Digital Transformation Of The Print Industry: Boosting The Shrinking Margins

Print Service Providers (PSPs) are no strangers to transformation. With a long history of reinvention and overcoming adversities, they are once again adapting to the new digital reality. Among firms that are growing, a majority attributes their growth to securing additional purchasers, more work from current clients or increasing client retention.

In other words, what moved them forward is their active pursuit of results, and not general favourable business conditions that otherwise would have helped everyone in theory. This change carries a particular weight since business conditions are harsh for commercial printers.

digitally printed tshirts

Transformation of the Print Industry

Digital transformation is a synthesis of digital technology into all areas of a business, radically changing how businesses operate and deliver value to the customers. It is also a cultural transformation that expects organisations to consistently challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure. In business, digitising usually involves turning paper-based information into digital information.

For years there has been much talk about the power and impact of this disruption called the digital transformation, the print industry included. It is a fallacy to believe that printing will no longer take place due to digital communication being the absolute priority. More is being printed: faster, more individual, more targeted and more demand-oriented. Print is not dead! But that does not mean that the print industry as we know it today will survive.

Printing in the Digital World

The print industry has been feeling the force of the digital age for some time; information is shared and distributed online instead of printed on paper. Manufacturers now need to find new areas of innovation, all of this while trying to protect their core business – printing. The dilemma that they face is finding new growth areas for printing whilst trying to make their product still relevant in the digital age.

It is now crucial for manufacturers to connect to their customers in a meaningful way by creating services and products that leverage their heritage in print but also connect them with the digital world they do business in. One of the ways that manufacturers can achieve this is to drive the digital transformation journey. Paper remains a key element of the connected and collaborative office workplace and still plays crucial role in the business processes of many businesses.

However, paper bottlenecks can hamper business productivity and frustrate the client. This is where print dealers can connect the paper and digital worlds and develop stronger expertise in workflow solutions and services, such as smart multi-function devices (MFPs), with online product designer online product designer tools and HTML5 designer software, which have evolved over the years to become sophisticated document processing devices. This has far-reaching implications for agencies, media service providers and printers.

Baby shower invitation ordered online

Simplicity for the Customer

Everything must be simple and convenient for the customer. All the more so as customers have less and less in-house printing know-how. User experiences in the personal use of digital services is having an increasing impact on people’s business life. A user who prints a birthday invitation card at the weekend with one click on a HTML5 online product designer will also want to handle the company’s printed matter in the same way the next day.

Anywhere & Anytime

The Internet decouples us from time and space. The user can do everything anywhere in the world at any time. The decoupling from the place has progressed even further with the triumph of the mobile Internet and smartphones. This means that customers want to print quickly and easily anytime, anywhere. Easily accessible online product design tools allow users to print anything at any given time.

Speed and Less is More

Digital communication is strongly influenced by the trial & error principle. It is tried out quickly and easily. If the attempt is successful, the idea is further developed. Otherwise, the next idea is tried out. This trial & error principle will also be applied to print publications. There is a lot of opportunity to be found for the ones willing to look in places other than the familiar ones.

Adding digital media and promoting services along with expanding to growth segments that include innovative packaging, labels, signage, direct mail, point of purchase focusing on different sectors of the markets will require new expertise, new technology and innovative methods of conducting business transactions.

Businesses need to consider the following for the digital transformation of the printing business

Thinking strategically regarding the business – Commercial printing is transitioning from a manufacturing to a service business. Fulfilling a broader range of services puts PSPs well on the way of becoming strategic partners to their clients. This is the result of focusing on adding value and it is what separates high-profit PSPs from the ones just breaking even.

Investing in technology to support profitable growth – Moving to an all-digital printing Digital infrastructure, digital presses and workflow software like HTML5 online product designer, HTML5 designer software and other Online product design tools, form the top three of capital investments done the previous years. Focusing on the correct opportunities – Growth within the business is predicted to come back from short-run, on-demand, and personalized print runs.

Personalized communication that produces use of all applicable media is the future

Digital printing is a speedily growing phase of the commercial printing market. Colour digital production presses offer high image quality, and enable personalized print as well as very fast turnaround short run print, both of which are high value products. The strengths of digital printing are complementary to those of analogue printing, which excels at longer run lengths.