#Think!Paper Edition 1, Volume 6
By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | Original German Version (Note: The translation was automatically done by xeroxtranslates.com)
“I remember the print business in the night, then I can’t sleep anymore!“ — I would have also approved this statement formulated based on night thoughts by Heinrich Heine until recently. But: Thought and check helps. And it succeeds with a multi perspectival #Think!Paper vision.
To bring the trends reliably, it is not easy.
One thinks first of high-profile measurement via tradeshows. But: For example the highlights of topics, as well as the nomenclature of Messe Düsseldorf for the drupa as a worldwide leading trade fair of the print industry are naturally constructs, to attract as many and new exhibitors.
Fairs offers therefore do not fully reflect the relevant trends that characterise the print industry.
As well, the common market research and trend reports not leading target, are effective as an indicator of future investment behavior of established printing companies there always readily applied, speculative, and no more than.
The print industry is always innovation-driven. At the time, it was always to the enrichment and enhancement of the existing possibilities. Today everything is different. And above all no longer linear. A rethink is imperative:
- Disruptive renewal of pre-media processes (template-free), with the aim of flexible and in real time to be able to print data of any kind.
- Smart print production: automation of processes from printing the delivery up to the go-to-market of printers, including digital supply chain management.
- #hyperpersonalization Blockchain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and media across dialogical communication scenarios.
The top issue, at the latest since the existence of digital printing, is the business model change for printers. There are two major developments:
- Polarization in the services market – smart factories (with focused portfolio/commodity offers) vs. High-tech manufacturers (with myriad niche applications and highest innovation). But beware: Both areas fertilize or interpenetrate each other, such as in an iterative cycle. Best to understand, when you see how CIMPRESS developed.
- Custom configuration of modular composed, ubiquitous production equipment. –Example: CADIS engineering.
The trends in the use of relevant technologies assign three essential aspects:
- Unbelievable, but true: The market for print solutions (technology + production + commercial) is greater than commonly portrayed many times. The ecosystem printing industry is broad and is a three-digit billions alone in Germany. (Note: the exact numbers are set forth in the trade magazine printing market).
- Almost 2/3 of the total revenues generated by a few hundred industrialized printing factories.
- Growth areas are proving to be doing differently than previously forecast to: E.g. for inkjet printing are up on book printing in the substitution of Offsetproduktionen, but above all in the toner printing systems. Important: ‘Inkjet-to-Go’ inspires new applications outside of the print industry, directly from their customers.
A new orientation requires the success in the business of print and print using, driven by the creativity and courage. This, it is important to distinguish:
- An elaborate market research that focuses only on investments in hard – and software, to venture guesses based and relevant requirements of the market does not see.
- Events of all kinds, which are vertically oriented, speak almost monolithic on the manufacturer issues and relate the use of their products.
- Persistently insufficient, no longer contemporary industry communication, which all too often hawked misperceptions and this causes confusion.
- Focus on new forms of go-to market of printing companies, touting the benefits of print for the digital age, and no longer the processing techniques for the production of print.
- Pro active, social, business-driven discourse with potential new clients that already have come to pass on the digital transformation journey and for the print can become the ‘hidden champion’.
- More experiments and pioneering venture, break rules and through relevant content and good stories inspired by a change of perspective on a broad front and fascinate.
About the author
Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation for the digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 150 countries worldwide.