Whether you print digitally or are a screen printer, the process of workflow automation requires attention

We see an increasing cohort of printers harnessing web-to-print solutions either built by themselves and their own coding teams or by connecting to a service such as Amazon Merch. There are many tools available from developers, and some of them are extremely polished. The MCP (mass customisation platform) by Cimpress, owners of Vistaprint, offers the opportunity to add a host of new products to your inventory without producing a single item in-house in return for a sales commission. In the case of Amazon Merch, a typical income of £5.20 per T-shirt selling at £19.99 can be achieved based on DTG prints made on Kornit Avalanche machines. This system provides a full platform by which you just upload the design content and select from a decent range of garments.

If you’re thinking of creating your own platform, take a look at Enfocus Switch with its app store full of APIs. It allows you to build a perfectly customised platform by interconnecting your existing software such as Office, Adobe CC and whatever accounts system you prefer. The start point is to map out the desired workflow and be clear that it offers your clients the right quality of experience. Nintex is another software automation/integration system that is worth looking at. While it sounds easy, you’ll need programming and coding skills to create these solutions, but if you know your audience and achieve a good fit on price and product marketing, you’ll have the chance to see orders coming in 24/7 without having to manually process each one individually. Automation is all around us; it really is worth gaining a better understanding of how it affects your market.

Graeme Richardson-Locke is technical support manager at Fespa, a global federation of national associations for the screen printing, digital printing and textile printing community. If you have a question for Fespa, please email editorial@images- magazine.com with ‘Fespa’ in the subject line.