For many print service providers (PSPs), our report, Creating Customer Value, was an eye-opener. We discovered that 75% of brand marketers want their PSPs to be more consultative, but less than 20% are fulfilling their needs. The PSPs we have spoken to confirm what a pressing issue this is – and it’s certainly one that requires a 360° look at the way they operate, to identify the investments that will give them space to nurture these critical relationships and power growth. For these businesses, it’s all about opening the door to opportunity, but so often that door is barricaded shut by the restrictions of their current technology.
We know that way too many print business owners are concerned about the reliability, quality, complexity and other potential limitations of their devices. These very legitimate concerns, sadly, obscure the pressing matter of how to add the extra value that their customers desire. In short: it can be really hard to get beyond physical day-to-day operations in order to map a clear route to success.
This all sounds a little gloomy, doesn’t it? But I’m happy to share that there is plenty to be positive about! Take Smithers’ April 2022 Market Assessment for High Production Toner, for example. Among its many highlights is the news that PSPs are expected to invest in new equipment. Not only that, but they are looking to prioritise a wide range of media weights and a small footprint. This is a promising sign that perspectives are changing, priorities are shifting and that firmly stuck door is tantalisingly ajar.
It’s also not news to us.
Equipment that boosts productivity is the natural first place to explore. Not only can it help to expand their repertoire, but give print businesses room to breathe, focus on the future and be the consultative force that their customers so clearly want and need. We’ve known for a while that business owners want a robust, digital print engine that can take whatever they throw at it. It makes good business sense. A press that can print higher volumes and produce a wider range of products opens them up to new business, while offering new lines to their existing customers. It allows them to present themselves in a new way to the market, one that can incorporate the level of consultancy that our report showed has been missing. A new, high-quality machine also fits in with a growth mindset – adopting simpler technology means that onboarding new users is easier. So, when recruiting for an expanding business, extensive training is no longer a concern and new people can hit the ground running. It also means that everyone can have a greater understanding and first-hand knowledge of what the presses are capable of. They are central to the business, after all.
But what is all this knowledge without an excellent solution to share? I’ve recently returned from a great event we held at our Customer Experience Centre in Poing, Germany. Its name tells you everything you need to know: Make It Futureproof. Here, we were joined by our customers and partners, who have always been very open with us about their business challenges. They tell us that they’re handling a greater variety of jobs and more diverse media against a backdrop of increasingly tighter deadlines. Customer expectations are high, and they need to be able to deliver good quality products at speed and with shorter runs to keep up.
Knowing this, it was our absolute pleasure to introduce them to the new imagePRESS V series, so they could see for themselves how we have listened to – and understood – everything they have told us, then used it to refresh our existing imagePRESS portfolio. From the feedback I received during the event, they certainly weren’t disappointed. It's a range that speaks to their daily challenges, but also their ambitions. It creates the space from which their businesses can explore new opportunities and offers reassurance that the day-to-day can continue uninterrupted. It’s the best of both worlds. You might even say that it offers a fresh perspective.