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Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM
Advertorial by Oce Printing Systems USA, Inc.
Change is a part of business success in the 21st century. And the digital revolution of the past few years has set the stage for profitable change in the future. “No matter how you look at it, it's all about change,” observes Guy Broadhurst, manager of product marketing, Océ Printing Systems USA, Inc. (Boca Raton, FL). “Coping with that change is crucial to whatever comes next. Some change is taking place at every facet of the process, from information input, through preparation to printing, finishing and distribution. Everyone will be affected.”
Part of that change is driven by “convergence,” an ongoing evolution shift in the marketplace. Within the printing industry there is a renewed focus on maximizing productivity and efficiency. And commercial printers are looking for ways to optimize their capabilities to reach new markets, reduce operational expenses and improve equipment utilization. Convergence fuels the engines that drive change by merging previously separate functions or processes to achieve economies of scale, increase efficiency and productivity, and add value in the communications channel.
For example, the arrival of a monochrome digital print engine in a traditional print shop is a clear form of convergence because it is doubtless taking jobs that would previously have run on an offset press or duplicator. Charlie Corr, director of on-demand printing and publishing at CAP Ventures (Norwell, MA), sees convergence in both applications and technology. “Applications that were once strictly for data centers and transaction processing have become more graphic,” he notes. “They use photos and illustrations and are starting to be run on color printers. At the same time, graphic-arts applications have plug-ins and extensions to handle variable content.” The technology that drives today's print engines allows the same machine to be used in a variety of applications and environments.
For the commercial printer, convergence offers opportunities to grow business and attain the holy grail of profitability. Adding value — such as including marketing messages in invoices and statements — can increase revenue and deepen customer relationships. Mixing offset with digital enables documents to be managed and produced on the most appropriate type of device. And production printing linked to distribution enables printing to be done in multiple locations, increasing productivity and optimizing equipment usage.
With the convergence of information and printing, the greatest value of a printed page comes from the uniqueness of the data it contains. Because those higher-value pages result in higher profit margins, printers with data-handling skills will be more profitable. Printers who embrace these changes will be able to attract new business because of added or enhanced capabilities. And perhaps almost as important, they can manage existing business better through greater responsiveness, higher efficiency, new services and unique capabilities.
These changes will affect the way print providers relate to their customers. Because customers' business needs have become more complex, print providers need to have a deeper understanding of them. It is no longer a matter of how many copies of the brochure a client needs but whether it should be provided as an indexed PDF version or as a hyperlinked file for a website. Print providers must have these capabilities as part of their service portfolio.
In building the infrastructure to address information convergence, printers must carefully consider their hardware and software choices, while building partnerships with vendors and utilizing consulting services that ensure appropriate solutions that meet clients' needs.
There are already products on the market that help commercial printers move forward.
Océ offers complete solutions that encompass hardware and software products, partnerships and alliances with other vendors, and consulting services to ensure high levels of productivity, efficiency and versatility. This means Océ is working to help commercial printers reduce the total cost of ownership by providing faster print engines, software that supports current and future market strategies, and reduction of an array of costs to drive more revenue to the bottom line.
Through its own unique technologies, coupled with secure partnerships and alliances, Océ Printing Systems enables commercial printers to manage their production processes from creation to distribution to archiving. And Océ sees convergence as an evolutionary change in the printing industry. Convergence is an ongoing shift to future flows of information, and will be the key driver in maintaining a competitive advantage. In this scenario, Océ offers a complete array of customizable, upgradable, productive and flexible solutions to meet today's demands and tomorrow's opportunities.
To learn more about convergence in the graphic-arts industry and what it means to your bottom line, ask for a copy of “Convergence and the Document” from Océ Printing Systems by contacting Gretchen DeWeese Kowalcyk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPONSORED BY OCÉ PRINTING SYSTEMS USA, INC.