For over 30 years, the DCC Kästl print shop in the Stuttgart area has been one of the leading providers in digital printing. In order to offer its customers greater convenience and faster processing, and also to successfully acquire new customers throughout Germany, DCC Kästl recently opened its own Open Shop for online ordering. Based on technology from CloudLab, the company's first own web-to-print store, "Druckhäusle", went online a good three months ago. Further closed stores for existing customers will follow shortly.

Nikolai Kästl

“CloudLab solutions have given us the chance to automate all the handling processes, and that is ultimately the key to success for any print shop. Put simply, I need to grow as a print service provider so that I can reap the benefits of automation. And with CloudLab, we have found a strong partner with whom to successfully achieve this goal.”

The Project

A Convincing Live Demo

In the course of evaluating a suitable editor, the company reviewed ten offers from various providers. While most offered their solution as a pure software-as-a-service model with fixed monthly costs, the CloudLab solution required an initial investment. "Of course, at first we were reluctant to make a financial advance here, but then we had the first live demo and saw how much effort was put into it, so the financial 'advance' is absolutely justified. We were so enthusiastic about this solution that we immediately shelved all other options," says Nikolai Kästl, looking back with a smile. One of the most important reasons for choosing the CloudLab solution was the intuitive printQ Editor with its uncomplicated personalization options and the fact that the entire system is based on Magento. "We were thrilled with how easy printQ ultimately is to use. In combination with Magento, this solution also has the great advantage that we are not restricted to the specially programmed system as with other providers, but have every possibility to make our store a real one-off. We can make use of a variety of extensions that have not been programmed by CloudLab, but by third-party providers. Here, CloudLab takes a great approach in my eyes, and for our requirements, this concept was optimal. For example, we can introduce a bonus system at any time. All we have to do is select an appropriate extension, have it installed by CloudLab and checked for functionality with our website, and within a week our customers have established their own bonus system. I don't know of any other provider who could implement this so quickly and easily," says Nikolai Kästl, describing his experience. 


Going Live Successfully in Just a Few Months

Talk about fast and uncomplicated: The conception and development of the company's own online web store also proved to be impressively fast and smooth. Unlike most print stores, the team at DCC Kästl decided during the conception phase to initially enter the market with an open store instead of first launching closed stores for its existing customers. The decision was made around seven months ago, and the Druckhäusle web-to-print store has been online for around three months. The fact that the implementation could take place so promptly and quickly was certainly also due to the fact that two people at DCC Kästl were specifically entrusted with setting up the new store and the necessary additional programming was carried out quickly by the CloudLab team. At present, the range of products on offer at Druckhäusle, not including the many configuration options, amounts to around 40 plus the various papers and inks as a multiplier - and the trend is upwards. Nikolai Kästl emphasizes that you have to take time to develop the web store in a differentiated and detailed way and clarify in advance who the target group is, how you want to appear and what the message is. Implementing this in design, color and font takes time, but this is ultimately well invested, as it creates a completely new sales channel.

And This is Just The Beginning ...  

Even after going live with Druckhäusle, the journey is far from over for Siegmar and Nikolai Kästl. The company plans to establish four to five more open stores with different goals over the next two to three years. In order to make the configuration of individual print jobs super easy, even for non-designers, DCC Kästl relies on the CloudLab Template Gallery. Thanks to the numerous templates for various industries that it contains, the Template Gallery allows each customer to design their business cards and letterheads in an appealing way. For Nikolai Kästl, this feature is a real game changer, as the large number of templates and the simple editing process make the creation of printed matter child's play. An important aspect of creating an online presence is, of course, the online marketing. Here, DCC Kästl relies primarily on content marketing from Google Ads to acquire new customers. Additionally, existing customers should also be able to benefit from faster order processing and more favorable printing conditions, which is why they are now also gradually being introduced to Druckhäusle if their order structure allows this. "The time saving aspect of closed stores is particularly advantageous for existing customers. When they use Druckhäusle, customers have to reconfigure their product or upload their file every time, even if it's the same one. Print jobs that require ten steps with Druckhäusle can be generated in just two steps in the closed store. I can also set up approval guidelines so that, for instance, employees can put in an order too and all their supervisor has to do is approve it," says Nikolai Kästl, summing up the advantages for existing customers.

Automation Also Requires Entrepreneurial Growth 

"By generating the individual print jobs online, we naturally also benefit from the associated automation - from invoicing and payment to dunning. Customers suffer no disadvantages as a result; they can naturally still call us any time and we will be there to help and advise them as always," emphasizes Nikolai Kästl. "The way we are set up at the moment, Druckhäusle is used for simple print orders, while project business continues to be handled over the phone and via e-mail. We have some existing customers whose orders ultimately cannot be fulfilled via Druckhäusle. We want to integrate these in the future via our closed shops from our Druckhäusle as a simple SAP connection." Looking at the future order structure, Nikolai Kästl expects that in two years' time around 30% of customers will continue to use the classic structure, a further 30-40% of customers will be handled via closed shops in the B2B sector, and the rest will be generated via the open shop.

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