Online print portal Sapient image

    Online Print Portal

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    Online Print Portal Saves Time and Energy

    Doesn’t everyone like it when tasks are easy to complete?

    If something can help you get a to-do done faster, wouldn’t you go for it?

    Customers at Perfect do.

    Many of our customers have deployed web-based ordering portals that contain their frequently needed business documents and marketing materials. These online print portals have helped them save time and get projects turned around faster. They have even helped make brand management more effective. Employees and offices “in the field” are using the portals to order pre-existing materials instead of trying to produce materials on their own.

    Leveraging Web-to-Print

    Each individually implemented online print portal uses web-to-print technologies to create an online catalog of a company’s print materials. The catalog includes thumbnail images of the available pieces and project details such as size and paper stock. Users order materials through the self-service portal as needed. Placing orders via the portal can be easier than working through a production manager or e-mailing a customer service rep, as real-time product details like availability, specifications and pricing are housed in the system. The user just selects a quantity and shipping location, and the order is complete. Since the portal contains order history, the need to create or hold on to corresponding paperwork is eliminated as well.

    Perfect has provided online print portals for customers such as Brandywine Senior LivingOppenheimerFundsLiving Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and Sapient Global Markets. The implementation process takes about 30 days. It includes customizing the look of the portal to match the customer’s brand and sketching out the workflow to meet user requirements. Some customers use the portal to streamline the ordering process for their production managers or print buyers, while others use it to give ordering access to employees at remote locations and offices.

    “We customize each implementation based on the customer’s needs,” said Joe Olivo, President & CEO at Perfect. “Each customer has different reasons for establishing web-to-print capabilities. Some want to make repeat orders easier, some want better control of inventory levels, some want to ensure consistency in brand and print quality.”

    • Meeting a Variety of Needs

      Products available in the online print portal vary from customer to customer, but include things like signage, sell sheets, brochures, business cards, envelopes, labels and publications. For example, at Oppenheimer, the special events department was having a major issue with the time needed to complete signage for events in cities like New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Boston, and Los Angeles. The orders ranged from as few as one sign for small events to more than 100 for large events. Oppenheimer wanted to make their ordering and billing process simpler, and they wanted an easy way to get brand-consistent signage in a pinch when on site at an event. Their portal has reduced the time it takes employees to submit an order and it has made Oppenheimer’s billing process more efficient and less costly.

      LBBC was looking for a print vendor to provide print, mail, fulfillment and distribution services. One of their requirements was the availability of an online ordering portal. LBBC had managed its own online ordering system, but they wanted to replace it. Their new system would need to provide LBBC constituents the ability to order educational materials as well as LBBC-branded collateral materials. LBBC’s ordering process can be complex, as they make about 30 products available and distribute more than 100,000 free guides annually to women with breast cancer and healthcare professionals around the United States.

      “Perfect took the time to understand our needs and gave us a new portal that is easy to navigate, user-friendly and intuitive on both the front and back ends,” said Kevin Gianotto, LBBC’s Associate Director of Marketing. “This helps us ensure that our donor support is being used in the most cost-effective way possible and that those in crisis are receiving the information they need quickly and efficiently.”

      Our customers using online print portals have been very satisfied, whether it is with a better design, improved user experience or the elimination of paperwork. “One feature all the customers love is the consolidated monthly billing that we do for portal orders versus billing for each individual project,” Olivo said. “This makes processing invoices a lot easier on their end.”

    • Expanded Capabilities

      While most customers have found success using an online print portal for ordering repeat materials, the technology can be used to conduct most print business online. In addition to placing orders, online print portal functionality can allow customers to submit requests for estimates, submit orders for projects other than pre-existing materials, review and approve proofs prior to print and even create custom materials from existing design templates.

    Penn SP2

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    Fulfilling its Mission

    The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) educates students who want to take an active role in social policy, social justice, social work, nonprofit leadership and social research. As one of the leading higher-education schools of its kind, SP2 wanted to launch a multi-modal program in which experts from the School of Social Policy & Practice analyze and address some of the most crucial social justice and policy issues in our nation. The mission of the initiative, which is known as the SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election, is to educate, enlighten, and empower a diverse audience of voters and policymakers from all walks of life.

    Timing for the initiative was crucial, as SP2 wanted the program launched in plenty of time to inform the public prior to the election in November.

    Learning About the Project

    Initially, SP2 approached Perfect about printing a handout that could be used to inform delegates, alumni and the general population about the SP2 Penn Top 10. The handout would consist of 10 position papers written by SP2 faculty. The papers would need to be edited into digestible articles and combined with a visual aesthetic to communicate the main points of each essay to a mostly uninformed audience. The handout was intended to be visually appealing, heavy on imagery and full of information.

    In addition to the handout, SP2 wanted a “Digital Book” (Interactive PDF) to be hosted on an existing website for easy access for people who may not receive a printed copy. This would also be something that would be marketed digitally, with the intent of spreading the message and potentially raising capital for the school.

    Suggesting a Broader Solution

    Based on SP2’s project objectives, Perfect recommended a workbook that would include 10 tabs, creating a section for each topic. Content would include a shortened position paper, information about the author(s), critical information about the topic and recommendations to help address the issue. Instead of a digital book, we suggested creating a website dedicated to the initiative. We also proposed developing a complete visual identity for the initiative and designing a promotional brochure to announce the program. We believed that if the initiative was successful, SP2 could convert the “temporary” program focused on one election to a long-standing web presence where SP2 could highlight pressing social justice and policy issues in the future.

    • Developing the Assets

      SP2 embraced our suggestions. Perfect set about working with the SP2 Penn Top 10 project team to create the materials over a nearly six-month period. Beginning with the development of the initiative’s visual identity, we helped develop an SP2 Penn Top 10 logo, a direct mail brochure promoting the initiative, a promotional landing page to announce the kickoff, an interactive full website to unveil content on each topic and the SP2 Penn Top 10 workbook. Perfect provided SP2 with project management, graphic design, copyediting, web development, printing and mail services.

    • A Successful Campaign

      From its first event in May 2016 dealing with the issue of Homelessness, the SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election initiative garnered attention and grew beyond all initial expectations. Visitors have engaged with the website by viewing videos, posting comments and voting for the most pressing social issue. SP2 ordered another print run of the SP2 Penn Top 10 workbook as well. The project team is also now considering keeping the initiative going beyond the 2016 election.