Online Print Center Dashboard

One of my favorite things about managing Web Orders, Estimates, Files, and Proofs is the Online Print Center “Dashboard” from See the snapshot below for all of the detail. The blue numbers are the actual number of files that you can click on and get a detailed list.

Our customers can upload a file and it gets assigned a number, say #1234.
We then attach a proof file to that same #1234.
Then they respond and their response is still attached to the same #1234.

At any time this file can be converted to an order. In fact, it can start at the estimate process. The beauty is that the entire order and all of the files, proofs, responses, plus files added later (by us or the customer) all stay together. On top of that, the customer also has access to the files at any time too.

And, to help with communication, there is a job journal attached to the order that allows you to record communications.
Online Print Center Dashboard

Welcome to my new Blog on my new website!

If you have found this post, you have found my new blog!

I have discontinued posting on Blogger for now, unless I can find a reason to double post. Please check out the site as I have consolidated my website and my blog into one website. I plan an adding the ability to purchase reports from here in the very near future.

Please let me know what you think!!

More on the PrintSmith Site Council

Here is a partial post I made on the PrintSmith forum that I wanted to post here too:

So, moving forward in a constructive manner, I would like to express my concerns here on the forum to save valuable time at the meeting. (I will be there.) I have to give some background to explain why I and many others have these concerns.

1. History from 2003 – 2006
We dropped Site for Websitesforprinters in 2003. We now have over 400 companies with over 600 people using our website. In addition, we have around 300 products on our site that also have matching PrintSmith templates to ease the re-typing.

Now, contrast the above information with the internal stats of our shop. We have 18 employees, of which, only 15 use PrintSmith. Of those 15, only 6 actually enter estimates and orders into the system. Think about that for a second. For every 100 people that use our site we have only 1 person inside the shop that enters orders in PrintSmith!

My point is that our web interface has suddenly become more important than our internal software because it touches more people, more often, and it is always available. Changing our web presence is not something to be taken lightly.

2. Fast Forward to the Future
Let’s assume that Site is complete and it has addressed most of the issues and concerns of the majority of users. So we buy it and at that point, there are several very important questions that we have to answer.
Do we switch everybody over to Site?
Do we switch just the Catalog customers?
Do we just add New customers to Site?
How do we handle File transfers, Proof responses, Inventory, and History?
How do we handle having two different Logins and passwords?

3. A Possible Solution
Obviously, there is no way that could possibly switch everybody at the same time. We would have to phase them in one at a time, and that will take time. In addition, I’m not certain that we would be able to switch them all, there are just too many people.

Plus, there are some features like File Transfers, Viewing Proofs, and Inventory Tracking that I’m told Site will never be able to handle as efficiently as we do it now. So, it is my understanding that we will need both solutions.

To help us deal with both solutions, it would be a huge help for us to have some way to integrate our 3rd party website orders into PrintSmith through a very simple text email. Why? Because we are finding that CSR’s make mistakes retyping information into PrintSmith. In particular, the Quantity and Special Instructions get botched or left out.

To conclude, our website has become extremely important to our business and our customers. Our customers need us to make it as easy as possible for them to do business online and we would like to keep them happy by doing that.

PrintSmith Site User Council

PrintSmith jus announced the following yesterday:

The first meetings of the PrintSmith Site User Council will be held on July 25th, 2006, in EFI’s Pittsburgh offices. In addition to giving you a forum to provide input to EFI on your products, members of the Council will also receive advance information about our plans, and insight into our strategy regarding the web-to-print products, integration to PrintSmith and workflow and online VDP initiatives. This is an unparalleled opportunity for you to impact our future development of the web products, and you’ll have access to developers, product managers, professional services people, support people, marketers and EFI executives.

This is good news and I plan on attending, please join us!!