Using Digital StoreFront, information captured at the StoreFront is automatically transferred all the way through the production process. The result? The production manager doesn’t have to re-key data, errors are eliminated, touches are reduced, quality and efficiency are improved, and productivity and profitability boosted.
Says Minnick: “Understanding the value of print on demand takes a while to catch on. When it does they understand the expense of warehousing, and the cost of scrapping already-printed pieces when prices or branding change...Print on demand will actually end up saving them money in the long run as well as increasing their profitability. Printers are catching on to those profit areas and the value of passing savings to their customers.”
Keen Systems’ Keenprint.com
San Francisco-based Keen Systems (www.MyPRINTResource.com/10013629) is the first and only cloud-based e-commerce platform for the printing industry. The company deals with the worlds of commercial, wide-format, quick print and promotional items, and packaging. “It’s any print for sale,” says company CEO and founder Vitaly Golumb.
Keenprint.com allows any PSP or broker to sign up for an account and build multiple storefronts, each serving various business models.
“They would build one or several publicly-available storefronts, which would service their primary websites,” Golumb says. “Or, if PSPs have specific industries they service, say the real estate industry, they can build a storefront specifically for that industry. They could also build a storefront specifically for a design firm providing them customers. And if they have a handful of major customers they deal with daily or weekly, they could provide private storefronts for those customers. It doesn’t matter if they have one or 100 storefronts, they can manage them internally at the PSP through one dashboard, and also give their employees access through that dashboard. If they have an affiliate or reseller with whom they work, that affiliate can gain administrative access to whatever part of the storefront applies to them.”
Here’s an example of how a private storefront might be used by a PSP. The PSP could give a large retail customer access to its own private storefront, and give each location of the retailer access to the store as well. “The customer can price out very complex products, which could include for instance variable-sized signage priced by the square foot,” Golumb says.
“They can add all kinds of finishing services. Once they place the order, they can have an open account with net terms, tax exempt status, or can simply place an order with a credit card or electronic check. It’s modeled after Amazon, so they can save in the system their payment information such as credit cards and other payment methods, and the next time check out very quickly.
“Once they pay for the order, and upload the file, our system automatically inspects the file, and if there are any problems they will be notified immediately.”
In addition, Keenprint.com has full shipping integration with FedEx and UPS. Any time there’s a change in the order status, the customer gets an automatic email. Customers can also track their orders 24/7.
Print service providers stand to become more efficient and more profitable with Keenprint.com, Golumb says. The automation and clearer communication made possible by the system helps reduce error rates and increases customer satisfaction. The system specifically allows providers to pursue new business models not obtainable without e-commerce and a system like Keenprint.com, which makes it possible to spin off a new storefront within minutes, he adds.
With Keen’s patented cloud-based architecture, PSPs will have access to a marketplace of trade vendors they can partner with by means of a few clicks, to being selling products or services they themselves can’t produce. “Finally, we are the official sanctioned e-commerce partner for Roland DGA,” says Golumb.
RocketPrint Software’s RocketQuotes
Storefront systems offered by some competitors don’t fit wide-format’s parameters very well, argues Larry Presnell, vice president of operations for Greensboro, NC-based RocketPrint Software (www.MyPRINTResource.com/10013317). “For one thing, a user needs to be able to plug in his width and length and exact dimensions wanted. And various finishing options, such as sewing and grommeting, also add complexity.