Fact or Fiction? Branded Web-to-print ordering portals only make sense for very large companies with many locations.
I’ll bust that myth right now. Sure, national companies with multiple locations will benefit from an online ordering site, but the truth is that Web-based ordering platforms make sense for organizations of all shapes and sizes…and many won’t cost you a dime unless you require programming beyond the parameters of the standard offering. The determining factor has less to do with size and more to do with business and communication requirements. So, what kind of company would benefit from an online ordering site?
1. Organizations that need to maintain their brand identity: Online ordering sites use templates locked to your brand standards to effortlessly protect your corporate identity on every order…no guessing about logo color, font or design rules.
2. Organizations that need to remain nimble in their market but don’t want to worry about obsolete inventory: Ordering sites provide print-on-demand capabilities so you can quickly adjust to your market and avoid wasting money on out-of-date inventory. If things change…like pricing, product specifications or even your branding…you simply change your online template. No stacks of printed collateral or incorrectly branded promotional items to dispose of!
3. Organizations that want to grow their business and add efficiency to their marketing process: While they carefully protect your brand, ordering portals also allow you to streamline the sales and marketing process by giving your team the flexibility to order the customized marketing collateral and promotional items they need to do their job. Some even allow them to build their own one-to-one direct marketing campaigns!
4. Organizations that don’t have the resources to warehouse, inventory and distribute their printed items: Who has the room to warehouse all of their marketing collateral and the resources to manage the inventory and distribute it? And why would you want to expend resources on those functions when your online ordering vendor can do it more efficiently and less expensively?
5. Organizations that need to get a handle on their spending: Online ordering means online reporting…designed to meet your data needs and often available in real time at your workstation. Keep tabs on spending, who’s doing it, what they’re spending it on, inventory levels, order status and much more. You can even use administrative controls to set spending limits or determine who has the ability to order which products.
Speaking of reporting, when it comes to online print ordering systems, you’ll hear plenty about all of the reductions they are responsible for…decreased cost, less time spent managing print and fewer resources expended to do it. The thing is, the increases that web-to-print solutions cause are just as significant. The most important being an increase in data.
Any online solution worth its salt will have powerful data reporting capabilities. The really good ones will offer reports online, in real-time, right at your fingertips. The best ones will offer truly customized real-time reporting utilizing any data captured in the system, sliced and diced any way you need it.
Why is that so important?
Because data is information. Information packaged intelligently is knowledge. And knowledge, as the saying goes, is power…The power to see product usage trends so you can plan strategically for the future. The power to understand overall usage so you can take advantage of quantity price breaks and avoid backorders. The power to gauge user activity levels, track spending by cost center, monitor order history…You get the picture.
It comes down to this. Online systems put the data you need to optimize your print and marketing program at your immediate disposal. The easier it is to access and utilize that data, the more effectively and efficiently you can do your job.
If any of those needs resonate with you, an online ordering site might be just what the doctor ordered. And if you’re looking for the perfect partner, look no further. Curtis 1000 has a Web-based ordering solution to fit every size customer and any product mix. Our CurtisDirectTM technology can meet your needs whether you’re looking for a standard print management site for business cards and other marketing collateral, a company store for branded promo items and corporate apparel, or a robust platform designed to your unique specifications that incorporates every element of your communications process. Our technology experts are skilled at diagnosing your needs, making recommendations on the best system for you and designing custom reports to meet your precise requirements. When you’re ready to “uncomplicate” your print ordering and reporting needs, give your local rep a call or fill out the “How Can We Help You?” form on our website.