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You Need Technical Leadership Inside Your Print Business

As software takes on a larger and larger role in your print business, your technical leader plays a greater role in all aspects of your business performance. With the right internal technical leader, software can deliver almost everything that was promised in the demo! Without the right technical leader, you’re going to feel like your software investment was a complete waste of money.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: December 7, 2016

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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.

 

Discussion

By Gerhard Maertterer on Dec 07, 2016

SOFTWARE (and HARDWARE as well) are simply WARES. In other words: They are just TOOLS solving technical problems. But first of all, us printers have to understand with your own „naturally pre-installed BRAINWARE“, what in this day and age will be the part of printing within modern multi-channel communication.

One example: Trendsetters proclaim marketing automation. But even with its many advantages, print has been left out of marketing automation as a channel. ?It is rarely included in the routine communication of modern predictive analytics. Why? Because no printer’s BRAINWARE is combining the trends of online-, mobile- and print-channels. But this we should do.

Of course, e-mail, social media and mobile ?apps underpin marketing automation. But still, there is much more to a multi-channel communications solution. Print is taking on a new role in the age of Zuckerberg. Gutenberg's medium is advancing to become a digitally ?controlled push advertising medium? that can be triggered in a fully automated? on-demand process. I call it „one-to-one? real-time printing“.

The happy ending of my example: Digital printers, who already own the HARDWARE for such on-demand jobs, will easily find SOFTWARE in the market for such solutions. And if their BRAINWARE will succeed in convincing their customers, their staff will marry the knowledge of their basic business with what the new SOFTWARE can do – including self-directed learning by self-motivation.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Dec 07, 2016

Gerhard,

I love the term "brainware" thanks for sharing. We have no shortage of tools available to us, what we lack is the brainware to execute and innovate with the tools to deliver real value to the customer and ROI to our print businesses.

Jen

 

By Mark Myers on Dec 09, 2016

Jennifer

RE: Your recent article, “You need technical leadership inside your print business” I believe needs some clarification as I firmly believe from my 20+ years’ experience as the president of EstimatorCloud.com that although there are many companies that are currently taking your advice and many more that could greatly improve their performance with integrated technology, by and large most of the printers that purchase automated systems are often doing themselves a great disservice.

As the past owner of a 100+ employee printing company I almost got caught in the web of expensive and costly to implement software systems designed to vastly improve my workflow and provide sales and production reports to enhance my profitability. What I discovered was something quite different. Being an engineer and a programmer I easily acclimated to the new technology and embraced it wholeheartedly until I discovered some of the chilling side effects.

Most print owners just do not recognize the tremendous burden of not only the initial cost but the invasive nature and time required for implementation. Additionally, as you pointed out in your article you need the proper technical leader and expensive intensive training for all employees expected to take part in this new technology.

I have also discovered over the years that many times 70 to 80% of the systems capabilities go unused while the printer must continue to pay the high fees incurred with the sophisticated systems. Additionally, the cost of a technical leader and additional in-house or subcontract IT personnel far exceed not only the expectation, but the financial ability of the small to medium-sized printer to realize any economic gain at the end of the day.

What I have learned is that most printers although they desire the flashy Maserati of software what they really need is an inexpensive comprehensive system that installs in days instead of months or years, is intuitive to learn without expensive training sessions, can be used by almost any employee and produces a quick accurate estimate delivered to the customer almost instantaneously while automatically providing the necessary completed workflow tools such as job ticket, PO’s, scheduling, delivery and invoicing for a complete spectrum of today’s printing processes. I sincerely believe that we have found that an easy to learn and install program such as estimatorcloud.com can best provide the technology they can afford, to help them grow and integrate with advanced systems, when at that point their own companies can truly justify the large investment in dollars, time and additional personnel.

 

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