How Printers Win Customers With Web-to-Print Production
Assessments of Web-to-print (W2P) solutions usually emphasize what happens on the customer’s end, and that’s as it should be. The solutions exist, after all, to make it easier for buyers of print to do business with providers. But, as they gain greater experience with online order intake, printers are realizing that it’s just as important to count the blessings that W2P brings to them.
It doesn’t necessarily take a large volume of online transactions to make the provider-side benefits plain. Dhara Taheripour, who heads the new business development team at Calitho in Concord, Calif., says jobs originating via W2P account for only about 5% of the company’s current sales. But, he points out that W2P job onboarding is what validates taking on this work in the first place.
“The jobs that are coming through by Web-to-print would otherwise not be possible for us to produce,” Taheripour says. “It is a slice of business that is enabled because of the Web-to-print workflow.” He describes the W2P jobs as small-run and highly customized, with an emphasis on distribution and fulfillment — difficult, in other words, to produce efficiently in a conventional scenario of order entry and job processing.
Herein lies the value of streamlining and simplifying the task of job entry at W2P portals. “The sites facilitate the ordering and production of these products to an extent where, for example, you don’t need someone to write up a work order,” Taheripour explains. “You don’t need a very detailed job jacket as you would in a conventional job.” The fact that customers enter much of the needed job data at the portals “helps offset the fact that these are not extremely lucrative jobs within themselves.”
The W2P routine at Calitho, built on software from Racad Tech, is a “parallel workflow” that complements order intake procedures for the company’s conventional print jobs, according to Taheripour. He adds that however small the present W2P volume may be, handling those jobs in any other way “would be an astronomical amount of work compared to what the Web-to-print is able to do.”