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Must-see technology from PRINT 09

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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This year's Must See ‘ems Technology and Product Selection Committee declared a first-place tie — between information technology (IT), management information systems (MIS), and web to print (W2P) software — as the underpinnings of computer-centric manufacturing as well as the hub of the business side of print.

The committee found that while emerging software provided the ability to harvest more data, turning that data into useful action items was lagging. While most printers were found to have some form of MIS, many systems were very basic and, in a large number of instances, even top-of-the-line systems were rarely utilized to their full capabilities.

“The analysis surfaced an industry problem of growing criticality,” the committee reports. “Few print operations have the necessary knowledge and range of software skills beyond the operational basics to fully and effectively implement the range of technologies available that can provide for efficient operations, diversification, and the opportunity to prosper in a changing industry. While there are some outstanding exceptions, most printers lack the software analytical skills necessary in a computer-centric environment.”

Variable-data printing — selected as the fourth most important and compelling technology — received 19 combined “Must See ‘ems” and “Worth-a-Look” product recognition awards. Digital printing was closely followed by workflow in the fifth spot. Color management and cross-media producton tied for sixth place, and the use of automated equipment to speed production and reduce costs came next. Customer relationship management and preflighting completed the committee's selections.

Download a PDF detailing the complete list of winners at