KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 – Singapore’s premier printing service provider, ExpressPrint, which is expanding its services to the Malaysian market, recently unveiled its artificial intelligence (AI) based software, PriceCal, said to offer a revolutionary tool for the print industry.
Recent market shifts due to the pandemic have seen printing industry players struggle to carve out a market for themselves and keep their businesses afloat and this is where the AI-driven smart price calculation software of PriceCal has been designed to help printers automate and digitalise the ordering process, a press statement from ExpressPrint said.
Explaining the development of the PriceCal, ExpressPrint founder Welson Ang was quoted saying: “Having been in the printing industry for the past 17 years, we understand the pain points faced by printing companies at a very personal level.
“From the shortage of manpower to the lack of space, and the cost required for maintenance, we’ve seen them all. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the industry greatly not only in terms of customer flow but also in the manner in which business is conducted. Through PriceCal, we not only effectively remove some of the biggest obstacles in the industry, but we also equip service providers with intuitive, unintrusive, and future-proof solutions all with the aim of substantially increasing the print industry user’s revenue.”
Designed by printers for printers, PriceCal was developed as a quick and easy tool to instantly ramp up business capabilities and capacities, all the while unlocking the company’s potential through connecting printing companies with other players in the industry, while offering customers greater engagement possibilities and optimisation of cost and pricing structures.
Beyond increasing customer bases across the nation through an improved digital experience, PriceCal will be able to also expand the list of services and products printers can offer.
PriceCal is able to achieve this by connecting smaller-scale printers to larger-scale wholesalers that are able to offer the additional services and solutions that would conventionally be infeasible for smaller-scale players.
Through this, printers will be able to offer more than 60 different print products and services, leveraging the tools, machinery and expertise of leading wholesalers to increase customer variety, thereby addressing the aforementioned overspending and underearning issues, which will lead to higher earnings – as much as RM100,000 in revenue.
Further on the printing industry, Welson said two major issues were highly prevalent – that of overspending and underearning.
“Many printing companies are limited by machinery. Not only are printing machines expensive but skilled workers are also needed to operate them. They also require huge spaces which mean increased rental cost. These cost companies hundreds of thousands in revenue. This is before we even take into account the constraints of a physical set-up – the limited operating hours, dwindling physical footfall at smaller print shops due to health concerns and digitalisation as well as a change in print demands and consumer behaviour that have all added up to losses in revenues.”
PriceCal is able to seamlessly integrate with the majority of eCommerce websites and comes pre-loaded with costing data from major wholesalers in Malaysia and Singapore allowing printers to easily standardise and optimise sale prices. It also comes equipped with a smart profit algorithm module that enables users to easily set up profit margins for products and services, Welson said.
“We initially built PriceCal with our tech partners Cymric Studio and Entreship Solution Enterprise as an in-house solution to connect us with wholesalers and partners. As early adopters of the online space, we received monetary support for the initial development of the software from E2I, the leading network for employability solutions in Singapore.
“During the course of the pandemic, we decided to develop a commercial version to benefit all printers. During the course of the pandemic, we decided to develop a commercial version to benefit all printers. After more than 5,000 hours of development over the past 17 years, along with multiple bug fixes, optimisation efforts, and security features implementations, we believe that the software is now ready to be utilised by printers across the industry to benefit their individual businesses as well as the industry as a whole.
“While always present, not many printing companies seize the opportunity to grow. We want to be the catalyst for the growth and prosperity of this industry,” added Welson.
PriceCal made its debut at the International Printing, Paper, Packaging Machinery Exhibition (IPMEX) 2022 held in August at the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Established in 2005 by Welson Ang, ExpressPrint started off initially printing business cards, documents, and rubber stamps, alongside offering simple artwork services. The brand soon grew into one of Singapore’s main printing service providers.
Today, aside from typical printing services, the company also prints on textiles, gifts, and large format standees and buntings for more than 120,000 customers.