Published February 26, 2020
It's easy to get into a panic when you wake up to the reality that your approach to software in your print business requires a major overall. It probably took you years to get into this state; don’t freak out because it could take years to crawl out of it. The best thing to do is to calmly prioritize and then start making incremental progress.
Published February 12, 2020
Your software investments deserve big picture, strategic planning. It’s time to step back and assess your core business processes and how software helps, hinders, optimizes, or ideally automates the steps required everyday to deliver on your customer promises.
Published February 5, 2020
We have spent decades focusing and optimizing the production floor (where there is no carpet). It is time to focus our energies on the carpeted areas of the business which impact customer’s perceptions of our business.
Published January 29, 2020
Describe your business challenges: be specific, be precise. Then let go of any attachment to the “how this business challenge gets solved by print software.” You want your business challenges solved. One of the fastest ways to solve them is to describe them accurately and then to be open to all the possible solutions.
Published January 22, 2020
You purchase software to solve business problems. When evaluating software, keep your focus on the challenges you want to solve. This will keep you open-minded about all the possible ways your challenges might be solved, rather than attachment to one specific solution.
Published January 15, 2020
Treat software like printing press hardware: assume your people and your processes have to change to optimize the new software rather than staying attached to how you think the software should work.
Published January 8, 2020
Technology is invading every corner of the print industry, and many print business owners are novices when it comes to technology. How do you make good business decisions when you are not the subject matter expert? Whom do you listen to? How do you know they are qualified? Run your business like a meritocracy.
Published December 18, 2019
People in your organization have to keep learning new things so that you can continue to optimize your business using new tools (mostly software). Leadership’s job is to deliver the “have to” part of the learning equation.
Published December 11, 2019
What do you provide for your sales team to get the upper hand in the marketplace? Do you have differentiation? Are you investing in something that will not only win new customers but keep existing ones?
Published December 4, 2019
A customer narrative documents the experience of doing business with you—from the sales process all the way through invoicing—from the customer’s perspective.
Published November 20, 2019
Your print sales people need a different perspective when selling web-to-print solutions. They need to understand short vs long term benefits as well as how the customer’s convenience is driving loyalty.
Published November 13, 2019
The merger of software technology stacks and strategy is a key component to any two businesses coming together. It takes time, effort, and patience as technology is uniquely embedded in a business. Be strategic about what you address and when you address it. Not everything should change right away.
Published November 6, 2019
Software feels malleable. New features come out. Trade shows are packed full of vendors showing the bright new thing that might lure you into the sales process. Complex software (Print MIS) does not change fast (because it shouldn’t), and the sooner you realize that changing your business is a better strategy, the faster you’ll get to the ROI and business differentiation that a Print MIS can deliver.
Published October 30, 2019
The number one thing we hear when we engage with a printer who is having trouble with their print software (Print MIS, Web-to-Print, or Pre-Press automation) is “we didn’t get trained.” Ironically, more training is rarely the solution to this common complaint.
Published October 23, 2019
You have a bias for what solutions work; that bias is based on what has worked for you in the past. If you’re a print business owner, buying new stuff feels like a solid way to solve challenges of hiring new employees. Solving print software challenges requires expertise in print software.
Published October 16, 2019
We live in a connected world. The artifacts (documents, spreadsheets, etc.) we create for business should be stored centrally with controlled access in the cloud. Isolated artifacts on employees’ computers slow projects down and make research into past projects nearly impossible.
Published October 9, 2019
Getting the return on investment for print software takes a lot more work by the people at the printer than you are led to believe in the software sales process.
Published October 2, 2019
The dream of an online business that delivers profitable revenue from strangers is a good dream to have. It simply takes a lot of work to be successful at it. I have seen too many printers spend too much time focusing on the software and forgetting that internet traffic is not free or easy to get.
Published September 25, 2019
Building good software requires a very desirable skill set in our current economy. Virtually every single company on the planet needs to utilize software in order to increase their efficiency and reach more customers.
Published September 18, 2019
Getting outside perspectives into your print business is important, especially when implementing a Print MIS or other print software. You want people who see a wide variety of print businesses to weigh in on best practices.
Published September 11, 2019
Define the challenge you're trying to solve before you jump into a shortcut that borrows from another feature in your Print MIS or web-to-print. If you borrow too much, you’re implementation of the software will get detached from the vendor’s product roadmap—which can be expensive and painful.
Published September 4, 2019
The value in the print industry today is migrating from the production floor to the mobile device of your customers. How are you investing in providing your customer access to your business from their phone?
Published August 28, 2019
Print software is a pile of features that solve business process challenges. You have to learn how to prioritize what’s the next most important feature in the software by comparing its impact against all the other features.
Published August 21, 2019
Don’t let a feature stop you from implementing what works for you today. Don’t let the people in your organization that are good at looking for all the ways something won’t work win. Implement what works and then find ways around the missing features. Waiting is keeping your business in neutral.
Published August 14, 2019
Print software gets thrown out by printers primarily because of factors that are 100% in the printer’s control.