Online print portal Sapient image

Online Print Portal

Saving Time and Energy

Doesn’t everyone like it when a task is made easier?

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

In recent months, Perfect has had several customers do just that.

They’ve started to use web-based portals to order their frequently needed business documents and marketing materials. The online print portal has helped them save time and get projects turned around faster. It has even provided them with more effective brand management. Employees and offices “in the field” are using the portal 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 customer’s consistently ordered materials. The catalog includes thumbnail images of the available pieces and project details like size and paper stock. Users order materials through the self-service portal as their need arises. 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 long-time customers like Brandywine Senior Living and OppenheimerFunds, as well as new clients like Living 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 clients use the portal to streamline the ordering process for their production managers or print buyers, 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. “So far, each customer has had 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 they include things like signage, sell sheets, brochures, business cards, envelopes, labels and publications. At Oppenheimer, for example, the special events department was having a major issue with the cost and time needed to complete orders for 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. The portal has cut down on the time it takes employees to submit an order and it has made Oppenheimer’s billing process more efficient and less costly.

    Late in 2015, LBBC was looking for a new 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 with a new one. The system would need to provide LBBC constituents with 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. LBBC’s portal is now processing about 60 orders a month.

    “Perfect took the time to understand our needs and built 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 is helping 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.”

    Perfect’s portal users have been very satisfied, whether it is with a better design, improved user experience or the elimination of paperwork. “One feature all the customers have loved 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 current customers have found success using an online print portal primarily for ordering repeat materials, the technology can be used to conduct just about all 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. “We haven’t had customers request full online capabilities yet,” Olivo said. “For custom or complicated projects they still like to deal personally with our sales and customer service reps. We’ll see what the future holds.”

SP2 Book1

Penn SP2

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.


Rocksteady Logistics

When the Time is Right

Adam Griscom saw an opportunity coming and he needed to act. He was running Rocksteady Transport, a regional trucking company in South Jersey, when he started hearing rumblings about Amazon opening a large fulfillment facility in the Philadelphia area. If the rumblings were true, tons of additional shipments would be flooding into the area with product that would need to be received, offloaded, transported, stored and fulfilled. Adam thought the timing could be perfect to expand his trucking business into a complete logistics company. Already armed with his fleet of tractors, straight trucks and sprinters, Adam obtained warehouse space with vital rail access, expanded his team and was ready to knock on doors to look for business. All he needed was an identity for his new venture, RockSteady Logistics.

Looking for a Vendor

Adam needed a new logo, a website and printed materials to promote RockSteady Logistics. He reached out to some local designers for information, researched online options for creating business logos and examined the pricing and services he was being offered. Something was missing though. The options he had didn’t seem to be comprehensive solutions.

Finding a Partner

Adam knew Perfect’s VP of Creative Strategies, so he reached out to see if maybe Perfect could help RockSteady. We talked with Adam about his needs and offered to spend some time with him to understand the new business. We agreed that Adam needed a new identity, but he also needed to give thought to delivering the right message to prospective customers and establishing his unique value. Perfect could help him do that as part of the process to create RockSteady’s new image. Since Perfect’s costs would be in line with the other options he had, Adam decided to work with us because of the interest we took in understanding the idea and purpose behind RockSteady. Instead of working like a vendor, Perfect was interested in being a partner.

  • Learning Logistics

    Perfect scheduled a meeting with Adam to kick off the project. We conducted research before the meeting to learn about the regional logistics industry and then spent the kickoff meeting asking questions about the history of Rocksteady Transport, Adam’s objectives for RockSteady Logistics and how he thought he would fit in the regional logistics market. After a follow up meeting to get answers to a few final questions, Perfect went to work.

    The logo was first. After presenting Adam with a few concepts and making a few revisions, Perfect hit on a logo and color scheme that Adam and his team loved. With the visual foundation built, Perfect’s web partner developed the RockSteady Logistics website and Perfect created business cards for Adam and his team.

    We also developed a promotional card that Adam’s truck drivers could hand out to customers to announce RockSteady’s new services. The “driver card” idea grew out of discussions about RockSteady’s customer service and sales processes. Perfect thought it was vital to leverage existing customer touch points—deliveries and pickups—to introduce the new services and create some personal interaction with potential logistics customers.

    With the launch materials ready and the website live, Adam and his team started looking for business.

  • Business Booms

    Within months of launch, RockSteady was at full capacity and looking for new warehouse space. The company doubled the amount of space it started with. It was receiving and storing motorcycles and building products, and providing short-term monthly storage for product that needed to move in and out of its warehouse quickly. RockSteady successfully leveraged its rail access by serving multiple distributors in the food industry. Based on its early success, RockSteady expanded its levels of service to include “white glove” service, “hotshot” deliveries and “final mile” deliveries.

    “Our work with Perfect gave us the confidence to succeed,” Adam said. “The confidence came from the professional image they helped us create. That confidence allowed us to grow fast. Our employees are so proud to see our logo on our t-shirts, our trailers and our tractors.”