Are You Ready for Print Management Software?

Print Readiness_Header

Integrated print management software is designed to help you better manage your print operations, improve process efficiencies, and increase performance. From financial management and sales to inventory and production, the right solution will seamlessly automate core areas of your business and establish one system of record for more accurate data and better communication between departments.   

Although there are plenty of reasons why you should invest in print shop management technology, there is more to the decision than meets the eye. Is your print shop fully prepared and committed to the changes ahead? Are there any risks that need to mitigate before you get started? Find out with our print management readiness assessment.    

Proceed with Caution  

Whether you are currently running your print shop on a legacy system or combination of point solutions, changing your underlying technology requires extensive planning, testing, and training to get it done right. And you want it done right the first time.  

Otherwise, you are looking at growing delays, costs, inaccuracies, reduced productivity, and worst of all—complete project implementation failure. That happens when the software you implement doesn’t actually meet your business requirements and isn’t accepted by your team. It’s a waste of time, money, and doesn’t produce the results you are looking for.  

In a world of high competition and already tight profit margins, the risk of software implementation failure is too high for print businesses, and there is little room for mistakes. Diving head-first into a complex project when you are not ready is not going to end well, and it’s important to take every precaution to ensure successful adoption. By putting the time and energy in from the very beginning to assign responsibilities, establish objectives, and confirm expectations will make the difference between a successful software implementation and failure.  

How to Prepare for Print Management Software  

The best way to know if your people and business are ready for print management software is to measure it! There are 11 critical areas of your print business that need to be assessed for risk before embarking on any large-scale software implementation project. By following this methodical process, you can significantly increase your probability of project success (on-time, on-budget, measurable business value) as well as significantly decrease the risk of project fatigue, organizational disappointment, and business process disruption.  

After you have learned more about each area, you can quickly download the Print Management Software Readiness Scorecard below and get started on assessing your business.   

  1. Internal Organizational Readiness 
    Your internal team is the backbone of your software implementation. While solution partners are responsible for guiding the project along, it’s the availability and accessibility of key members of your internal team who will determine how smoothly and successfully the entire implementation goes. When a partner has questions about a specific department’s business needs and functional requirements, the team leader must be able to provide that information—otherwise, they create delays and bottlenecks.  

    Before embarking on a project of this magnitude, you have to get your entire organization on board and prepared for what lies ahead. Financial data, operational reports, department wish lists, and a business process flow of the entire organization need to be discussed and readily accessible before anything kicks off. The more organized you are at the beginning, the easier the entire process will be. 
  1. Executive Management Buy-in 
    Executive management typically makes the decisions in every business application project. They are responsible not just for signing off on budgets and timelines but on functionality and requirements. That’s your top management must be actively committed to the project before getting started. In this section, you will make an overall assessment of your executive management team goals, and the level of commitment and support for the project. For example, the project scope is not clearly defined if the executive management team does not agree on core functionality requirements and their priority.   
  1. User Community 
    When we refer to users, we are talking about the people who work with the software every day. Your employees are invaluable assets in your business and are a huge component in the success of your print management software implementation. To effectively automate key business processes, end users in every department will need to provide insight into what’s working and what could be improved. Business management software is also built to increase employee productivity, so your users will need to see the benefit of the system from the very beginning, as they will be required to use it and embrace it.   

    In the readiness scorecard, we have included a few examples of departments that you can use to assess your operations. You can feel free to add or remove departments to fit your specific business, including:
    – Controller/Administrative Support
    – Payables and Receivables
    – Order Processing
    – Warehouse and Inventory Controls
    – Sales and Customer Service
    – Estimators
    – Information Technology  

  2. Technical Environment
    Your IT team is heavily involved in all aspects of a print management solution implementation. They’re not just essential for the initial setup but also for the regular maintenance of the system itself. To determine your organization’s technical readiness, you need to evaluate their attitude towards the project and available bandwidth to support the project.  
  1. Goal Alignment  
    Now that you have assessed your executive management, user community, and technical environment, you can determine if all parties have similar or compatible goals for the upcoming software implementation. If goals and objectives are not compatible or consistent across your organization, there is going to be conflict throughout the project itself, which can lead to delays and unmet expectations.   
  1. Organizational Culture 
    The key to any new software implementation is adoption and how well your users accept and learn the new way of life. To better understand how your team will fare, you need to assess your organizational culture. In the scorecard, we have included questions that will evaluate your team’s adaptability and propensity for risk and change.  
  1. Existing Controls and Procedures 
    This section is used to determine the standardization and effectiveness of existing processes. By answering questions about existing controls and business processes, you will be able to see if any improvements need to be made before introducing new processes to the mix. It will also ensure that everything is documented for your solution partner.  
  1. Training
    No matter what technology you are implementing, successful solution adoption requires extensive training. From estimating to production, each user is responsible for learning the new system and processes. This section is designed to assess your organization’s overall commitment to training, and to determine if sufficient training will be provided to support the software implementation project.   
  1. Project Team
    Depending on the size and scope of your project plan, you will need a designated project team made up of a project leader, executive sponsor, and representatives from every department. Although your solution partner will have their own project team, you need to make sure your staff has the required experience and availability for the duration of the implementation.  
  1. Project Timing
    If you have already defined your start date and desired deployment date, it means you have taken the time to fully understand the timelines and requirements to successfully complete a large-scale software implementation. This area will highlight any potential problems with project time and scheduling.  
  1. Feasibility
    To assess your readiness for print management software, it has to be feasible for your print shop. This section will ask questions about the allocated budget, allocated resources, and how realistic the project goals are given the organization’s current technology platform. The purpose here is to establish if there are any areas of risk that need to be considered before kickoff.  

Wye Print’s Readiness Assessment Scorecard  

At Wye Print, we aim to create, sustain, and improve the process of deploying core business applications so print shops can build and maintain growth. We’re here to help you succeed—and that means taking the time in advance to prepare your team, data, and business processes for change! There will always be hiccups in a business management software implementation, but the more organized you are, the easier it will be to tackle any obstacles thrown your way and stay on track.  

Now that you know all of the important areas to consider before implementing print management software, it’s time to actually assess your business! Download our helpful readiness assessment scorecard to evaluate each of the 11 areas described above. We have included predetermined weights based on importance, so all you have to do is score each question and calculate if you are at high risk or low risk for each section.  

We hope this scorecard helps in determining your level of readiness in implementing print management software. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Our print and business technology experts are always here to help. If you discover that you’re 100% ready to take on a new print management implementation, here are a few additional resources to help you get more familiar with the process: