First, we look at a digital print shop that already uses modern, online-based software solutions. For customers who place an individual enquiry in the online portal or the web-to-print solution
this ideally calculates an intelligent, web-based management-information system (MIS). It independently calculates the best production route, the corresponding cost centres, the materials required, the manufacturing costs and the selling price. The print shop staff use this information to create the quotation at the click of a mouse, send it out promptly and are reminded by the system to check with the customer after a few days. The software automatically identifies missing material and triggers order suggestions, presses and staff transmit all current job data and production planning automatically calculates the deployment of the relevant colleagues.
The advantages of a digital workflow for a printer are obvious: the processes are digitally automated, the workflow runs efficiently without error-intensive human intervention, and the orders are processed quickly and cost-effectively. This allows the employees to concentrate on advising customers.
Tip #1: Use web-based MIS systems
Traditional printers often still calculate individually, a time-consuming process. The craftperson’s principle that regards each job as a one-off is outdated. Today, more and more customers calculate prices for their print products online within seconds with the help of web-based MIS solutions that are cloud-enabled. This way you can improve the company's processes. Order processing, the pre-press system, the printing presses and financial accounting exchange data with each other and communicate simultaneously with the external systems of parcel senders, online banking, payment services or CO2 calculators etc. The digitised processes thus run across several platforms without a break and cover the entire value chain and workflow system.
Tip #2: Network all participants in the workflow
As a printer you should focus on networked communication between people and machines. Digital workflow production processes can be controlled worldwide via notebook and internet, orders can be executed and other information can be passed onto this end, link the order processes and customer communications that you receive via your shop, order portals and job interfaces directly with the web-based MIS. Software and databases used by customers, such as an asset management system for web-to-print, should also be integrated into the management system to streamline production processes. Material suppliers can also be linked directly to your print shop. As soon as a raw material in the warehouse reaches a reorder level, an automatic order can be transmitted from the system directly to the supplying company. The internal process is supplemented and completed by automatic data transfer to payment providers, logistics companies, suppliers or rating portals. The automatic control of processes between all people and systems involved increases productivity considerably, while at the same time reducing costs in printing operations. Your customers and service providers also benefit, because they enjoy a perfect shopping experience and a smooth, seamless workflow.