The Web to Print software being a front end system does not demand that marketers should necessarily outsource the W2P programs development. The option of purchasing an in house web to print solution is also possible, where companies own the solutions and merely outsource mailing and print production services. Companies often face the question of whether they should be insourcing or outsourcing the W2P interface . The answer to this question lies in a number of factors that should be considered, weighed and analyzed before making any final decision.
Infrastructure/Cost of W2P Interface
An in house W2P solution, depending on the level of complexity required, can cost anything in between $500 to $5000. Remember this price is associated with off the shelf solutions of W2P ASP or SaaS. Here it should be remembered that prices are continuously falling dramatically as new and rather inexpensive solutions are regularly being introduced in the market. If a company wishes to install a more complex proprietary system that offer greater levels of redundancy, permissions, firewalls, approval routing, sophisticated database management, etc, such a web-to-print software system may cost tens of thousands of dollars to set up an in-house system.
Staffing of W2P Interface
Web To Print solutions does not simply require being designed according to the needs and specifications of the company, they also need to be maintained regularly. If your company needs are rather demanding and complex, you will require installing a sophisticated system, which will demand ample staff whenever required to handle different functions and requirements. These may include programming of the system, template development and other related functions.
Security of Data
Security of data is paramount for certain organizations and depending upon the level of security you may require for your data, the complexity of the W2P software is chosen. Some companies may require protecting customer lists, personal information, accounts, etc, while others may need to consider issues such as Spam, data hacking, DDoS attacks, PCI Compliance, etc. Based on your requirement and its complexity, the web to print design software requirements will vary as well. In case your security requirement is simple and data requirements minimal, outsourcing your data security becomes easier.
Based on the level of tolerance a company has towards website downtime, decision of whether to outsource or insource the web2print platform can be taken. For some companies a small glitch in the interface can result in inconvenience or a little more, however for others 100% uptime is a critical issue. The decision of outsourcing your W2P interface depends on whether you are ready to trust your outsource vendor or want full control over the entire process.
Level of Required Redundancy
Whether a company chooses to opt for the services of web2print vendors or not, security of all critical marketing documents and information should always be protected, especially in case the information is created on the system itself. Based on the level of redundancy a company requires the choice of whether to outsource the W2P interface or to have it built in house can be made.
Level of Backup Required
Several outsourced best Web2Print solutions are more redundant and secure compared to the in house option. However if a company depends heavily on the “design online” function, as an added security measure, some marketers may want to download the files. In case of such a requirement it is recommended to ask your solution provider if such a service is allowed. Not all W2P solution allow downloading of files, while others use proprietary software that does not allow users to modify or even access original offline, when offline, even in case when files are downloadable.
Type of Workflow Experienced
Many W2P systems offer great flexibility levels and added functionality; however none is designed to handle all types of workflow and files. Analyze your needs related to workflow before making the outsourcing or in-house decision. What kind of workflow/s you need? Will it be and how many different sizes and kinds? Will it be on or a mix of both analog and digital orders? Will you require high volume of web to print production workflow to be accommodated by the system, etc. The larger the variety of services needed, the more complex and costly the system will require to be.
Output Print Processes
In case you plan to use the W2P system for a vast variety of projects, you will either use a printer for all the required output capabilities, or acquire the services of a marketing company which is print neutral, or in source the service so that controlling of multiple print relationships is made possible. Based on the variety you need, the greater the variety requirement, the more service providers you may want t use.
Required Print Work from the System
The greater the type of print work required using Web to Print extension services, the greater the variety of output options will be required. If you require simple newsletter, brochures, etc a single W2P service provider will satisfy your needs. If you however want the W2P system to handle everything multiple service providers will be needed.