Printers urged to think beyond technology
Success in digital printing is not about owning the right technology, but using that technology to help customers develop their businesses and grow profit.
This is the view of UK-based printer and IQ Global industry consultant Tony Kenton, who is in SA for the local leg of the international Xerox Innovate06 road show.
The road show, hosted locally by Bytes Document Solutions, is aimed at educating commercial printers and creative people in allied industries about the business opportunities enabled by the latest printing technology.
"Digital printing presents one of the greatest opportunities for printers to partner with customers to drive profitability through customisation, personalisation, and workflow integration," Kenton told commercial printers in Midrand last Friday.
Kenton says the maturity of digital printing technology means the industry will inevitably move towards information management and business development. He urged printers to engage with technology companies to help adapt existing business models to a more digital world.
"Printers will have to enter a different market to survive and success will no longer be measured in terms of print quality, but in terms of the results achieved for the customer`s business," he said.
According to Kenton, customisation is the future and personalisation enabled by digital printing is an important element of that.
Trials have shown that well thought out personalised advertising achieves a five times greater success rate and a three times higher return on investment than ads that contain no elements of personalisation.
"Personalisation is one of the many ways printers can use digitalisation to broaden their offerings to market and generate renewable income through value-added services, which is where the money is," he says.
Kenton also says high volume, velocity, and value should be a key strategy for driving profit for printers and customers in future. However, he says this will require changes in the way printers do business and how they approach customers.
"Although digital and traditional litho printing are still complementary and will co-exist for some time to come, digital printing is here to stay and requires a new approach that is focused on integration with business processes to grow profitability," he said.