Often when printers, make a big investment, the hardware is what is focused on. I’ve been to photo ops with ribbon cutting and cake, for a piece of equipment! Turns out when you drop ~$2M on a single machine it is cause for a celebration and you want to show it off.
However, when it comes to the software, it somehow takes a back seat. There is no fanfare for a new customer resource management (CRM) or management information system (MIS) or management workflow system (MWS). They are often viewed as disruptive, an unnecessary evil.
I think the priorities are backwards. There is no competitive differentiation in a single device – it is just an empty vessel full of untapped potential. And, while impressive, your advantage is the same as every other print business that bought the same machine.
The differentiation is in the software that drives it. Not just any software but a critical investment that drives both the machine and your business strategy forward. It is akin to putting gas into your car.
At a roadshow back when we were allowed to travel, an industry colleague was delivering an ROI session to a room of 100+ printers and asked for a show of hands on who may have invested in a particular piece of color management software which integrated into their MIS. Absolutely nobody raised their hands. What my colleague thought was a good opportunity quickly turned when afterwards a few of them ‘fessed up’ that they did indeed have the software but did not want to admit it – they didn’t want their competitors knowing, or their customers as they had not passed on the savings.
What this tells me is the software investments printers make is often more critical than any piece of equipment. Investing in technology is important to be able to keep up with the industry and can give you competitive advantage over your competition.
The right software provides companies the ability to automate repetitive tasks and deploy resources into areas of opportunity and profitability. For printers, by reducing unnecessary waste and cost, they can invest in additional tools that enable teams to scale and deliver a better customer experience, thus improving sales and customer satisfaction.
An MWS (managed workflow system) is the gas in the tank. It fuels your equipment investments and accelerates your ROI by reducing manual touch points, increasing end-to-end visibility for every job, and streamlining each process through automation.
At printIQ we take our part in the print production process seriously by creating a solution that scales when you’re ready for growth and reduces the touch points that are dragging down your profitability. Our seamless integration into your equipment (while temporality disruptive), helps maximize your investment through the optimization of each machine.