Transitioning between Web-to-Print Solutions

It has been quite a while that Web-to-Print Systems have been in the market. However there has been quite a mess where printers have multiple Web-to-Print solutions spread across various categories of customers – some of them integrated into the printers workflow, some rarely used and some of them purchased and never used. It is always exciting for a printer to purchase a new Web-to-Print solution than it is to ponder over what it would actually take to move out from the obsolete legacy web-to-print solutions that are now not serving any purpose. So how and why do so many printers end up having multiple web-to-print technologies?

1. An impulsive buying decision for satisfying one particular customer and it doesn’t suit their other customers.

2. A legacy system is no longer supported by the solution partner. So the printer is forced to invest in a new system.

3. If a Print MIS system is purchased, it often results in switching to a different Web-to-Print solution in order to suit the integrated workflow.

4. A series of impulsive decisions investing in different technologies can cause a real mess thus increasing unnecessary marketing and technical debt as investment goes from recruitment to support to support these different technologies.

5. Your current web-to-print system is not technically capable to support your business decisions now. For example, it will only allow you to design products in a desktop version when you require a responsive system.

6. No one at the print house is really capable of understanding the capabilities that the existing web-to-print system can offer to enhance your productivity. So new solutions are brought in without understanding that the existing investments already made by the company would have actually met the customer’s needs. This is observed many times. Conclusions are derived on one or two feedbacks given by the clients to helpdesk and thus new solutions are purchased without doing a validation about the capabilities of the existing system from multiple sources.

This brings us down to the question as what is the amount of risk factor in switching over from a legacy system. If you look at it from a proactive perspective, following would be the reasons for transitioning legacy web-to-print systems:

1. The more live systems you have, the more your staff would be spending time doing support work for these systems. In today’s times, technical resources are the most expensive and precious resources for printers and they rather be used to innovate on behalf of your customers.

2. Legacy systems expose you to competitive risk with your old customers. Most of the web-to-print systems are launched, then the business strategies change and thereafter these systems are forgotten. The only time they are probably used is when some customer demands some change in the product portfolio or pricing. The home page of your website remains the same for years, no work on SEO and graphics is done and the website is virtually non-existent. Now ABC Printers from the next block makes a grand launch with a dynamic, advanced and elegant website that is responsive and so engaging. Your business now gets replaced in the virtual world itself.

3. Your legacy system is not competent enough to be responsive and portable devices are rapidly becoming the dominant access points. Gone are the days when responsive designs were a value-addition – it is a necessity now. The growing sales of tablets and smartphones surpassing laptops and computers present a clear picture.

So how can you transition from a legacy solution to new improved web-to-print solutions?

1. Business logic and strategy is the most vital aspect. It doesn’t matter if that means convincing your first customer to use the solution is the hardest. If you believe in your strategy, it should rule.

2. Costs calculation: You need to understand the costs for maintaining the legacy systems like subscription fees, annual support and maintenance fees, hours of your labor as well as the hours spent by your support staff, hours that you pay to your IT vendor or any consultant to ensure that the system is running. You need to be aware of the numbers that you would be risking when you would be switching the old legacy system off. You need to have a plan to actively deploy those resources towards your futuristic and strategic endeavor. You need to ask yourself that, if this system fails me, who is going to help me because the guys who were helping me with it are now gone. If this thought gives you a nightmare, it is a good time to switch over.

3. Evaluate what products you need to set up: You must be having a few dead products that are seldom or never ordered. No need to waste your time in setting them up again. You already have wasted a lot of your labor setting them up earlier. Discuss about these possibilities with your account manager and prominent customers.

4. Classification of products: This impacts the effort level during transition. A simple on-demand product like a brochure or business card is easy to set up. Complex variable data products that are required to move from one composition to another require a fair amount of effort.

5. Understand the implications with your Print MIS: You should always think about the how the system would affect your end-to-end workflow. A transition would take some effort but its results should have lesser errors and help in a seamless transition of the automated workflow.

So what are the ways to prevent the mess caused by the web-to-print system:

1. When you own the technology, you should know how it works. Your team should know it much more than the support guys of the vendor because it is your team that is using the live solution all the time. When your confidence in the technology builds up, you know the capabilities of the system and you thus don’t need to buy any other systems.

2. When you are going to make the switch, ensure that you have worked on the budget during the transition phase. You can perhaps have consultants and get it done quickly. Or maybe you can use your own resources and use the solution vendor to provide you with some customization. You need to understand that working on a new system should give you goose-bumps. No one likes to work on an old system where the tasks are monotonous and it thus kills the motivation.

So if you are planning to switch from your current legacy system and want a powerful, robust Web-to-Print Ecommerce system that is affordable as well, Pixopa is the answer. With development done in Open-source Technologies and based on the Magento platform, Pixopa provides HTML5 design experience that you can use through your laptops or your portable devices thus leading to an increase in the number of orders. While we can setup your web store within 7-10 business days, the transition to Pixopa Web-to-Print Ecommerce system from your current system is a cakewalk.

Please contact us for any inquiries related to Pixopa Web-to-Print Systems.