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Web to Print Workflow

(March 2017) posted on Tue Mar 07, 2017

Online sales may lead to increased business and efficiency


By Chris and Kathi Morrison

click an image below to view slideshow

Do you order products from Amazon? Chances are, you do. Amazon makes it easy to find products, add them to a cart and then place the order. You may be similarly inspired to add online order systems to your shop operations, e.g., a website-based product list, a shopping cart and a payment system. Doesn’t sound difficult, does it? However, if you study the mechanics, you’ll quickly uncover a technological and logistical nightmare. For example, where will you store the job orders? How will the orders be processed into production? How will you get the customer’s final approval, and how will the order tie into your accounting system?

Truth is, tackling web-to-print operations takes more than just a website. You’ll need full pre- and post-production workflow processes behind the scenes. Also, don’t consider developing a full system from scratch because it could require a room full of software developers and endless working hours. Fortunately, existing turnkey solutions eliminate the need for such work, but you still need a clear vision of what you want before ordering a software bundle.

For example, you need to determine which products you will be offering. And, take into account whether they’ll vary in size or finishing methods. You must also examine your existing sales, order, production, finishing and delivery processes and somehow merge that workflow into your newly devised system. Will your accounting system need updates? Is your shop set up to handle shipping? In addition, do you plan to provide online proofs for your customers?

Answer these questions before you shop for solutions, because although numerous web-to-print packages are available, they may not work with your concepts, equipment, processes and software. For example, many products are tied to a specific printer or RIP, which indicates you should check with your print-machine manufacturer and RIP provider first.

In addition, do you have customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps you manage customer data and customer interaction? Such software could allow quick access to business information and automate sales, marketing and customer support. Some providers say their software allows you to access predictive analytics, streamline operations, personalize customer service, manage business contacts, and discover and contact sales leads.

If you have multiple digital printers, you’ll want to include a workflow package in the software mix, to act as a bridge between client orders and production. Workflow software will allow you to track a job through shipping. It should also update accounting and record changes in your inventory systems. Such a system should also route incoming jobs to the appropriate RIPs, print queues and finishing processes. Also, consider adopting workflow software even if you decline to build a web-sales entity, because such software offers helpful automated workflow solutions, including job estimating, job approval, order entry, production control, inventory controls and forecasting.

Obviously, initiating and operating a web-based business can be intimidating, but, if successful, it will add to your shop’s revenues. One suggestion is to include consulting dollars in your development budget because companies that offer web-to-print and workflow solutions may also provide services to configure and customize their product to your preferences. If you’re working with limited dollars, talk with your printer manufacturer’s rep, because that company may offer less expensive choices for establishing an online sales operation. Our final advice is to explore the market opportunities before you begin. A simple web search will reveal your competitive environment or tell you if other shops match your planned offerings.

HP Printos Box
By HP Inc.
hp.com

InClix Creative Media Maker
By Roland DGA Corp.
rolanddga.com

Automation Engine
By ESKO CORP.
esko.com

tFLOW
By Aleyant Systems
aleyant.com

EFI Digital Storefront
By EFI
efi.com


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Comments

lissacofey says: if you study the mechanics, you’ll quickly uncover a technological and logistical nightmare.tackling web-to-print operations takes more than just a website. don’t consider developing a full system ...

if you study the mechanics, you’ll quickly uncover a technological and logistical nightmare.tackling web-to-print operations takes more than just a website. don’t consider developing a full system from scratch because it could require a room full of software developers and endless working hours.If you have multiple digital printers, you’ll want to include a workflow package in the software mix, to act as a bridge between client orders and production.
Thanks
Master Deepak Ji

posted on: Fri, 03/10/2017 - 6:40am
MegapixelDI says: Roland does not seem to have any information regarding Inclix Creative Media Maker that was mentioned in your article. Has this software not been released yet? Ken Holyfield posted on: Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:19am
kata says: totally second you there - this whole process does takes more than just a website..remember doing an experiment involving all these things you are talking about as a part of paper grader editing team ...

totally second you there - this whole process does takes more than just a website..remember doing an experiment involving all these things you are talking about as a part of paper grader editing team so that i can know for sure whether the writer wrote correctly or not, and it was a challenge still will all available tutorials i succeeded

posted on: Tue, 05/30/2017 - 12:31pm
andGiebler says: Yes I have. I ordered book from Amazon and it works fine. Many think that the process was easy, yes it was but they didn't think many countless hours that web programmers used just to finish the job right. ...

Yes I have. I ordered book from Amazon and it works fine. Many think that the process was easy, yes it was but they didn't think many countless hours that web programmers used just to finish the job right. Just like the countless hours that I spent just to make soundcloud mix promotion website.

posted on: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 7:16am
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Zellmeonline Incredible post ! this one of the best post in may life, Zellmeonlinewe should discus about such kind topic, as I know we should information every field, from your post I learn some thing new, I would like to thank for such a nice post, I know this is you passion keep it up! And will tray to post new article in my news website.Zellmeonline

posted on: Mon, 07/10/2017 - 1:08am

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