Avoid The Most Common Pitfalls In Web2Print Implementation

There is a lot to think about when implementing a Web2Print system. Whether it is the first time you have undertaken this project – or the thirtieth! There are things you need to plan for so the project runs smoothly.

We often meet people in the printing industry who tell us ‘Web2Print hasn’t worked for our business’ and more often than not, we know why immediately.

Don’t become another statistic. Here are the top 4 reasons why Web2Print projects fail.

1. Lack of Brief

It is imperative to put together a detailed brief so that everyone understands the specifications of the Web2Print project.  It aligns expectations in terms of what’s being delivered, and when, but it also ensures that everyone understands what a successful project looks like. Changes are much easier to scope as they occur, and charged for where appropriate.

In the instance of a PSP (Print Service Provider) working for a Print Management company where the Print Manager is selling the solution as their own. The person delivering the brief may not be trained in Web2Print. This could lead to a lack of detail in the brief and misunderstandings. Avoid the stress: make sure everyone involved knows what they need to do.

2. Education

The project will struggle to get off the ground if all involved users aren’t bought-in and trained.  Change is difficult with a number of teams needing to come together. However, with the right support, 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 & the customer relationship. We can help you with additional training with your teams.

3. Team Buy-in

Arguably the most important thing about the whole project. A Web2Print implementation lives and dies by the attitude and involvement of the people involved. 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.

Now is also a good time to remember that not everyone likes or deals well with change. Larger organisations usually have change management professionals in-house who can help with this, but keeping all of the impacted parties informed, aware and reassured is a good start to encourage buy-in of the changes ahead.

4. Resources

If only it were as simple as plugging in the software and everything working!   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).

5. Viability

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, for example, costs such as delivery 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.

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, scalable, and easily connected to internal systems.

6. Oversights

Marry in haste, repent at leisure, it’s the same for buying a software solution, don’t you think?

At the time of buying your Web2Print software, did you ask how compatible it would be with browsers and systems? One of the main concerns is integration with other MIS/ERP/CRM solutions. However, some large organisations are still using older browsers. Check that their browser supports the technology add ons needed to run the system – things such such as Silverlight, Flash and HTML 5 are not supported in a number of browsers. Certain users may not be able to use the internet at all times. You would need to adapt to their needs, not the other way around, and that could mean buying a whole new system!

Other considerations include ongoing support. 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 to are 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.

Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen to You

• Be proactive in the provision of a Web2Print solution
• Find the right partner / solutions provider who will support you longer term (especially post sale!)
• Ask the right questions in advance
• Train customers and staff
• Know what the end goal is about why you are doing this (scalability, automation, etc.).

At Vpress, we have been leading the way with Web2Print solutions since 2001. There is very little that we haven’t seen or done when it comes to the successful implementation of a Web2Print project. Contact us today to arrange a demonstration and discuss how we can help you.

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