Going into the development effort, JBB reportedly did not expect its staff to use the online system more than the existing phone and fax ordering mechanisms. In its first quarter of use, however, 67 percent of the print orders produced by NCL were submitted through the Web-to-print interface. The marketer was doing 100 percent of its print ordering online by the end of the second quarter. Yearly volumes soon approached 400,000 pieces.
According to JBB's marketing staff, the system has made it easier to create and generate existing promotional materials. It also makes it practical to print materials on an as-needed basis, which reduces the amount of material that becomes obsolete and gets trashed.
In terms of managing its print buying, interfacing with NCL online has enabled the company to gang production of non-time-sensitive orders into quarterly drop ship dates. JBB gains cumulative price breaks as a result, since NCL is able to create more efficient press runs. The resulting savings totaled more than $100,000 in the system's first full year of operation, with the average quarterly cost reduction due to drop shipping approaching 30 percent.
Over time, the company was able to realize one other benefit (at least from the financial perspective). Since NCL is responsible for maintaining the online system, JBB was able to reduce the size of its staff involved in the print ordering process.
This case study was derived from PODi's annual Best Practices in Digital Print research, the largest collection ever assembled of successful digital printing projects. PODi is an industry initiative with hundreds of member companies including executive board members EFI, HP, IBM, Kodak, Pitney Bowes, Quark and Xerox. Membership in PODi is open to most organizations involved in digital printing. For more information on joining PODi or submitting your own case study, visit www.mypodi.org/pi1.