One of the more important movements in the print industry is the inevitable trend of digital transformation. According to Wikipedia, “Digital Transformation (DX) is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.” Although the term has been widely overused, for the printing industry it’s become the survival strategy that involves the shift towards greater efficiency, automation, and smart technologies.

So how can a print service provider tackle this transition to digital? What does the roadmap look like, and where does one begin?

The starting point and the progress for each company is different. To help companies understand where they stand within the process, Digital Transformation Maturity Models were developed. Such models help companies assess their ability to achieve their digital transformation goals by evaluating the current status, capabilities, and culture of the organization. Typically, the company answers a questionnaire, and, based on the answers, the model calculates their level of progress.

Has your company started the digital transformation journey? Assuming you have, your level of workflow automation is a key lever to progress. As can be seen below, there are several levels of workflow automation. Can you identify where your company stands?

However, this model might not be detailed enough. Also, different workflow areas might belong to different levels. For example, you may have automated job submission but your prepress might be completely manual.

What if you had a way to get a benchmark or give a score to your level of workflow automation? Imagine if you had a tool that could pinpoint your workflow bottlenecks and even understand how you compare with your peers.

Such a tool would help you assess your level of workflow automation in a systematic way and even recommend the steps needed to move to the next phase in your digital transformation roadmap. 

HP Indigo has developed such a tool. We call it the Workflow Opportunity Wizard (WOW).

WOW is a structured benchmarking process that helps print service providers plot their path forward within a four-step digital transformation framework.

Customers answer several questions about their production—it takes about 60 minutes.

Based on the answers, the model calculates a workflow automation score and compares the customer’s automation level with other customers’ data. Most importantly, the model identifies areas with the highest potential for improvement and even calculates expected savings. 

For example, a company might score extremely well when doing reprints but getting a quotation out the door takes much longer than it should. A less-than-average score would flag it as a process to investigate. One would ask: “Are the right tools and people in place for generating quotations?” or “How can we remove the bottlenecks and improve on this process?”

As companies go through the assessment, using such tools can be effective in planning out the strategy and steps needed to reach each stage in their transformation. Changing an operating model does not happen overnight; but clearly, the first step in any journey is to understand where you are, where you need to go and how you wish to get there.

To view the entire Workflow Chef series and other relevant sponsored content from HP Indigo, visit