This article appears in the September/October 2018 edition of Print21.
EFI technology expert Ali Ridha Jaffar discusses important aspects about the adoption of Web2Print, as part of an organisation’s transformation from a traditional print business model to a more technically-orientated print business.
A significant element of organisational transformation involves identifying your key resources. For me, it was people: technical sales personnel, digital designers and web developers. Without these crucial pillars, there would be nothing to support Web2Print initiatives, regardless of however many sales I might win.
Technical sales personnel are a dedicated resource focusing on Web2Print sales. They can work with an existing team to spread their expertise as well as secure new sales. Your digital designers should have solid online experience, as they will be performing template and customisation designs. Lastly, your web developers have to be completely au fait with HTML and CSS, at a bare minimum, as you will be relying heavily on them to beautify your product and to perform the elegant customisations envisaged by your digital designers.
With a decent team behind you, you can reuse their skills for other activities like email marketing, during those quieter sales months.
For some personnel, it will be easier to hire externally than to retrain. Cast your gaze around your existing teams and think hard about who could be retrained, internally. You want to build a team that can communicate with and rely upon each other, so make sure you have a consolidated, dedicated Web2Print team.
Retraining a sales team is much easier than attempting to imbue your developers and designers with experience. For sales training, you will want to run through multiple drills and role-playing exercises.
Once you have run through your programme, train and drill some more, until they have their patter down pat and are confident that they thoroughly understand Web2Print concepts.
Do not let your team make excuses rather than admit any deficiencies or gaps in their knowledge. Print is now officially boring. You are a business that is pivoting to technology. Use this to inspire any applicants, including that spirit of inventiveness in your advertisements, so it could look like:
“Within a year of working with us, you will be entrepreneurial, confident in your area of expertise and amongst the top of your game – the envy of your peers…”
Technology companies are now considered fun places to work – and if you want employees who are comfortable embracing innovation and have imaginative personalities, this will appeal:
“At work, no day is the same. We are at the epicentre of the $8bn experience. We reward initiative and courage, risk-takers and those who live in excellence…”
Be clear. Be concise. Don’t frighten potential candidates with a job description that implies the work of three people. No one wants to be a beast of burden.
Remember, if your job description is boring, it will not attract top talent. Talented people do not enjoy being bored. Failing to recruit technical designers and developers will absolutely guarantee that your Web2Print initiative will fall at the first hurdle, as will a lack of training amongst your sales crews. Your personnel are your most valuable resource. Investing in them equates to a direct investment to your business.
Furthermore, failure to plan properly will hamstring your efforts. Plan for every consideration and aspect of your Web2Print implementation – understand the entire process thoroughly, from workflows to invoice management. You are seeking to comprehend things from the level of your employees and your customers, so you can better support them and ensure that, when the sales come flooding in, your teams are ready to go.
Organisational transformation requires perseverance and diligence. Change takes time and is difficult to implement, but once you start, you will gain momentum. When that happens – as your tech and design teams gain some implementation experience and your sales teams have closed some Web2Print sales – things will become easier.
Ali Ridha Jaffar is the vice president at the Syncoms Group and would be glad to help you with your Web2Print questions. Get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Link to original article (which can be found on page 54): http://online.flipbuilder.com/YaffaMedia/dmwa/mobile/index.html