Printers: is automation right for you?
Like many sectors, the printing industry is going through a transition. Business technologies within this field are changing, as are the demands that clients make of print companies. Printers need to be ready for these currently-occurring and still-to-come trends and seamlessly adapt to them when they finally come to pass. One of the most essential developments is the burgeoning adoption of document workflow automation solutions. It’s quite easy to see where these tools can be beneficial for firms in various industries, including manufacturing, insurance, distribution, accounting, financial services and many others. Print businesses can leverage the same benefits from this type of tool that those other firms can, of course. That said, there’s definitely a bunch of questions that you – as a company leader – have to answer for yourself. You can’t just jump right into it.
Do you need to automate?
You might have boring and repetitive tasks that can be automated, but does it make sense to do so? How often do those task occur? You need to weigh the cons related to cost and time, and also judge the investment based on the pros like saved time and minimized errors. Sometimes the ROI isn’t enough to go through the switch so assess these factors carefully before jumping into any solution.
Are your employees on board?
If your employees don’t see the benefits of automation or don’t buy into your plan, implementation is just one step. Training and buy-in is another. If your staff don’t want to use a solution and choose not to once it’s been adopted, what’s the point of having it? Calming the fears that automation may lead to job loss can be the first step.
Are the skills there to maintain the solution?
Once you implement, will you have someone to maintain and develop upon the solution? Without a knowledgeable person in charge, strategies will be reactive rather than proactive because nobody knows your own business like your employees. So if they know both the software and where the organization is going, they have a better chance of twisting the solution to best fit your business.
What processes will you automate?
Maybe you want to be able to more easily modify the documents that go through the conduit of your solution, or you’ve been experiencing human error due to problematic manual steps and are sick of it. Remember that a software is just a tool for automation – personnel still need to consider how it can benefit your business objectives.
Have you considered integration?
Are the systems you use to store and oversee the data streams that create print jobs properly integrated with the rest of your organization’s operational tools? Automation isn’t meant as a cure-all. You need everything working in sync beforehand. It’s also unwise to adopt automation and variable data printing just because you feel like it. It’s best if you have specific projects in mind. This is important because if you throw caution to the wind and integrate when you aren’t ready, it’ll cause problems. The biggest thing you run the risk of here is somehow interrupting your other tools and processes. If that happens, and the solution isn’t compatible with all your other tools, you’ll have to overhaul everything. This will cost you a great deal of time and money – not to mention a hell of a lot of aggravation, for you and your fellow employees.
The ultimate question
Don’t ask what the solution can do for you. Instead, determine right off the bat how you can use the solution. Contact Objectif Lune to learn about how your print business will surge ahead with the well-timed implementation of an automation solution.