Four applications?Web-to-print, prepress PDF, print MIS, and variable-data printing?topped the list of workflow software investments over the last three years among more than 325 commercial and in-plant printing and related industry facilities surveyed in the recent Workflow Investment Survey 2014 from AMSP/NAPL/NAQP, the new association created this year through the merger of the Association of Marketing Service Providers, National Association for Printing Leadership, and National Association of Quick Printers.
“Of the nine software product and service categories studied, both commercial companies and in-plants have focused on these four applications, which they consider most worthwhile,” says survey co-author Andrew Paparozzi, association Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “In fact, over 92% of all organizations surveyed have invested in at least one of these applications and over 61% have invested in at least two over the last three years. Additionally, majorities in every organization size category studied plan to invest in these four over the next three years.”
Results of the survey were reported in the new AMSP/NAPL/NAQP white paper, Workflow: Where, Why, and What Companies are Investing, authored by Paparozzi and association Senior Consultant Howie Fenton. Both the survey and white paper were sponsored by Xerox.
Nearly 80% of survey respondents were commercial companies and 20% in-plant facilities. “As expected, some software investments were equally important for both commercial and in-plant facilities, such as Web-to-print, print MIS, and e-publishing, while others were more appropriate for the commercial shops, such as variable-data printing, cross-media marketing, and search engine optimization,” says Fenton.
“What was not expected, however,” he continues, “was that some investments were considered both most worthwhile and least worthwhile. For example more than 150 respondents said Web-to-print was their most worthwhile investment, but more than 40 companies said it was their least worthwhile.” To quantify the differential, the authors created an Investment Worthiness Index™, calculated by subtracting the number of respondents rating an investment least worthwhile from those rating it most worthwhile.
“According to our Investment Worthiness Index, the top software products, all scoring 75 or higher, once again included Web-to-print, prepress PDF, print MIS, and variable-data printing software,” adds Fenton. “The remaining five categories?cross-media, SEO/SEM, CRM, e-publishing, and augmented reality?were either close to 0, meaning the same number categorized it as most worthwhile and least worthwhile, or negative, i.e., more categorized it least worthwhile than most worthwhile.”
The new white paper also breaks out data on workflow investments by commercial printers vs. in-plants, investments by company size, and by amount invested in each workflow application over the last three years, and planned to be invested over the next three years. In addition, Investment Worthiness Index ratings are provided for each software application broken out by company type, and data are provided on percentage of organizations that have moved, or plan to move, workflow software to the cloud.
A concluding section offers representative comments from survey participants on workflow investment best practices and on why they rank certain software as most worthwhile or least worthwhile.
For more information on the Workflow: Where, Why, and What Companies are Investing white paper, the Workflow Investment Survey 2014, or other AMSP/NAPL/NAQP economic and trends research, please contact Howie Fenton at (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6328, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Andrew Paparozzi at (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6353, or email@example.com.