In today’s increasingly evolving print/imaging technology industry, it is of the utmost importance to know what to look for, avoid, and what questions to ask when selecting your next technology partner.
One of the most essential and overlooked areas an organization can face is properly evaluating their prospective partners. For decades, the print industry profits revolved around placement and volume. As technology has continued to evolve, manufactures and dealers alike were faced with a decision; adapt and embrace the coming change or stick to the status quo. With print volumes decreasing at increasing rates, the industry has seen a significant decrease in revenue and profit. During this time, many companies were reluctant to invest in the technology and service resources needed to support their clients. This obstacle can be remedied when choosing an organization that embraced the evolution to sustain efficiency and growth.
Technology partners that have embraced this change can bring an immense amount of value to your organization. These companies can show you how to better communicate and collaborate with customers, prospects, vendors, and colleagues to increase efficiency. New technologies will allow you to automate processes that ultimately give your employees more time to focus on their core business responsibilities.
Here are questions to consider when selecting your next print & imaging technology partner:
- Has the firm you’re considering working with diversified their business model?
- What resources do they offer outside of print? How can they validate this question?
An excellent way to measure this is around their support personnel and current customer base.
- How many dedicated specialists do they have to support their solutions software?
- How many of their clients utilize the solutions software and platforms they offer? Be sure to ask for references and reach out to those references.
Whether you realize it or not, security should be at the top of the list in all your future partnership considerations.
- What enhanced levels of security does your potential partner offer?
- What security measurables can your prospective partner provide?
Always look for ways that technology can improve business processes.
- What areas of your business can be optimized by process improvement?
- Can the prospective partner establish an ROI for the investment?
Be cautious, “process and workflow improvement” have become buzzwords in this industry. Very few companies have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to execute an impactful implementation. Be sure to request multiple case studies from their existing customer base and reach out to those customers to validate you are with the right partner.
If you are with a partner who can answer these questions and, most importantly, invests the time to understand your unique processes and challenges, you are headed in the right direction. Function4 would be excited to be part of this process when the time is appropriate for your organization.