Last month we read an interesting article by Jennifer Matt (whattheythink.com) on the need for change management when adopting Web-to-Print. It rang a lot of bells for some of the challenges that can face our resellers and print room teams when introducing a new way of working.
The way we’ve always done it
Web-to-Print is increasingly an established technology within the print sector. In a 2015 InfoTrends study, software preferences of many printers revealed that they consider Web-to-Print their top investment, with over 53% currently using Web-to-Print software, and over 30% intending to purchase it in the future. Many of our own customers have long recognised the benefits of the Skyline solution. However, whilst the print room may be comfortable with this new technology, recognising the time & resource savings, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their own users will acknowledge the advantages! Matt says:
“The transition from “the way we’ve always done it” to the new way we’re going to do it now that involves technology inevitably is a difficult road to travel.”
This is a scenario we recognise. We often hear the refrain “but that is not the way we do things here”. Users may have developed historic ways of working with the print room. Indeed, these ways of working can differ from department to department and even from person to person. Imagine the administration this can incur. Despite this, there can be a real fear of losing a ‘personal service’ or a ‘familiar process’. It feels uncomfortable to change or to admit that there might be a better way.
The process of transition
Web-to-Print truly benefits everyone involved in the adoption but users need to be supported through this transition. The print room are addressing the business need to adopt new approaches to better distribute and control printed material. They have explored and understood the way in which such technology can not only broaden the horizons for the print room but also drive an even higher standard of customer experience and service. These are all messages that need time to reach their user base: Matt says:
“This leadership is not a motivational speech, it is a consistent reinforcement of the new direction….. The transition is a process that needs to be reinforced over and over and over “
This process of reinforcement is about continual communication and consistency of message on the benefits of a Skyline solution. This can be through organisational talks, demonstrations, internal communications and through the editable Skyline Storefront and user communications themselves. Human nature means that at first you may find resistance! Initially users can look for difficulties or reasons why the new process doesn’t work for them. Matt suggests we don’t get caught up in limitations rather than the possibilities. Instead focus on reiteration of benefits and support with training if required.
Prophets of the new way
Short term this might feel like hard work but long term the business will reap the benefits. As Matt says:
“it is the path to the other side (adoption)…. Don’t be shocked when those super-resistors turn into the prophets of the new way.”