This article is sponsored by Print Reach as part of WhatTheyThink's Print Software Product Spotlight series. In preparing this article, the WhatTheyThink Print Software Section editors conducted original research on Print Reach’s web-to-print product MyOrderDesk. This Product Spotlight describes what the editors feel are MyOrderDesk’s strengths in the marketplace. Print Reach reviewed the final article for accuracy but had no editorial control over the content.

When shopping for print software, our shopping takes place via the interactions with the sales and marketing departments at the respective print software vendors. You engage with sales and marketing to learn about the product you are considering. This is of course also true for your customers: they engage with your sales and marketing resources/assets to determine if they want to do business with you. For many businesses, this statement makes them feel more than a little uneasy. Many companies invest all their time and effort into their product and not enough time and effort in marketing it. This is what I heard and saw when researching Print Reach’s MyOrderDesk. The product has been around for a couple of decades, but we haven’t heard a lot about it. New products are marketed a lot because they need to be, and they are not yet inundated with feature requests and demands from a large install base. Successful products with sizable installations tend to get busy solving real customer challenges.

Here’s a serious question: are you buying a print software vendor’s sales/marketing services or their product? The moral of this story is to be sure to assess the product (and maybe the support services) when determining software purchases because that’s what you’re buying. A product like MyOrderDesk has been fielding feature requests from customers for decades, but what does this mean to you? When you dive in and start using it, the customers that started using it many years ago have paved the way for the features you need to be there.

The web-to-print space has been around for decades, and it isn’t often that I run into an approach or feature that I haven’t seen before, but this occurred in my review of MyOrderDesk. In December 2020, Print Reach was acquired by Fullsteam (a holding company and a payment processor) which essentially gives MyOrderDesk customers a one-stop-shop for payment processing. I know other web-to-print companies integrate with payment processors, but this move creates automation and simplification. It also gives MyOrderDesk customers access to more competitive rates. Online payment has been a growing trend for years, and the last two years of a global pandemic only accelerated this trend. A web-to-print solution that is under a payment processor umbrella makes a lot of sense. Ease of payment is part of customer convenience and therefore customer loyalty. In MyOrderDesk, you can click one button and request payment from a customer—this sends a secure link for the customer to pay online.

Typically, a printer would have to get an account with or another payment processor. In Print Reach’s case, when there is a payment issue, all issues are directed to one place: Print Reach. This means that you have one less vendor to manage, one less support desk, one less interface/integration you must maintain. This represents what many refer to as technical debt (just think labor cost of doing business). Each new vendor you engage with increases the technical debt or management that must be done by your labor. Most of this would land on your accounting team. Any opportunity to reduce suppliers and interfaces that your team must learn and manage is a win. Keeping technical debt low is a key factor in remaining flexible so you can react to the market.

MyOrderDesk’s current focus is on the number of clicks that a shopper is required to go through to get to a purchase. Their approach has been to “keep processes to the fewest pages” for the shopper. We know from online testing that every step between where your customer initially lands and checkout can lead to abandonment. Too many web-to-print solutions have been overly focused on streamlining the experience of backend production processes and not enough on the ease of the shopper. The shopper is the most important participant in web-to-print! If they can’t use the system—or refuse to use the system—because it is cumbersome or confusing, there is nothing to automate.

MyOrderDesk is not only a standalone product, but it is also part of a suite of products with a deep integration with both MIS solutions, Printer’s Plan and Midnight. Even though MyOrderDesk is part of a suite, they do not limit integrations to other Print MIS solutions. Same with Printer’s Plan and Midnight—they can both be integrated with web-to-print solutions other than MyOrderDesk. The integration between MyOrderDesk and Midnight including a large investment in supporting mail because that is one of Midnight’s core strengths. MyOrderDesk has added integrations with Tec Mailing and Accudata as well as the ability to support personalized mailings with a variable-data engine. Now customers who use both MyOrderDesk and Midnight for mailing have end-to-end support for their mailing workflows.

In addition to the strong product roots of MyOrderDesk in the business-to-business (B2B) space, MyOrderDesk now has a strong product offering in the business-to-consumer or strangers (B2C). I like the B2C offering because it offers solutions to both ad hoc print orders and design online print orders. Most print orders today involve the customer already having some art or wanting to create some simple art for you to print. Print Reach’s approach allows automation for the easy stuff so you can hand hold the complex stuff.  The upload and print feature allow your customers to upload various file formats, MyOrderDesk converts it to a print-ready PDF and does a basic prepress check. This is a tool that is designed for the customer, but it can be used by your internal team to automate steps that are being done manually today.

MyOrderDesk is a product that has not only stood the test of time but has now become a foundation block in Print Reach’s automation strategy. The feature set clearly reflects a product that has evolved with the times and continues down that path. The acquisitions over the last couple years have enriched MyOrderDesk with deep integrations with its Print MIS suitemates and the real differentiation with the acquisition into Fullsteam is becoming an end-to-end payment processor.