Shelfware: Resellers Regret

What is Shelfware?

Software that is purchased, but rarely or never used and sits on the shelf as a reminder to research future purchases more thoroughly. 

The print and design sector is inundated with often expensive software and technology solutions that can do everything from assisting with your productivity to offering new products or services you can pitch to your clients. 

How can you tell what software is worth investing in and which would simply gather dust on the shelf?

How can you tell when a salesperson is lying? Their lips are moving

It’s the role of the salesperson to sell subscriptions and licences, because of this they will often tell you what you want to hear in order to get the sale and possibly offer limited time promotions to close the deal.

Typically they have little incentive to make sure that product is right for you as once you’ve signed up they move onto their next lead.

Before committing is the time to test and challenge them thoroughly regarding the potential purchase.

What common pitfalls apply in the graphics and print sector?

The further you move away from what you know the harder it can be to make the desired impact. To make the best decisions you need to take into account:

  • The initial startup cost plus ongoing/recurring fees?
  • Are you tied into a long term agreement?
  • Guaranteed ROI or what savings /efficiencies will it make?
  • What is the potential maximum ROI?
  • Will your team buy into the decision to purchase?
  • Researched examples of like minded businesses who have a success story.
  • Do you have the skill sets within your team to make the most out of the software?
  • Are you dependent on one technical person in the team to make use of the software and if they leave will it create problems?
  • How easy will it plug into your existing set up (make sure you’re certain from a technical standpoint that it can be integrated in existing systems, rather than having to adapt your own to fit)?
  • What is the timeframe for further additional functionality?
  • What is the process for terminating the agreement?

At a time when the print sector has felt the full force of the lockdowns, never has it been more important to do your due diligence.

Build it and they will NOT come

Relying too heavily on a new, fancy system, can remove or shift focus from your core offerings and you take your eye off the ball from what you’re good at. Meaning, when using new techniques or software, it should always be from the mindset of enhancing your main offering, or helping to achieve the vision of the company, rather than becoming another facet/product of the business that needs to be supported.

Expensive mistakes 

We’re constantly in touch with print resellers who are always looking at ways to take their business forward and keep their costs low.

Making a decision to implement new software usually takes up a lot of resources (time and money). Simply; know your competencies. Make sure new systems can fit your current workflow. That doesn’t mean just your existing systems, but also the skill set within your team. Does buying this new system fit require someone to retrain or spend extra time on it? Or even, having to hire some new to maintain it

At a time where COVID has hit the print and design sector hard, it’s more important than ever to examine all purchases and outgoing expenses. This is something we regularly do at Helloprint Connect, are we using the most suitable MIS, email, preflight software we can source but maybe we’ve had to kiss a few frogs to find our prince.

Our team has vast experience with software solutions and are in constant communication with resellers up and down the country. Contact Paul and the Connect team as we’re always happy to share our experiences.

Stay safe print friends.