It has been nearly 12 months since I started my new role as Client Account Manager in the UK and I thought it was perhaps a good point to share some insights from my experiences discussing issues with RedTie clients to date.
It does seem there are some pretty clear indicators to a successful web to print implementation and some even clearer red flags to an implementation that is not going to generate a return on investment quite so quickly.
In general it appears that success stories are generated from a strong and determined leadership from the very top of the print business. Without a visible high level sponsor of the web to print project then there is a real danger that the whole thing will never really get off the ground and insufficient time and resource will be committed to ensuring it moves forward quickly. In my experience we need this passion and enthusiasm for the solution right from the top of the company and this must be transmitted right down to everyone from the sales team to the shop floor.
The inclusion of a senior director or business owner means that they;
Can be a visible presence in the key project meetings and particularly at the launch of the project - so everyone in the organisation knows the importance of the project and what it is. There can be confusion in some businesses about what web to print actually is and what it can do! The unknown is a worrying and confusing thing for many people in the business
Have authority to allocate company resource for training and marketing
Will support the project manager to get them help and support from others within the organisation
Will be able to meet with the project manager on a regular basis to make sure they are getting what they need and the project is moving in the right direction
Are willing to take difficult decisions to ensure the project’s success
The first critical job of the sponsor is to select a project manager. Selecting the right person who has the skills and experience to deliver the project is vital. Placing the right person in the role is the key to success as they have responsibility for driving the online programme and motivating the supporting team. The project manager should have knowledge of the technology used – in this case they should have good IT ability and understanding of web to print. I feel it is essential they are involved from the beginning, including the training for the product and should ideally be able to build a demo site so that they very clearly understand exactly what can be achieved.
A good understanding of sales and marketing is also required so that they are able to identify relevant targets and use the right strategies to secure them. It may be appropriate to consider some kind of incentive scheme linked to achievement of targets. This can be a great way to motivate the project manager from the outset and make sure they are focused on project or milestone delivery. If you get the project manager right then you are making a huge step in the right direction to securing a significant return on investment.
Unfortunately we see too far many businesses buy a web to print solution to fulfil a particular need (say driven by one client’s needs) and fail to unleash its real potential in the long run. Others never take the time to fully understand the product, implement it poorly or lack the proper direction to succeed. Here are typical reasons why some users fail to realise their full potential;
Don’t allocate sufficient resource
Lack of planning and direction
Lack of commitment from senior directors
Sales Team lack commitment as no incentives are used
No project management in place
No marketing plan
No targets to measure success
Resistance to change within business
Fear of technology and the unknown (out of comfort zone)
No time! – busy “fighting fires”
My Account Management role will take me out and about again in the next 12 months to work with more RedTie clients to ensure that they become great success stories and industry case studies rather than those that fail to really get off the ground. Here at RedTie we have developed various layers of support for our clients from Managed Services to our comprehensive Business Consultancy Package all designed to help them capture the potential of web to print.
If you would like to discuss your own progress and how we can help you achieve even greater things over the next 12 months then please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can email directly here. Our business model at RedTie succeeds only if our clients succeed and therefore we remain committed to helping you grow your revenues online.