Web-to-print: Unlocking the W2P Potential
AlphaGraphics is transitioning away from its use of Four51 software, and its MIS system also has some customer portals that replaced the need for W2P capabilities of both Four51 and OPS. But moving forward, each of Rothschild’s three centers will be tasked with placing 25 customers on a portal on its MIS system each quarter, and one major customer on an OPS ordering site per week.
Not all W2P systems are created equal. It is important to have flexibility in the appearance of the Web pages for product categories and the products themselves, notes Bruce Shulman, president of Paducah Printing of Paducah, KY. According to Shulman, different W2P products seem to have varying degrees of customization of appearance available, and it’s important for the buyer to be able to visually recognize the intended purchase. It is particularly true, he says, when presenting a product that offers personalization.
Additionally, Shulman sees mobile-enabled capabilities as a must for any W2P system. Ideally, a client should be able to order customizable products such as business cards or realtor signs while taking a coffee break between sales calls, he says.
Paducah has been utilizing Agfa’s StoreFront solution for 18 months, and Shulman is a big fan of the fact that it instantly displays updated pricing whenever a user changes specifications, and that users can see alternative quantity costs without entering new criteria.
Shulman finds the StoreFront interface with his shop’s Agfa Apogee 8 prepress workflow to be very reliable. “Our prepress manager, Joe Jackson, has built an appropriate Apogee 8 template for our StoreFront products going to offset, and we designated that template in StoreFront as the destination for an uploaded file for that product,” Shulman says.
“An order comes in and lands in Apogee, ready to proof to our Oris G7 proofer. Our StoreFront director, customer service and prepress director all get e-mail notifications of the order and the file’s arrival. We have a similar notification system for wide-format and digital press orders, but the files bypass Apogee and go to the appropriate hot folder.”