How Print Management Software Can Reduce Printing Costs
Going online with your print business requires a lot of planning and technical implementation. If you are a print business, we are sure there would have been times when you would be hustling to keep the cost of printing at bay. You must be facing situations where sudden spikes in the raw materials would eat up your profits and the business budget would be alarmingly high. And when nothing seems to go well, you would receive a big order, but you don’t have the resources to serve your customers with the right solutions at the right price. As a result, they go your biggest competitors. Have you ever wondered, how are the leaders in the print industry able to manage their business so well and are unaffected by the inconsistencies in the supply chain?
Well, the leaders have seen the benefits and sheer ease in print work processes through early adaption to evolving technology in the print domain. The modern world is driven by technology that is serving them benefits through feature-rich, fully or partially automated print software. Print management software is an advanced ERP solution that is widely used by leaders to control the printing activities and end-to-end resource planning the intelligent software solution is easily integrated into the web-to-print store that offers a user-friendly dashboard to flexibly and productively manage all the operations.
The simplified solution helps you in addressing the biggest challenges of the print industry by keeping your goals at the core. It accesses your user data, sales data, inventory, and other aspects of the business to offer you close to accurate predictions to run your business better. It helps you in quoting the right price to your customers, fastens your work processes, improves sales and so much more. There are endless benefits of using printing management software. Here in this blog, we would be talking about what are the cost-wise biggest challenges of the print industry and how print management software for web-to-print stores can help you in getting a sharper edge over the competition. So, let us begin.
Calculating the printing cost
First of all, the basics. Calculating the right operational cost is very important before you even start thinking about implementing a software solution, it is important to know what you are going through with this major change. A lot of businesses make a huge mistake – they go for a ready-made solution and later regret it. Many pre-built software solutions are good but are they well-mapped with your exact needs. They may be good at serving specific solutions to their customers, but the problem or the challenge they are solving was it even the challenge that was causing you to lose profit. Hence, correct printing cost calculation, here are some factors for consideration.
Factors influencing the print cost
To calculate the print cost, it is necessary that you track the cost of printing in real-time. The method will allow you to get an accurate calculation of the printing cost. The alternative option is to manually gather the information but it is labor and time-intensive. Also, it may not be as accurate.
If you are providing a wide range of print solutions, there would be print equipment for different types of material. Each piece of equipment would have its own efficiency, and cost of maintenance. The key here is to find out how much printing material on each machine is costing you so that you can quote the right cost to your customers. Also, the cost per print for your organization, with respect to the raw material, maintenance, labor cost, ink cost, etc., would help you in making a better decision.
Another major challenge for the print industry, especially for the small vendors is to keep up with the inconsistencies found in the supply chain.
The print industry is known for a sudden increase in prices, supply shortages, and also, poor quality material. As a business, it becomes impossible for you to predict when these materials have to be procured to keep your inventory up to date. An up-to-date inventory would help you in capturing projects when people in the industry are lacking the resources to fulfill the demands.
Paper, toner, developer, etc. are the major supplies you need to run your business. Since you cannot buy all of it in bulk you need a proper tool that alerts you what are the most important things to be stocked, what kind of projects they would come into use, what is your current sales, and how early procurement is of these supplies help your business.
- Service and Maintenance
Your equipment needs monthly maintenance to avoid any situation where your orders are getting delayed because of equipment breakdowns. You must regularly maintain your equipment and sometimes you would need part replacements, cleaning, etc. A software solution that alerts you every time you have reached a particular number of prints for maintenance can come in very handy.
- Burden Rate
Proper time management for everything is important. How much time is your equipment taking to print a bulk order? How much time does maintenance take? What is the time taken by your employees for order processing? How do you want to schedule your every order? There are tons of things that require your attention and can affect the operational cost and productivity.
How to implement technology for higher business profit?
