busy’s sake can lead to reactionary thinking that stifles productivity and profits in a business.
For example, if you bring in in over £100,000 worth of new business, factoring in then 10% profitability, as a company, you decide to reinvest some money into the business. You need something innovative that is going to take you forward and the feedback you receive from your customers suggests that Web2Print software could be the investment you need. Case studies show a proven Return on Investment, you meet companies who provide Web2Print, and the decision to purchase is made.
Then after the purchase and hands are shaken, nothing happens as you are “too busy” trying to get through the day.
This is how a conversation starts when I meet someone, usually at an industry event when they tell me that Web2Print does not work for their business. I have heard this from businesses based all over the globe. They are also correct. Yes, that is what I said. People are correct when they said that Web2Print doesn’t work for their business.
That’s because they haven’t had the time and/or inclination to invest the effort into making it work by getting the team on board. A solution like this can provide a positive change not only to the business, but the way that a team works. By not considering that there needs to be buy-in from everyone involved – it is their fault that they haven’t put the resource in to support that purchasing decision and strategic direction.
So, here is some advice for the companies out there who have bought a Web2Print solution and it hasn’t worked for them. This will be the jump start that you need to get the Return on Investment you need for this purchase.
Don’t buy a second (or third) Web2Print solution without exploring whether the original supplier can give you what you need. Talk to the provider, talk to your peers. Make enquiries with industry bodies like BPIF or IPIA. Do some reading. Test the system. Engage with your Account Managers. Organise follow up training sessions. Don’t just lash out and buy something else because you could be throwing good money after bad.
Sit down, have a break and really think about what it is that you want to achieve from having Web2Print. Do you want to be able to let your customers purchase in a way that suits them? Do you want to initiate automation into your business and get some breathing room with your margins? Are your experienced estimators bored and frustrated with quoting for business cards and leaflets?
Are you really the right person to champion this solution in the business? If you are really that busy that you cannot spend the time getting to understand the operational and strategic benefits of Web2Print and capturing the imagination and attention of the key stakeholders in the company then how can you expect to get this off the ground? Is there someone who you can pass the Web2Print torch to who will get their teeth into this project and take it forward?
Research whether there is any financial help in the guise of funding and R&D Tax Credits - if this is new to you, shoot yourself in the other foot and go speak with your accountant in a strong tone about it.
If you must part ways with your current Web2Print vendor and purchase a different solution, then make sure that you perform a full and detailed autopsy into why this particular solution failed. Were your expectations not managed? Did the solution not work? Knowing this makes it so much easier when engaging with another organisation and help them to understand what it is that you want and need with Web2Print.
Most often Web2Print doesn’t work because it is not used correctly. It’s not about blaming anyone for any kind of technology purchase working as expected. Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools that they have. Web2Print is not a transactional purchase. You don’t buy a physical package and then dance all the way to the bank.
It is a long-term investment as it constantly adapts to changes in technology, purchasing behaviours and demands of the industry. Like anything that is constantly evolving, it needs a good relationship, and all good relationships need communication.
Technology does not deliver instant results and neither is it a panacea. Software, like machinery is a tool and it can only do what you tell it to do. In that respect, it is a brilliant servant, but a lousy master.