Wondering what to do to revitalize your print shop in the wake of this pandemic?  Don’t worry – you’re not alone. A friend who owns her own Marketing and PR business told me the other day that she has recently also turned into a therapist for her clients by listening to their many concerns in these uncertain times. The good news she shared was that most of her clients are not drastically cutting their marketing and PR spend like they did during the last recession. However, many of these same clients do not know what to do to help their businesses recover.
I’ve heard a myriad of reactions from print service providers. Some are waiting to see what happens; others have made decisions based on a gut feeling; some have worked through the exact opposite process with analysis-paralysis. Some have taken action by pivoting their business to serve in new post-Covid ways while others use the decision-making choice of ‘because we’ve always done it this way’ which truly makes me cringe. As we’re all working to rebuild our livelihoods and businesses, now – more than ever – it’d be disastrous to try to rebuild our “new normal” based on hoping things work out or because it’s always been done that way.
Okay, I admit that this may seem an overly simplistic statement, but it makes the point: how many times have you been in a business meeting where somebody says, ‘well we really hoped that…’? Hope is not a strategy. Especially now. Businesses need a solid, actionable plan with defensible insights to make impactful decisions, resulting in the ability to course correct as the world changes and a “new normal” emerges.
According to Keypoint Intelligence’s new survey on NA Software Investment Survey 2020, nearly 75% of all businesses lack a single view of their operations. Print businesses do not have a real-time dashboard view that shows all the work the organization has in progress. Therefore, the ability to receive and exchange data across all operations and measure performance is not possible.
That begs the question: how can you manage your business without knowing what is happening? I was happy to see that at least 34% of respondents realize the importance of having this visibility into their operations and are actively looking for a solution! Success and tough decisions are not mutually exclusive. Every business owner needs to be able to defend their decision-making and show how they’ve optimized their investments based on performance. Simply put: if you can’t measure it, you can’t defend it.
All the keywords business-to-business (B2B) organizations use – automation, productivity, efficiency, sustainability – are just overused words that border on useless unless you have a way to measure your operation’s effectiveness. They mean nothing without a solution that informs about performance, strategic decision-making and provides visibility into your operations. For all the things we’ve been unable to control recently, you can have control over this with an easily integrated, vendor-neutral data-driven solution that can provide real-time information about your business to help you and your team make better business and operational decisions.
Visibility and smart decision-making are critical now, through the recovery and beyond.  Research indicates that print service providers that recognize opportunities early on and move decisively to capture them can outmaneuver competitors and grow.
At Ricoh, we work with a clear mission in mind – to help you thrive today and keep growing tomorrow.  Check out this video to learn more about how the right Print MIS system can play a critical role in providing the data you need to inform your decision-making, reduce waste and improve efficiency – measurably.