I have been working with a client over the last few weeks and in particular their technical department who are focused on web to print builds, coding and all of those good things….or as described to me by someone else in the business, “the bunch of geeks who hang out in the office at the end of the room.”
It was interesting how little the traditional print side of the business knew or cared about what went on in that room. The reality is that these innovative technology led solutions will have to become the driving force behind print businesses in the future if they hope to expand and generate a profitable income from printed products. Its therefore really strange (well, not really considering general sales mentality) that most print sales people have not engaged themselves in the tech side of the business, preferring to rely on selling a product rather than solutions that drive web based automated platforms to output print.
I sat down with Phil the “head geek” and brainstormed potential ideas and solutions that could be easily adapted for different markets. It was a revelation the amount we could come up with, which could be applied to marketing materials, packaging transactional, print and DM. What became clear is the opportunity is vast and largely untapped and to fully exploit it you need a technical mindset to specify the solution and a print mindset to understand how it will drive the right type of printed output for the business. For all print providers success in the future will be about how they can integrate technology and cross media applications to drive profitable print. It is missing the point to look at things from just a technical perspective no matter how sexy that might be; providing technology that outputs PDF files rather than printed pages is not going to help a printers bottom line.
The answer is technology solutions have to drive print, so get your heads together with the geeks at the end of your room (or find yourself some geeks elsewhere) and start sharing ideas……a few strange habits maybe, but they’re not a bad bunch.
Neil Falconer – Print Tribe