Victorian printer forecasts 75% of orders to arrive through webstore

Kingprint now gets half its revenue from online orders after realising that its survival depended on embracing web-to-print.

The 15-staff Ballarat business derived 10% of its revenue from online orders a year ago, hit the 50% mark in September and plans to reach 75% by the end of 2014, said managing director John Schreenan.

Kingprint started experimenting with web-to-print in 2006 and then implemented its system in 2010, he told ProPrint.

"We didn’t think we would survive if we didn’t. We didn’t want to survive as a traditional print business – this would be too hard," said Schreenan.

"We were keen on becoming an IT and communications business that provided a first-class client experience. The print was just the by-product."

He said the development process involved "significant dollars and time", but was worth the effort.

"We have seen too many printers, including ourselves, try to make a web-to-print system fly by re-deploying existing staff," he said.

[Industry Insider: My long, long W2P journey]

"We tried this and you don’t get far. We eventually employed two fulltime staff to make it work. It put pressure on cashflow adding the extra staff plus the cost of the system, but right now I am glad we spent the money and made the effort as 100% of our online users are happy."

Schreenan told ProPrint that Kingprint had "new clients coming on board every day", including two large hospitals that now use Kingprint's system to manage their forms ordering and inventory.

Kingprint uses EFI-owned Online Print Solutions as its base software, but has made internal changes to the appearance and functionality of the system during the past two years, he said. Further changes are planned, he added.

"In regards to development, we will soon have our online system not only advising of clients of ‘order receipt’ and ‘order dispatch’ but automatically advising them at each stage through the process," he said.

"For example, 'Your job is now printed and with our finishing team'. Our clients stay up-to-date and we field less calls regarding timelines. This will be done via a barcode system integrated into our web-to-print and MIS."

Kingprint's main production machines are a five-colour A2 Shinohara press and a Xerox Color 1000, said Schreenan.

[Feature: Succeeding with web-to-print]

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