Do you have a print business technology strategy? It’s something to consider as you start making plans and budgets for next year. Developing a plan for adopting and implementing new technologies can help you capitalize on emerging business opportunities instead of simply trying to cope with the rising tide of challenges that limit your daily productivity.
Not that long ago, technology decisions were primarily relegated to your IT staff. Your IT professionals made sure you had the right collection of servers, networks, and software upgrades to support your daily work.
Today, technology is integral to the evolution and future of your business. How you choose and implement technology in your business will affect your ability to compete.
The right combination of technologies can improve the ease and efficiency of everything from sales, marketing, and project management to estimating, proofing, prepress, production, collaboration, outsourcing, fulfillment, and invoicing. It can help your shop drive down costs and facilitate growth.
Consider these nine factors as you develop a technology-adoption roadmap for the next two or three years.
Solutions: Which technologies are required to close gaps in your current operations or resolve recurring problems? It’s hard to grow if your current processes aren’t totally under control.
Agility: Can new technologies help you respond to changes in markets, customer preferences, regulatory requirements, and new initiatives by your competitors?
Growth: What basic changes do you expect to implement over the next few years? For example, Will you be adding new products or services? Opening larger or satellite facilities? Promoting your company as a one-stop marketing services provider? Which technologies can help you achieves these visions?
Value: Which technologies can make your business more attractive to potential buyers? Which technologies can differentiate your business from competitors? Which technologies can enable your company to offer services that your customers value?
Preparedness: Will the technology help prepare you for what comes next? For example, an artificial intelligence and machine learning become available to more types and sizes of businesses, will your business be ready to benefit? If you don’t already have good workflows and business processes in place, artificial intelligence won’t do much good. Which technologies can prepare you for new competitors that are “born digital?” Start-up printing businesses won’t have to deal with the messiness of transitioning from analog to digital systems of working. Start-ups typically begin with the newest, most automated workflows.
Time: Which technologies can give you and your employees more time to focus on marketing, planning, training, or new product development? You can think more clearly about the future of your business when you aren’t distracted by a daily stream of recurring problems that could easily be resolved by technology.
Data: Which technologies can give you data that can help you make better decisions? For example, some marketing automation software can help you measure the effectiveness of different types of content or campaigns. And print order management software can help you identify your best customers and most profitable types of jobs. This information can guide your marketing efforts. You can pursue a higher volume of your most profitable jobs or target marketing promotions to prospects that have attributes similar to your best customers.
Connectivity: Will the technologies you adopt work effectively with existing systems? Can the technology be easily upgraded and adapted in the future?
Security: Will the technologies provide the security and reliability to avoid major disruptions to your business and reputation?
If you aren’t proactive in developing an agile business technology strategy for your print business, you may fall behind many of your existing and emerging competitors. If your “strategy” is to wait and see what technology other companies adopt, you may be forced to make even harder decisions about how to catch up with changes in the market.
At Ordant, we help users of our cloud-based estimating and order-management software continue to refine and develop the capabilities they need run their print businesses in a more efficient, intelligent way. We listen to our users’ requests and have continuously added features such as highly integrated web-to-print storefronts and the ability to calculate complex, custom estimates.You have a lot of complicated decisions to make about the technology your business needs to grow. We keep our technology simply because we understand you need fewer headaches and more solutions. To schedule a demonstration of our easy to customize, cloud-based software for print estimating, order management, proof approval, and online ordering, visit www.ordant.com