Web-to-Print in Package Printing
Web-to-print for packaging is a tool that can help printers meet longer term growth objectives.October 2012 By Jean-Marie Hershey
Web-to-print (W2P) refers broadly to the practice of doing print business using a variety of Web-based tools (homegrown and otherwise) that promote print providers' tighter integration and closer collaboration with customers. With the growing application of digital technology in the packaging industry, commercial print providers increasingly have sought to expand their W2P offerings into packaging applications.
Generally speaking, W2P for packaging describes the combination of Internet-enabled solutions with flexible production aimed at reducing costs, administrative overhead, and obsolete inventory, while delivering relevant brand messages timed for maximum market impact. W2P applications are especially useful in handling the personalization and distribution of packaging materials in niche markets.
Essential elements of most W2P applications for packaging include e-procurement via electronic storefront, online database management, electronic file submission and file management, online template design, email proofing, automatic preflighting, online job tracking, and additional workflow automation—all designed to enable brand owners to manage their brands conveniently and securely.
Applying technology advances
Central Florida Press (CFP) in Orlando is a G7 Master-qualified printer and one of the largest, multi-faceted commercial printers in the southeastern U.S. Founded in 1983, it became a division of The MATLET Group, an NMSDC Corporate Plus® group of large Certified Minority Business Enterprises in 2005. The Group provides general commercial and folding carton packaging printing and services to Fortune 100 customers nationwide. Headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., The MATLET Group also owns Packaging Graphics in Pawtucket and NOVA Marketing Services, a St. Louis-based fulfillment division.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, CFP has taken advantage of select technological advances that have changed the printing industry, including the creation of proprietary automated systems such as Web-to-print, to significantly reduce production time. Earlier this year the company installed a Bobst diecutting machine for paper and/or board products, and recently placed an order for a HP Indigo digital press that will enable The MATLET Group businesses to produce both commercial and folding carton digital printing, which the company views as a growth area. Both investments will eliminate the company's reliance on outsourcing digital work.