Opinion: Lessons from Amazon could benefit all print businessesSponsored
Douglas Gibson, Infigo CEO
Monday, October 4, 2021
Powerful automation is the industry’s great leveller, and rather than being a threat to employees it creates opportunities for businesses of all sizes to empower their people and increase productivity and profitability.
Digital processes have been transforming the way we work, communicate and consume for well over a decade. However, some organisations are a lot further into their digital transformation than others.
This has been painfully evident in the printing industry over the past 18 months. Those that had been putting off their digital investment until ‘next year’ unfortunately struggled, while printers already using web-to-print could take and fulfil orders, and most importantly generate cash flow, even with limited staff on the shop floor.
This is because powerful automation through web-to-print has proven to streamline production and greatly reduce the need for human intervention on each print job.
Staff, however, are often concerned. They may think that automation means they are going to be replaced by technology and put out of a job - when, in fact, the opposite is actually true.
In this article, I discuss how automating printing processes can empower and motivate staff to become more creative, learn new skills, and take on responsibilities that have a greater benefit to the long-term success of the business.
Automation = Innovation
Whatever your opinion of Amazon, there’s no denying that its approach to automation has massively disrupted the retail sector and beyond. But it’s not just through e-commerce that Amazon has leveraged it to great effect.
Over the past decade, the company has prioritised automating office work through a program referred to as Hands off the Wheel.
According to the e-commerce giant, the purpose was not to reduce headcount but to give staff more creativity, primarily through product development.
Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer, says: “People who were doing these mundane repeated tasks are now being freed up to do tasks that are about invention, the things that are harder for machines to do.”
Technology doesn’t replace staff, it makes them happier (and more loyal)
According to a study conducted by online learning provider Udemy, bored employees are twice as likely to leave than those engaged in their work. A lack of opportunity to learn new skills (46%) and unchallenging tasks that don’t use their education (44%), were cited as the primary reasons for boredom at work.
Further research from project management software provider Smartsheet also revealed that around 40% of workers spend at least a quarter of their work week on manual, repetitive tasks - with email, data collection and data entry occupying the most time.
However, nearly 60% of workers believe they could save six hours a week through automation. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers said they would use that time saved through automation to do work that is more valuable to their organisation.
Get the best out of staff with web-to-print (and Infigo)
Infigo’s web-to-print solution has proven to significantly reduce costs and improve profitability for print organisations, as it connects complex systems and removes unnecessary repetitive tasks.
For example, our Infigo Connect module integrates the Infigo platform with practically any MIS on the market. Through this integration, a range of tasks, from pre-press to post-production, can be automated. There is also no need to re-key information – all data is synced between the systems, eliminating the chance of costly typos.
With our pre-flight integration with Enfocus, designers can spend more time creating, rather than responding to endless emails to fix minor artwork issues. The powerful PitStop Pro technology analyses, fixes or rejects artwork upstream on the storefront, reducing delays or issues when jobs are headed into production.
By offering customers an easy journey to place orders online through an Infigo e-commerce storefront, sales teams can focus on building relationships with larger, more profitable clients.
And because our platform is so intuitive, staff can quickly learn how to use it, whether to create eye-catching storefronts, to diversify their range by quickly building new products or to manage jobs, staff and resources more efficiently.
In short, you can provide a more rewarding environment for your staff, while creating additional revenue for your business.
Investment, not a cost
Automation through web-to-print is not designed to replace staff. In fact, you will find that you can get a lot more done with the resources you have, besides making huge savings over many years. So, when compared to the cost of taking on a new employee, web-to-print could prove to be a more astute investment.
Freeing up staff to be more creative could transform your business, and your employees’ careers, more than you thought was possible.
We are the leading provider of personalised print and e-commerce solutions, successfully delivering an innovative web-to-print platform that is supported by a world-class team.
Our fully configurable and scalable solution allows businesses in a wide range of industries, including printing, packaging and labelling, to create uniquely branded e-commerce storefronts with a powerful personalisation editor. Our aim is to simplify the entire ordering and fulfilment process, through partner integrations and automation.