As 2017 starts winding down, now is a good time to think about goals for your digital print business in 2018. Will 2018 be the year you company falls behind or moves ahead? A lot will depend on your digital print MIS (management information system).
If you already use a digital print MIS, can it efficiently handle the higher volume of quote requests and quick-turnaround orders that will come your way in 2018? If you don’t yet have a digital print MIS, you will need one soon.
Print-business analysts believe digital printing volumes will increase in 2018 as the transition from analog to digital printing continues. More and more people want the just-in-time delivery and customization benefits that digital printing provides.
Preparing for growth and faster turnaround typically involves adding faster, more productive printing or finishing equipment. Preparation can also include ramping up marketing efforts to attract and retain new customers.
Unfortunately, your return on investments in production equipment or marketing could be disappointing if your employees can’t quickly process and deliver the faster stream of incoming orders for smaller, rapid-turnaround jobs.
At Ordant, we believe the right Print MIS software is a smart way to lay a strong foundation for additional production capacity or marketing efforts. Here are 5 reasons to consider adding or updating Digital Print MIS software in 2018.
Customers now expect fast estimates and equally fast service. Automated marketing programs empower online advertisers to reach out to individuals who are doing online research for services such as printing. If your shop can’t quickly respond to a request for quote, your competitors may already be promoting their services to the potential buyer. And thanks to Amazon, customers have grown accustomed to insanely fast delivery of all types of products.
Your staff will need time to explore connected print technologies. Now that we all use our smartphones to quickly access information wherever we go, the role of printing is changing. When augmented reality codes are added to printed materials, consumers will be able to use printed packages, posters, postcards, displays, magazines, and flyers as gateways to online videos, product reviews, and other information.
To gear up for this fast-developing new era of “connected print,” your shop will need to automate as much routine work as possible. Your team needs to start researching creative ways to make your printed pieces more connected and functional.
Your staff can’t afford to waste time on repetitive, mundane stuff. Most digital printing equipment today is designed to run with minimal operator intervention. So, you can add more equipment to increase throughput volumes or turnaround speeds without hiring additional full-time operators.
But let’s get real. If one person oversees production on multiple machines, that employee shouldn’t be distracted following up with job status details that a Print MIS program could automatically provide. Because when something big goes wrong (and yes, things eventually go wrong), resolving the issue must be the operator’s first priority.
You can’t afford not to be profitable on your everyday work. If competitors routinely start offering lower prices, they are probably using highly automated workflows to reduce the amount of labor and time required to produce each job. If you try to match these lower prices without knowing your true costs of production, you could quickly find yourself out of business. A good digital print MIS program enables you to track and analyze the true costs of producing each job.
You must be profitable in your everyday work so you can invest in developing and promoting new products and services. Not every new venture you try will be equally successful, but you can’t stop moving forward. Maintaining the status quo isn’t an option in today’s fast-changing business world.
Employee expectations are changing. In a recent survey, many printing business owners expressed concern about finding qualified employees. If you have good employees, it’s important to keep them engaged and motivated.
The best employees are eager to learn new skills, help you create and promote new products, and resolve technical challenges. When your shop constantly operates in panic mode due to disorganized workflows, overstressed employees will seek employment elsewhere.
A digital print MIS can’t solve all growth-related problems of course. But it does provide a framework for controlling costs and improving productivity by eliminating redundant touchpoints.
Implementing Ordant’s digital print management information system isn’t as time-consuming or as costly as you might imagine. To learn how it can set the stage for growth in 2018, visit www.ordant.com for a demonstration.