KPIs for Print Shops: Ideas for Measuring Your Performance

Today’s tightly integrated print shop management, marketing, and accounting software makes it easy to gather data about hundreds of activities related to sales, production, workflow, and financial performance. But honestly, who has time to review all that daily, weekly, and monthly data?  

A smarter approach is to define and prioritize the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that best reflect the progress your team is making toward achieving your most critical business objectives.

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

After choosing 3 or 4 well-defined, quantifiable KPIs for each department, a full-featured Print MIS platform such as Ordant can gather the data and generate reports on each KPI.

Good KPIs can help you identify recurring bottlenecks in your operation, resolve issues promptly, and prioritize areas for future improvement.

Commonly Used KPIs

Below are some of the KPIs that print businesses can use to measure their performance. Because no two companies have the same products, services, and goals, every print shop will use a different mix of KPIs each year.


  • 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. from 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 vs. 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

Keys to Success

Don’t dilute the impact of KPIs by choosing more than 3 or 4 per department. If you set more than that, your team will be less likely to focus on the activities that will generate the greatest results for your business.

Communicate the KPIs throughout the organization so everyone knows how success is measured.

Determine which quarterly or yearly results require closer scrutiny. In some cases, the results may have been skewed by extenuating circumstances (e.g., a snowstorm or hurricane) that disrupted everyday operations. Use features in the software that allow you to keep notes about circumstances that might have impacted the numbers.

If your shop has achieved exceptional results (such as a 98% on-time delivery rate for a given year), highlight those statistics in your marketing materials.

Data Collection and Reporting

As you implement new types of software— especially print-shop management software — learn more about the types of data that can be tracked.

For example, Ordant’s AI-powered print-shop management software and web-to-print platform includes powerful modules that can be tightly integrated or used independently. Depending on how they are configured, the modules empower your shop to achieve measurable reductions in the time and costs required to create estimates, purchase orders, schedules, invoices, and shipping labels. You can also 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 gathered and reported by Ordant software, visit to schedule a demonstration.

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