Platinum Direct is an integrated marketing solutions company in Carrollton, TX. Since 1994, the company has serviced national companies in the execution of complex marketing programs, and felt first hand the winds of change blowing through the industry.
“Like many companies in the printing industry,” says CEO Bob Baldridge, “the recent economic disruptions were not kind to us and we lost two significant customers. Revenues started to fall and we had to let some employees go.”
These changes forced the company to take an in-depth look at its operating processes and product offerings. “Although we still do mailings, our work now consists of smaller, more frequent executions and a more programmatic business model. We have also migrated much of the black-and-white personalization to color print-on-demand.”
As the market downsized and its focus shifted, Baldridge set about finding a workflow solution that could efficiently handle smaller, more frequent orders, simplify workflow, and integrate marketing portals and other vehicles for online order entry, bypassing the need for sales to touch every order.
Baldridge chose PressWise from Datatech SmartSoft (Booth 653) to meet these needs. Baldridge says, “We wanted a way for these smaller programmatic jobs to bypass account services wherever possible. When an order is received online, it shows up in a dashboard for the press operator, who prints the job and we then either ship or mail it.”
In addition to its ability to handle Platinum Direct’s new job mix, Baldridge also liked the fact that PressWise integrated with his accounting system.
“In our decision process, we looked closely at another solution in the marketplace, delivered as licensed software,” Baldridge reports. “It is much bigger and more comprehensive, but also more expensive, and we simply couldn’t swallow it, people-wise or financially.”
Baldridge also wrestled with concerns about security and having his data hosted off-site. “Most small business owners are control freaks, and I am no exception. But the conclusion I came to is that with all of the safeguards that are in place on the data side, it is probably more secure than my own servers would be.”
What does Baldridge have to say about SaaS in general? “I like the SaaS model. I have bought and managed a lot of software over the years and understand the expense of it—the IT expense and having to update all the workstations when client/server software gets updated. I liked the simplicity of the PressWise model. You just pay a fixed amount every month. I really love the fact that I don’t have to deal with constant software updates. Updates in an SaaS model are automatic and hardly noticeable.
“In addition, the price was very reasonable. But I also didn’t buy blindly. I talked to a number of my peers who were already using PressWise, to gain insight into their experiences and get advice on how it might work for me.”
In making his decision, Baldridge also considered how reputable the company was, whether they had enough redundancy, and the ability to migrate to another solution should that become necessary.
“PressWise ranked well on all accounts,” Baldridge concludes. “Plus, their business model lets you think about your business and not about your IT infrastructure, and that’s huge, especially for smaller businesses.”