If you’re involved in any phase of the print buying process you know exactly how overwhelming it can be and how quickly project organization can spiral out of control. Are you considering a print management solution to help centralize these various moving parts?
In this beginner’s guide to getting started with print buying software we examine why it’s useful, how it streamlines print business operations, augments sales processes, helps your team work and communicate more effectively, and reduces headaches from the chaos of managing multiple printing projects.
We’ll also dive into some things to consider when you’re shopping around for a print buying SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution so you can make informed and educated purchasing decisions.
What is print buying software?
Without a cohesive solution, print buying projects can quickly devolve into a flood of emails, phone calls, meetings…and frustration. These bottlenecks can have a significant impact on business operations for print buyers and vendors alike. This ultimately affects revenue generation.
Who wants to throw a campaign off schedule, miss a project milestone, or blow a deadline? This is where the value of leveraging print buying software comes into play. It centralizes and simplifies the entire process into one efficient system.
By organizing each step of your projects into a comprehensive and cohesive workflow through print buying software you cut out the noise of multiple communication channels, simplify the requisition process, save on cost, and keep everything in sync.
How print buying software helps campaign flow
Everyone knows how delicate the campaign planning process is. Especially when you’re dealing with a large client or prospect, you want their experience to be as smooth as possible. This makes your organization look good and gives them peace of mind that going with your offering is the right choice.
Take a moment to think about the flow of a general marketing or direct mail campaign and all of the elements that go into it. There will be project milestones you’ll have to hit and deadlines to meet. Since there are so many moving parts, everything needs to be on time and on schedule.
Beyond the campaign flow itself, you have to consider the collateral assets. These have to be designed, you have to select a printer and send them the specs and art files. Then you have to allow the proofing process time for the back and forth until it’s approved.
The printer needs time to get everything processed, finalized, and in your hands. The printer has to have the capacity and ability to create the specific asset(s) you need, which is another schedule that needs to be considered.
Then there are other campaign tie-ins like advertising, social media scheduling, newsletters. This whole process has to move on schedule, because you don’t want to be advertising something that isn’t ready.
Print buying software helps the campaign process stay on track and on schedule at every step. Print Gizmo lets you schedule out your marketing or direct mail campaign, set milestones, meet deadlines, and make sure everything flows smoothly.
Every department involved, from design, purchasing, accounting, procurement, and the printer can communicate and share information through a single interface. Everything is logged and can be tracked and audited anytime.
Print buying software and your team
Adopting any new software platform brings up implementation concerns. Many SaaS solutions are as simple as logging in to a cloud portal, but some require additional technical steps.
After you’re set up within the system you have to allow time for your team to get acquainted with how it functions, navigating the interface, and other learning curves that come with migrating to a new platform.
Any vendor worth partnering with will provide all of the account management and technical support you need. They want to ensure you’re getting the most out of their software solution.
It’s not just about the tool itself, but how the software vendor’s team interacts with yours and the timeliness of their response. Some might even go so far as to put a SLA (service level agreement) in place. This provides you with the peace of mind that if issues come up they will be handled as soon as possible.
Vetting the vendor
Vetting a new SaaS vendor is not an overnight process. There are a few discovery calls and webinars that will occur to help you identify if their solution is the right choice for you. This also provides the vendor with information on your organization and how their solution fits into your product stack to address your pain points.
Another consideration is the vendor’s pricing model. SaaS providers have to be as agile as possible these days to meet constantly evolving customer demand. eLynxx offers solutions tailor-made to fit your organization’s specific needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references either. Some may not be able to provide them due to non-disclosure agreements, but it never hurts to ask. In the end, having a credible and reliable print buyer software vendor creates a strong partnership.
Not all software is the same
If you’ve done any amount of research on print management solutions you might be more confused than ever.
Only you know what you need, so why not go with a print buying solution that covers every stage of the process? Some may focus on just a few phases. You want a comprehensive solution that handles everything from orders, estimates, quotes, graphics, specs, and storefronts to communications and support.
Print buying made easy
Integrating new software into your operational workflows can be scary and exciting at the same time. Your technical team has to have the resources to get it up and running within your organization’s structure and designate point people to learn how to manage and use it.
As one of the few true print buying solutions, eLynxx print procurement software helps print buyers everywhere improve their print buying processes. Our state of the art software works with your team and integrations to ensure you are getting the most out of our solution. We understand the challenges that come with change and our account management and support teams will work with you every step of the way.
What are some of your organization’s biggest pain points when it comes to the print buying process? What features do you look for in a SaaS solution to help get around them?
How can procurement spend be reduced?
This is highly variable based on many factors. When it comes to operations, investing in a centralized system like a lot of print buying software services provide help to significantly cut expenses.
What is print procurement?
Also known as print sourcing, print procurement describes the process of choosing suppliers, vendors, and managing the various aspects of printing projects like cost and completion timelines.
What is print estimating software?
Print estimating software by design provides a streamlined workflow for print buyers, print brokers, and vendors. It helps cut down on touch points throughout the process and automates communication, RFQs, estimating, quoting, and project design specifications.