According to BPIF  figures for 2016 about the UK printing industry; there is plenty to smile about – from being the fifth largest printing economy in the world to the great strides forward made in using sustainable materials as well as the further opportunities for integrated and interactive print.

We hear the battle cry of the Printers and Print Managers and many more businesses that use and need Web2Print software to meet demand. They are ready for the challenges up ahead and ready to fight for their industry. Vpress have been prepared for this for a long time now. We have seen realities along the way of businesses implementing Web2Print and automation software and the difference it can make for a business to go from slim margins to a healthy profit.

That’s not to say that these challenges are not daunting

The modern Print Buyer as we enter 2018 is a changed figure of old – on average, it is a 28 year old, degree educated female. Engagement with this figure comes with its own challenges as we try to build productive working relationships with people who essentially have a very different experience and outlook from our own.

When we get to know our customer and the trials that they face, understanding how we can help fix these challenges, then we will earn their business and their loyalty. This has not changed in business.

Read our blog about winning and retaining clients along with the rise of personalisation  

Print Buyers have to justify every cost of marketing activity against results it may bring. On the one hand, they do want the interaction with the products they wish to procure – they want to see it for themselves rather than listening to someone talk about something they cannot perceive. They want to know what sort of impact their campaign will have and in turn that will reflect into their KPIs. However, they are under time constraints and information overload as sales people from every marketing channel they use is trying to fight for more of their budget. It is not an easy job.

A Print Buyer wants to know what the cost implications changing “Elements” of a job and want to know that price without having to wait for an estimate to be processed nor a finger in the wind pricing from a legacy /clunky pricing engine. In response to that, we all know that it’s not about joining in on the race to the bottom. It is about adding value and showing exactly why you should have a (prime) place at their table.

Improving Customer Service

The average Print Buyer of today has a limited budget and a wide mix of different marketing channels fighting for that budget and very rarely any time. Print is part of a varied and fantastical web of ways to generate and nurture leads and doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Yet if you watch particularly the excitement of the younger generation receiving something beautifully printed, you can see that print has a future still.

The data shows that printed material, particularly in a business can stay on a desk for anything up to a year, in the expectation that they may need to use their services. By the same token, e-mails, social media posts, etc are all quickly forgotten. The Print Buyer/Marketing Manager is starting to become aware of that.

So in recognising that print can be the way forward for a memorable campaign, either B2B or B2C, the Print Buyer knows they need to include it as a part of the mix – but there is for them, a minefield ahead;

  • The language of a printer may not be one that a Print Buyer speaks. Substrates? Finishing? Die Cutting?
  • A small job can be incredibly time consuming with many e-mails, phone calls and maybe even face to face meetings. In that respect, it can be easier to put the campaign off as they just don’t have time to deal with it.
  • They have targets and KPIs to meet for sales and engagement – how do we know that this medium can be measured as well as we hope without the tracking of digital?
  • What if at the point of purchase the Buyer wants to see just how much more bang for the buck they could get at that moment in time – obvious upsell on request? More calls, more e-mails? No thank you.

For the printer, it’s a series of different concerns: how will they turn around accurate estimates and quotations but ensure profitability, especially so when it’s a low margin project.

There are plenty of ways to do this with support and good account management, but what about using technology?

Using ‘Elements’ to add value

Vpress have been working with the print industry for 17 years now, providing Web2Print software for Printers, Print Managers and businesses all over the world.

Over the years, we have been watching not only advances in technology and print machinery, but also business change and restructuring seeing how this has changed procurement as a whole, not just for print.

In the past, we used the RFQ (Request For Quote) module which was an excellent way for customers to obtain a price. Now we have launched ‘Elements’ which we soft launched in November 2017.

This module is available as an add on to Coreprint Pro and the feedback from our customers and potential customers so far has been fantastic for us even though we have only launched phase 1 & 2 in an ongoing Development Plan.

 

The Benefits to Printers for Using Elements

The number one benefit is that using a module like Elements increases your margins with actually very little effort on your part – we’ll explain below:

  • Your customer can get an instant price dependent on the pre-set variables, either through independent set-up or integrated through your MIS (Elements is MIS compatible or can be standalone as a true cloud based solution)
  • It saves time during the quoting process as you can ask for all the variables you need to quote for the job from the outset so there is no back and forth asking about changes in Production / Finishing etc.
  • Your client can order print 24/7. anywhere in the world and it can make its way straight into your Production Workflow and/or MIS
  • You can upload multiple files at the same time and view a preview before ordering so the client can get a base price before ordering.
  • There is an option for ‘run on’ costs – which okay, isn’t necessary for a digital press, but the idea is still a good opportunity for upselling and shows the client what they can get for their budget.
  • Your sales people’s time is spent being more proactive rather than just reacting to enquiries.

The future is now

Instant pricing is how your clients want to order their printed materials/inventory now.

If you would like to organise a more personalised demonstration, contact us today sales@vpress.com or +44 (0)1242 246970

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