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All About Web-to-Print Portals

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Web-to-print portals are one of the most exciting and unique services that we offer to our clients. How many times have you wanted to update your own marketing pieces or order a simple reprint but you were required to contact the staff at your printing company and navigate protocols? This is an even bigger dilemma when you want to accomplish these tasks after business hours. Our web-to-print portals essentially eliminate those extra steps by providing you with 24/7 access to your marketing materials and the ability to customize, print and mail through a personalized interface.

Are you interested in learning more about web-to-print portals and how they can benefit your workflow? Let’s go over the basic details.

What is a Web-to-Print Portal?

Portals are web-based storefronts that allow users to order pre-designed, standard products, while also providing the option for the creation and management of customized projects.The process of pricing, production and order fulfillment is automated.

Benefits of Web-to-Print Portals

Lower Direct Product Costs

Research conducted by the Aberdeen Group found that companies that switched to portal technology have achieved a 17% cost savings on print materials and related services. In another study conducted by the Electronic Document Systems Foundation, similar cost savings were found. When conducted on companies with over 1,000 employees, 39% of companies reported a savings of 10-25%, and 13% of companies reported savings over 25%.

Lower Supply Chain Costs

When switching to a portal based website, companies usually move from transaction-based pricing and separate prices for each project, to contract-based pricing and one overall price. Contract-based pricing is easier to handle and cheaper than transaction-based pricing. Cutting the number of people involved in your printing process greatly reduces not only price but time as well, so the total supply chain cost is extremely diminished.

Waste Reduction

On-demand production technology provides the opportunity to print as needed (rather than in bulk), which reduces both excess inventory and waste​.

Convenience

Portals allow users to order 24/7 rather than only during business hours.

Improved Visibility

With a portal in place, companies can track their spending based on an individual item and user. This means that companies will be able to see how much users are spending and what they’re spending it on. Knowing this, companies can cut any unnecessary orders.

Improved Control

Portals allow for companies to implement a flexible security model that regulates user access and permissions. Companies can choose what users see certain products, and delegate different levels of visibility. They can also create a system that requires the permission of a manager for materials that cost over a specified dollar amount.

Types of Web-to-Print Portals

Print Procurement

Print procurement portals provide an e-commerce style storefront for the customer. This format is useful for impromptu uploading of files and customization of pre-loaded templates. This portal also provides clients with instant quotes and a shopping cart interface for payment.

Branding Control and Customization

Branding control and customization portals are built for specific organization​s. The organization manages their own portal, which includes a website with restricted access where employees can place orders. These portals are designed to be organic and flexible, enabling the company to work with the portal’s developers to meet their print and design needs. Usually companies design the portal to mimic the styles of their own websites or databases, making it easier for employees to navigate and create professional quality products. The templates and variations of products in the portal are limited to the requirement of the customer and designed with their marketing department to ensure consistency. This helps companies adhere to their branding policies.

Document Management

Document management portals are self-service storefronts that are mainly used by customers to reprint jobs and manage their product inventory and shipping. Since the products are previously approved, the customer only needs to choose which design and quantity they want​. Upon submission, the order will go straight to the print queue. Customers are also able to track inventory on stored products through records of previous order history, ​which eliminates inventory paperwork. The site can alert the customer when a product is running low.

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation portals completely integrate a web storefront with the production process. This type of portal is hard to successfully develop, making it a very rare commodity in the print community. The integration allows the customer to design or edit a product, get instant pricing and shipping, and send it directly into the print queue. This process is extremely time efficient and allows the customer to go directly through the pre-flight process without talking to a sales representative. The aid of an in-house IT department is what usually makes this possible.

Portals allow companies to save time and money. They are designed to put as little stress on users as possible, allowing them to design their projects and utilize the website per their preferences. Essentially, you can leverage this technology to work more efficiently, and increase effectiveness in your delivery and management of marketing communications.

Click HERE to learn more about the web-to-print portal options that Conquest Graphics offers.

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