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Web-to-Print Differences: In-Plants vs. Commercial Printers

InfoTrends’ research has uncovered some key differences in web-to-print adoption among commercial printers versus corporate in-plants. This article leverages recent research to explore some of the differences in how these two groups use web-to-print technology.


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About Howie Fenton

Howie Fenton is InfoTrends' Associate Director of Operational Consulting. For over 25 years, he has focused on benchmarking operational and financial performance in in-plants and commercial printers. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].


By Robert Godwin on Jun 18, 2015

Commercial printers will need to embrace the concept that the more value they can bring, the greater chance of creating a lasting business relationship. This goes beyond simply print and likely means partnering at levels that demands a comprehensive understanding of a client’s marketing needs. Land this customer, and keep them for a long time. This is important because acquisition is the heart of growth. Consider this in relation to the dollars spent on each transactional sales person that does not meet goal.
The breadth of services offered on a storefront is a primary consideration. Often, a W2P client will want the simplicity of a single sign-on (SSO) for their customers (internal to the organization or external). In these instances, the more relevant services or products you carry are value-adds. Integration into an enterprise procurement system is also an important feature.
These days, perhaps the 'P' in W2P should stand for both Print and Promotional Products. A storefront supporting SSO has greater value to the end user. A W2P system should be able to port in products and services that may not be under the roof of the printer providing the storefront. These ‘punchouts’ for external (to the printer) providers should be considered when selecting a W2P system. Punchouts for passing transaction data to a corporate customer’s ERP (Ariba (SAP), Oracle, Sage etc.) should be a feature as well.
Integration at these levels helps keep a customer. It provides their managers with the business intelligence they use as performance indicators, and allows them to provide the vendor feedback to make needed adjustments and improvements to remain a valued supplier.


By Naresh Bordia on Jun 27, 2015

Yes, today corporate clients are looking for simplifying process, going iPhone way everything at one click - SSO, LDAP, vendor management and integrations with ERP. From end client profile creation to login to order creation to order processing to print outsourcing to MIS all seemlessly integrated to optimize productivity reducing human touch and eliminating repeatative activities.


By Judy Berlin on Jun 29, 2015

You’re right, Howie!

The bottom line is that no matter if you’re an in-plant or commercial printer, there are going to be challenges when you adopt any new technology. That’s why it’s so important to have the right solution in place.

There are a number of ways to embrace Web-to-print workflows, but not all Web-to-print systems are created equal. Different Web-to-print products have varying degrees of customization of appearance available and some offer more flexibility than others. So, print providers need to market their Web-to-print service effectively so that the benefits are clearly relayed. For tips, here is a blog post from XMPie, A Xerox Company: http://bit.ly/1rttAe5.



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