A Web of Information
3 ways to incorporate web-to-print technology in your businessSeptember 2011 By Elise Hacking Carr
If you ask five people to explain what the term "web-to-print" means to them, you will most likely end up with five different answers. Quite simply, different needs require different implementations.
"If you start to really get into meeting the needs of an organization and customize their workflow for them so that there's a real optimization effort going on, both for the client as well as the supplier, then you're going to hear lots of different kinds of implementations depending on what the need is," according to Mark Weiss, president of Pennsauken, New Jersey-based CRW Graphics and ColorQuick.
Print Professional spoke to several experts to get a better understanding of how this sophisticated technology can be utilized in your business.
1. A Good Old Fashioned Storefront
Vitaly M. Golomb, founder and CEO of San Mateo, California-based Keen Systems, believes one element of web-to-print is the idea of ordering print online, which has been his company's primary objective.
Over the last two years, Golomb and his team have built the Keen e-commerce and customer relationship management online service for print shops and brokers of all sizes. Golomb described the service as an e-commerce platform designed to help printers transition their database communication workflow from traditional methods, such as e-mails, phone calls and faxes, to an e-commerce workflow.
"What our system allows print service providers to do is to create one or multiple storefronts where each one becomes a fully capable website that's optimized for search engine traffic, allows them to build a catalog with products and accept customer requests for quotes that are structured. And their end-user customers are able to sell products, place an order, pay for it, upload files—there's an integrated preflight [to] inspect files," Golomb said.
The term "web-to-print" has become an integral part of industry vernacular over the past few years. However, its value is more important now, commented Jason Pinto, CMO of Wilmington, Massachusetts-based interlinkONE, a marketing software company.
"For one thing, people are more accustomed to purchasing items online than they were three years ago," he noted. "Thus, it's very important for printers and distributors to provide easy ways for their customers to research and order products online."