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That New Software Smell

July 2nd, 2014 - Posted by Ben Thomson, Director of Operations


Imagine the scene, you spend time researching your dream car which includes test drives, endless discussions with sales people and even the equivalent of cold calling to other local dealers to see if the price is competitive… only to find when you come to sign on the dotted line that the options list presents itself. The choices available here can be a minefield of checkboxes and additional costs, some requiring you to have been present at the original design stages of the car to have a hope of understanding them!

Fast forward a few months and as you drive off the dealer forecourt you start to take in that amazing new car smell, along with its unfamiliar interior. It’s only then that you start to realise there aresome buttons 'missing' or that you unwittingly left some options unchecked, leading to blanks where the said buttons should be. Now it may just be my OCD but after the first few days with the new vehicle, it becomes more and more frustrating when those options you wished you had chosen start to appear.

Applying this scenario to choosing a Web to Print software provider can be equally as frustrating. You spend the time doing your research, taking demos and even calling round your preferred suppliers to get the best deal. Then the options list makes an appearance… modules on top of modules, modules within modules, modules2 etc. What is essential? What do I need to get the most out of the software for my business? What’s this ‘setup fee’? Or the ‘Salesman’s lunch fee’ for that matter?! The questions are endless and there is a good chance you will not get all of your answers before signing.

You then take your Web to Print software 'home' – in some cases it is a physical software medium that you install yourself, in others it is available in the cloud through any browser. This may take a couple of days to a few days depending on your supplier. It’s then that through taking in that new software smell (purely anecdotal as we haven’t invented smell-o-vision for the Internet quite yet, although I have the development team looking into it!) you begin to realise not all things are as they seemed. Some major features from the sales blurb are missing, with others available in a much more reduced manner than you were expecting. Then there are the updates, which for some installed software products are not available, whilst with others they attract a fee. Why? You ask yourself… well it comes down to that options list once again. Did you tick the correct boxes?!

Don’t get me wrong, modularity is not a bad thing, per se, but nearly as bad as having to pay more for something you need is not being able to afford to even start the engine so to speak. I like to think that RedTie is different and that starts even before a customer signs up to us. First our sales team has a lot of experience in Web to Print, they will listen first, probably before even opening up our software for a demo, asking questions about your business and what they want to achieve online. They are all aware that at RedTie we want long term partnerships, so we are open about what we can and can’t do (although the can't list gets shorter with every release) and make sure we really are going to meet your needs.

Then there is our product line up itself, it is designed so that you can choose what is right for you without ticking checkboxes for options. For example our most commonly used Web to Print product on the template side is called RTT and without any additional optional extras it is designed to meet the complete needs of 95%+ of our customers. In fact there are less than 10 optional extras for an RTT and when the sales person listened to your requirements, they would spot what you need from this short list and let you know before signing up as a customer. It could be anything from a simple app to full on bespoke development. All of our cards are on the table before you sign up.

So if you are looking to move some or all of your business online or if your Web to Print software is all missing options and doesn't fulfill your needs, then get in touch with RedTie and let us help you achieve your objectives. I would be very surprised if our options list will even need to be mentioned.