Digital Transformation and the Future of Production Print
Over the last seven months, businesses across the spectrum have reassessed the way they work. With employee and customer health and safety top of mind, many organizations turned to automating processes, trying new ways to reach end clients, and other improvements in these unprecedented times and beyond. Each of these activities are accelerating digital transformation.
In office settings, that often means eschewing paper processes for digitization. But what does that look like in production print? Primarily, it focuses on process automation and multi-channel communications, with optimized workflows and operations. There are a number of ways production printers are transforming to drive increased customer satisfaction, greater business insights, and improved health and safety protections. They include:
- Process Automation
Automation makes processes more reliable and precise, which in turn helps drive customer satisfaction, while giving you a better understanding of your business. A number of solutions automate tasks and/or the handoff between tasks to increase efficiencies, reduce chances of errors, and enable less physical contact to foster a safe work environment.
For instance, Web-to-print software can streamline time-consuming work and shorten the timeline from order receipt to job completion, which can help hit SLAs — or turn jobs around faster than expected — and drive customer satisfaction. Automation can also give a truer sense of your shop’s capacity and capabilities, with up-to-the-minute reporting and monitoring, which can offer valuable insights into demand trends, device usage, and ways to improve efficiencies. The more information you can capture in a more usable way, the better your path to continual transformation will be.
- Multi-Channel Communications
2020 has brought with it many changes that have accelerated a dramatic acceleration in the shift to digital communications. This transformation has a number of causes, including health and safety precautions, more on-demand job requests, rapidly changing information and the need for proven information management, new routes to reaching customers, and more. Applications that include a component of Augmented Reality and other multi-channel communications tools will likely be more integral as business needs change.
Advances in digital technology have helped make print even more essential to a marketing communications mix. Print can drive website traffic, increase brand awareness, and offer enhanced interactive experiences. The most successful marketers use print and digital to complement one another — and that will only increase as digital transformation continues to accelerate.
- Remote Monitoring and Management
Before the pandemic, the ability to remotely monitor and manage a production environment from an intuitive dashboard was a nice perk, great for the go-go-go pace of business. Today, it’s a near-essential adaptation to the new world of work, with stay-at-home orders, reduced staffing, and increased health and safety protocols. No matter how you keep employees safe — fewer staff onsite at the same time, reduced interaction with high-traffic surfaces, etc. — remote monitoring and management can help. It keeps touchpoints to users’ individual devices, while powering productivity wherever people can work safely. These tools often deliver many of the same benefits of reduced manual touchpoints and increased visibility discussed above.
As you read this, we are just over seven months out from the first stay-at-home orders. Many shops have already made or begun adaptations to the new realities of business and workplace safety. As you continue to consider ways to improve, look for opportunities that help you adapt in the near term, and thrive in the long term. This approach helps promote increased customer satisfaction, greater business insights, and improved health and safety protections — it’s how you accelerate digital transformation.