Software and Automation Drives Profits for Print and Digital Delivery

June 19, 2019
Software and Automation Drives Profits for Print and Digital Delivery

It struck us recently that people may still not have a great understanding of why we talk about print and digital file production and delivery—something we often refer to as workflow. Truly, it is print and digital delivery workflows of communications to recipients; a topic we delve into deeper in our 2019 Why Are We Always Talking About Workflow—Especially in Print blog. And while we do uncover the importance in that blog, it left something to be desired…the actual financial impacts of software and automation in print and digital delivered communications.

This is actually a topic that was presented on as part of our keynote at this years Solimar User Conference 2019 held in early May (find our short recap here). Pat McGrew, Keypoint Intelligence, presented on the State of the Industry, as well as, where people were investing, where they should be investing and the outlook on how it impacts everything from file and artwork creation to the final delivery point to a recipient. In the annual Keypoint Intelligence Software Investment surveys, two materials you can secure for yourself for some informative reading (North America or EU), they discuss a lot of very interesting data points…and innovations coming to the marketplace. For Solimar’s customers, it highlights the importance of having proper software and automation in place for better efficiency, customer experience, and profit.

So how does software and automation DRIVE profits for print and digitally created and delivered materials?

It is through efficiency and visibility. Let’s take this in bite-size chunks so we can really illustrate the value good workflow software can have on Customer Communications Management (CCM), commercial printer or in-plant environment (as well as other industries like packaging and wide format too!).

Pushing for Efficiency
During her keynote at the Solimar User Conference, Pat showed a very interesting table of Workflow Costs by Tasks. The data comes from the aforementioned investment survey they complete annually, and the results are illuminating. It sometimes surprises people to find out that on average workflow tasks can cost over $800,000 a year. When we talk about saving cents on a mailing, wouldn’t it be nice to recapture some of this spend? From a Solimar perspective, we can help in a few of the areas she presents and have experience doing so for nearly 30 years.

Areas that really stand out from a production print and digital delivery perspective for us include: file retrieval and job on-boarding ($48K), file correction – content ($72K), imposition ($64K), data preparation ($38K), VDP document design and VDP document logic ($85K).

How do software and automation help? It reduces the errors made during a production process, as well as, creating less manual processes, which provides for faster and smoother continuous operations. Not to mention being trackable, but we will get to that in a moment. The impact to the profit really depends on your margins, but Keypoint Intelligence has data that says, “Up to $3.3M wasted due to combined production errors.”

This is what the Solimar Systems Chemistry Platform is good at…providing a solution for more efficient print and digital delivery processes from file receipt to the final delivery to a recipient. The results are shared in our library of case studies.

Savings Through Visibility
Going back to the information shared by Pat this past May at our conference, we see that the ability to track things through a production floor is important. In fact, it is in the Top 5 list of workflow automations that were implemented in 2018. However, it is still only 30% of what was implemented, which leaves a lot of shop floors without complete visibility from file receipt to delivery.

This is another area where the impact on your profitability could be obscured if you aren’t digging in. When we talk to clients about this, we ask them to look at the number of touch points a job has as it goes through their environment. And then to think about the number of times their customers call, email or message to find out the status. Each one of those inquiries costs time and ultimately money.

Perhaps more importantly…how quickly can the answer be provided? Is it on a dashboard already or do you have to go find the information? Is it a manual process or a hybrid that requires someone to make another call or leave their desk? Visibility is all about access to information in real or near real time and you should be able to expose that, should you choose to, to your customers to reduce the number of inquiries and concerns.

If DoorDash and GrubHub can tell us where our food is on a mobile device, you should be able to deliver that to your customers too! Our answer is SOLitrack and SOLitrack Mobile…and the difference for the print industry is out-of-the-box usability, easy customization by your in-house team and an open design to interface with a multitude of other solutions.

In the end, you can run without moving to automation and better workflow software. But why would you leave that kind of money on the table? To get started, we have even suggested some great summer strategies in our recent blog so you can get the ball rolling. We are, of course, always available to assist with our Solimar team of experts. Let us know how we can help by dropping us a line via our contact us page. It would be our pleasure to help you chart a course to more success and a better workflow.

For more information, call the Solimar Sales Team at +1.619.849.2800.