The subject of KPIs for print shops is receiving renewed attention as more printing businesses automate more of their administrative, marketing, and production processes. A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurement that demonstrates how effectively your company is achieving its primary business objectives. With each KPI, your shop can track how much progress you are making toward a stated goal.

There are literally hundreds of activities you could measure and analyze with today’s print shop management, marketing, workflow, and accounting software..No two shops use the same set of KPIs for functions such as sales, marketing, operations, sustainability, and financial results.

Choosing which KPIs are best for your print shop can help your team stay focused on the metrics that will have the greatest effect on your business. Your KPIs can also help you determine the reports you need to generate with your software.

Over time, your KPIs can help you identify bottlenecks in your operation and prioritize areas for improvement. If your shop is achieving exceptional results (such as a 98% on-time delivery rate), you could highlight some of those statistics in your marketing materials.

Here are a few KPIs to consider tracking in each area of your business.


Monthly sales growth

New customers each month

Customer turnover rate

Sales cycle time,

Average number of activities (calls, meetings, emails) to close a sale

Revenue per salesperson

Time required to process estimates

Average value of invoices

Number of inbound calls handled by sale reps

Number of outbound calls made by sales reps

Percentage of total sales from reps vs.web to print sites


Total leads generated each month

Qualified leads per month

Cost per lead

Cost of customer acquisition

Website leads generated

Cost per converted lead

Number of online sales

Number of abandoned shopping carts in your online store

Click-through rate on PPC advertising

Number of leads from social media

Number of conversions from social media

Customer Retention and Service

Total number of customer complaints

Number of customers making complaints

Results of customer satisfaction surveys (percentage of satisfied and very satisfied responses)

Percentage of customers with repeat orders

Number of customer support requests via phone

Number of customer support requests via email


Percentage of defective prints compared to total number of units produced

Percentage of on-time deliveries

Average administrative costs per order

Equipment utilization ratio

Value of work in progress (work that’s started but not yet finished)

Value of work in process (amount of work being performed at any given time)

Percentage of orders outsourced to other vendors

Cost of work outsourced to other vendors

Average time per order in prepress

Average time per order in production

Average time per order in finishing

Average time per order in shipping


Net profit margin for your shop as a whole

Average  profit margin for each type of product

Net profit growth

New business profit

Profit diversification

Spending on innovation and new product development

Average annual expenses to serve one customer

Lifetime customer value (expected lifetime profit) compared to the cost to acquire that customer

Sustainable Operations

Reductions in energy usage

Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

Reductions in resource usage

Reductions in waste generated

Hiring and Training

Internal promotions vs. external hires

Employee turnover rate

Employee satisfaction

Number of qualified applicants for open positions

Training completion percentage rate

Average training hours per employee

Total cost of training as percentage of payroll

The right combination of KPIs can help you create a culture of employee engagement, customer responsiveness, and agility in adopting change. It’s also a way to take the pulse of your organization. Are you healthy, fit, and ready for growth? Or is your shop showing signs of weakness?

When determining your KPIs, make sure each one is well-defined and quantifiable. And don’t dilute the effectiveness of KPIs by using too many. Determine three or four KPIs for each department in your shop. And communicate the KPIs throughout the organization so everyone knows how success is measured.

As you review the KPIs each quarter or at the end of the year, it should be clear which metrics deserve closer scrutiny. But numbers can’t always tell the whole story. In some cases, there may be some extenuating circumstances (e.g. a big snowstorm) that caused some numbers to fall.

As you implement new types of software— including print-shop management software — learn more about the types of data that can be tracked and reports that can be generated. Take advantage of features in the software that allow you to keep notes about circumstances that might impact the numbers.

Ordant’s print-shop management software and web-to-print module can help you achieve measurable improvements in the time and costs required to create estimates, purchase orders, schedules, invoices, and shipping labels.It can also help you track customer relationships and shorten the amount of staff time involved in obtaining proof approvals or answering customer questions about the status of their jobs. To see the types of tasks that can be streamlined and the types of information that can be tracked and reported by Ordant software, visit to schedule a demonstration.