Binary Graphics, Inc.

Realistic Web Based Business Opportunities
for Commercial Printers

by Viagra online usa pharmacy, Binary Graphics, Inc. Seattle
© 1997 Binary Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Originally appeared in Canadian Printer Magazine

Everyone acknowledges the web as one of the more significant events in recent history. Like the discovery of gunpowder, we know it will change things but we're not sure how. Experiments are underway at most plants while printers busily try to figure out how they should use it. This article will help you look beyond the obvious and gain better perspective into your web involvement.

Your web initiative will probably consist of up to three different aspects: PROMOTION to make your distinguishing differences obvious to prospects visiting your website. WEB PRODUCTION to help clients leverage existing materials in new ways using the web. PROCESS AUTOMATION to get closer to your customers, increase efficiency and facilitate compelling new services. I suggest you develop a plan to address all three within one year of posting your first company website.

PROMOTING your company through a website is most people's first venture into cyberspace but be careful, the standard website-as-brochure is already passé. Use your website to highlight the unique aspects of your company. Share weekly success stories to spark ideas and show how you go the extra mile. Every sales person, estimator and planner should use e-mail to develop closer relationships with clients. This first aspect of your web initiative is inexpensive and you already have all the people and equipment to make it happen. Just don't stop there.

WEB PRODUCTION is a revenue generating opportunity for commercial printers. But let me be clear: I am not talking about simple web page creation. That's your customers business and you shouldn't compete with them. (About 33% of the designers I talk to are doing web page creation now and most of the rest are gearing up. Ask your customers.) You can fill a critical need helping them turn their web pages into advanced websites. They need you to provide database interfaces, CGI scripting, electronic commerce tools, ActiveX and Java programming. You should also operate your own web servers to host customer sites and tightly integrate these services into your production workflow. This second aspect of your web initiative will require 4-5 additional staff, about $US30,000 of equipment and about $US2,500 of monthly telecommunications and internet connectivity charges. Website programming and hosting may not be for every printer but innovators that go this direction will extend their vitality and their value to the creative companies they serve.

This will require 2 programmers, a system administrator and a project manager. Hire experienced programmers from local schools or technical colleges. The system administrator will manage and operate the web server, set-up new accounts and maintain existing websites. In addition to keeping projects on track, the project manager should work with sales, estimating and accounts receivable staffs bringing them up to speed. The workflow will include client contact, proof and revise cycles, an on-going flow of data from your clients and ongoing maintenance of the websites. Fee structures often include project rates for development work and monthly fees for website hosting and maintenance.

Hardware requirements consist of staff workstations, a web server and networking gear. Overbuy on all this equipment and be ready to expand. Network this group to the prepress department for file transfers. Your full-time "upstream link" to the internet needs to be fast. (A T1 is a typical connection.) Select your internet service provider carefully and talk to their clients about reliability of service before you sign-up. (Your reputation is based on the quality of their service.)

The third aspect of your web initiative, PROCESS AUTOMATION, is where you can save money and become more efficient. See what A&a Printing in Menlo Park California is doing in this area. ( They've created a web based information gathering system for estimating, job tracking and scheduling functions and offer a job upload facility. While this has necessitated custom programming in the past, packaged software is emerging. Luminous Corporation ( has developed a program called PrintersWeb. It facilitates quotations and job input by interfacing a web page to a database in your shop and it integrates with the Adobe Virtual Network for production file submissions. It allows clients to check job status and it serves as a communications conduit between your clients and staff. You can run this with the same staff and equipment you use for web production so the incremental costs are slight. If you are not doing web production, you will still need much of the same equipment; in that case give the operational responsibility to your existing prepress staff.

The web is here to stay. The printing and publishing industry has entered an age of coexistence that spells opportunity for those willing to participate. Those plants that can leverage and expand their expertise will be the leaders of tomorrow.

Buy xenical in ireland

Buy Xenical In Ireland
79-100 stars based on