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The Age of Web-to-Workflow

Posted Monday, October 29, 2018 by Ryan McAbee, Director, Production Workflow, Keypoint Intelligence.

Print providers have been steadily investing in technologies and processes that enable customers to order and track jobs online. One key technology is web-to-workflow software. Web-to-workflow is a key enabler to a “lights out” manufacturing workflow. Submitting print work through an online ordering interface is the first step to automating workflow and reducing manual rekeying of critical order details.

Although web-to-workflow is similar to web-to-print, it encompasses the additional processes needed to produce and fulfill a customer’s online order which expands beyond the capabilities of traditional web-to-print solutions. For example, preflighting, color management, imposition, and job ticketing are just a few of the common steps in between the customer placing an order online and the print service provider printing that order.

Adoption Trends and Benefits

Web-to-workflow solutions are integral to production automation and can encompass all steps in the printing process including design, file submission, job tracking, soft proofing, online payment, online shipping, and inventory management.

The complexity and scope of a web-to-workflow solution can vary greatly but there is some commonality:

Web-to-workflow offers many benefits and print service providers expect the volume of work submitted via web-based systems to increase. In addition, customers prefer the simplicity and always-accessible nature of online ordering. Web-to-workflow also aids print shops in managing jobs through automation. Savvy print service providers maximize their technology investments in order to reduce production costs, strengthen customer relationships, and widen the profitability window for production volumes. Industry leaders pursue new technology and use open standards to ensure that:

The Bottom Line

Success in today’s market is less defined by what a PSP can print and instead by how quickly and accurately the order can make its way to the printer and into the customer’s hands. Automation through software is the new intellectual property and competitive differentiator. One way to increase that competitive advantage is by channeling incoming orders from online storefronts through W2P into automated print production workflows. Enter the age of web-to-workflow.