Don’t go OTT on your ROI!


With the onset of summer and the downtime of print conferences, I like to do personal round-ups for my own use, so we can plan ahead for the next year. This year, my notes from these conferences show a lot of questions about Return on Investment and from the various printers with whom I spoke, so I thought I would mention something about it, here.

Everyone gets that their Web2Print ROI will not be instant – that there will always be a delay before the R on the I starts growing. This is a principle tenant for all new businesses and the transition from traditional print to technical print arguably falls into this category. It’s great that most people understand this already because it’s extremely important.

Nevertheless, if the responsibility falls upon your shoulders, one of your greater concerns – a concern voiced by many at the conferences I have attended over the past year – is, how will you recover the monies that you paid to your Web2Print supplier?

Fixed Assets

Why are you offering Web2Print in the first place? Because it makes life easier for your customers? Because one of your press engineers suggested it? Because it’s so shiny?

No. First of all, you are offering Web2Print because your competitors are offering it and you must do the same or your customers will become their customers.

Secondly, how much would that customer be worth to you, if you were to lose them?

For example, if a customer is spending £100,000 with a printer and that printer loses that customer, what would the impact be? We ask this question because, in the absence of a technological solution, the printer leaves this customer vulnerable to the competition.

As printers, we form close relationships with individuals within our client organisations, but what should happen if your old contact, the Marketing Manager, decides to leave? When a new Marketing Manager joins an organisation, the first thing they target is usually the printer, and it is extremely easy to change printers in the absence of a Web2Print or other technical solution in place to ring-fence that customer.

People, personnel, even organisations come and go – but technology tends to remain.

Web2Print ring-fences a customer, lowering the attrition rate – the chances of losing a customer are reduced with a Web2Print system in place, ensuring your asset remains your asset.


I often compare purchasing Web2Print to purchasing a burglar alarm for a house.

When purchasing a burglar alarm, you consider its features; how thoroughly it can protect you. You will pay several thousand pounds for this system, but did you run an ROI evaluation on your burglar alarm?

How often have you heard anyone even suggest one? In my experience, this has happened zero times because we appreciate that if a burglar was to enter our home, then the impact would be far more than the amount paid for that alarm system. A burglar alarm makes sense as an obvious precautionary measure. The ROI on this one is common sense.

Applying this concept directly to Web2Print, you are taking a different, but equally precautionary measure of ring-fencing your customers, preventing a competitor from infiltrating that customer’s organisation because this technology has provided that security.

On Balance

Essentially, I find that when dealing with the question of ROI, it is important for printers to understand the benefits of Web2Print in the context of ring-fencing the customer and protecting them from infiltration as a result of having no technology solution in place. Remember, existing solutions are far harder to shift than it is to introduce a brand-new technology.

Service and quality are no longer enough, as I have mentioned in previous blogs. The value-added component for you, as a printer, is that Web2Print technology is a convenient service for your customer, one that is extremely difficult to remove, once it is already in place. Your customer stays your customer.

And that security is the real return.