Web to print software solutions is highly efficient print management software that provides you a feature-rich dashboard for ERP and business management. You can go for a custom print management tool developed to meet your needs. It would be a personalized solution that would allow you to manage your business better while focusing on meeting your business’s long-term and short-term goals. Here is how you can implement print management software and tools to reduce printing costs and make better decisions for your business.
- Cloud-based solution
Cloud solutions have gained a major hype in recent times. They are a good solution for small and medium-sized businesses that do not want to invest in the hardware and networking to run and operate their business. Cloud technology provides a major benefit in cost reduction. They help you in computing the data over the cloud and do not require you to do an extensive investment in the infrastructure to manage the user data, operational data, etc. on-premises.
- Simplify your operations with the right software
Running a web to print shop is not just about having an ecommerce website with added web-to-print editor to allow customers to make modifications to the product prints. There are other things too that require robust technology for quicker work processes.
Think about various steps involved in processing a certain order once your customer has placed an order with your brand. Now, how and where you would like the process to be rather simplified.
You need to address specific types of output management issues, maintenance, time is taken to get the physical copy of the print, labor management, and more. it comes to these specific details of the work process to ensure each cog in the entire process is working seamlessly, in perfect equilibrium to manage the cost of the print.
You can improve the monitoring of every process through a print management tool. This would help you in reducing the workload and also bring down the operational cost significantly.
- Easy access to print preferences and options
Each product is printed in various ways. And understanding your client’s requirement and mapping it with your services can help you in long run. Easy access to print preferences allows you to avoid any mistakes in the print process. You can activate and deactivate certain services for the products that are impossible to be printed through a certain way. So, this helps you in having an intuitive solution that avoids any mistakes done on the part of your employees and also ensures customer satisfaction.
- Print only when necessary
A lot of times, printers forget that they have already processed a certain order and they would give the print approval again on these orders. This is not just the wastage on the part of supplies, but can also meander the security and confidentiality of the important documents you are printing for your customers.
An IoT-based solution thus allows you to avoid all this by delaying the print or giving the print only when you are physically available to get the print. This is a great way to ensure security, plus reduce wastage.
- Track printer usage
Tracking the printer usage allows you to administer the efficiency of the printer. Over time the malfunctioning of the printer can cause wastage of the supplies. So, you need to monitor the printer usage, map it with multi-functionality, and also how often you are required to maintain the printer. It also gives you a better understanding of when you need to change a printer.
A centrally administered software solution can efficiently provide you analytics and statistics for toner levels, page cost, number of prints per hour, the cost of making a final product, etc. this works wonders when you want to create a profitable ecosystem for your print business. It also relays more transparency in the operations and generates integrity.
- Inventory management
Another challenge for businesses comes in managing their inventory. It is very hard to run a small and medium-sized business with multiple services if you don’t have an advanced solution to provide accuracy in the inventory.
This means you need to have exact information about the supplies that are in use, what is out of stock, what are re-stocked, etc. to make sure your customers are getting faster solutions and also, cost-effective solutions. The best printing services providers use print management software with an advanced inventory management system to track down their inventory usage and stocking and restocking.
- Cost of supplies
A predictive tool that helps you in making buy decisions, a print management software can come with advanced technologies such as AI, and ML to tell you the most demanded services of your business and how you can stock your supplies to avoid paying more when the demand is high and supply is stooped.
- Refunds and payments
Placing orders, returning orders, reprocessing orders, managing payments, etc. are some tasks where print businesses fail a lot. You have a lot of hustle when it comes to managing the order processing, you don’t want to go into the task of managing payments as well. A web to print shop should have a dedicated channel where customers can come with their payment-related issues and you can track down their query and how your customer executive team is resolving it.
Hope we have covered all the print challenges concerning costs. An advanced print management software is an efficient tool that allows you to manage your resources better and plan your business journey ahead.
At the same time, it is very important that you don’t rely on the cookie-cutter solutions available online, without knowing your exact needs. Learn about your business more, before making any decision related to investing in technology.