Having received many congratulations today on LinkedIn on the illustrious 17th Anniversary of my starting in the print industry, it led me to consider what has changed in the time from the late 1990’s to the present day.
The internet being considered the big enemy of print and the first thing any printer will quip – ‘Print is dying thanks to the internet!’
Is this true? I’m not so sure…
17 years ago we were in the fortunate position of having nice long lead times, good margins and of course what we considered to be ‘new technology’ in the industry, but looking back (as I am sure any one in any industry will say) we had it good then. Print companies were masters of the trade, skilled craftsmen of old using the latest technology. In reality we were just on the brink of a massive overhaul in the print, design and advertising cohort.
The advent of email and web marketing enticed clients to promote themselves almost solely electronically and the print industry suffered, one by one we have all seen stalwarts of the industry disappear, from endless letter headings and compliment slips to copious amounts of brochures and NCR sets. Bit by bit technology and e-commerce have replaced the need for some print, but in recent years the tide has turned a little and there is a definite secure and real future for the printed collateral, shorter run lengths but of a higher quality.
Sadly the industry has been slow to react and the overcapacity has taken many companies by surprise, many great names who are no longer trading – simply because things have moved on and the print industry is now survival of the fittest and, much like mankind, we need to be adaptable to our surroundings, i.e. the needs of clients and the marketplace.
17 Years ago we had three presses, a 4 colour and 2 x single colour presses. Set up was 45 minutes and 500 -700 sheets of waste on a 4 colour job, presses ran at 8000 sheets an hour and we felt that was going great guns!
17 years later with our innovative Komori HUV press and Lightcure technology we step in 8 minutes with 50 sheets of paper, as I type, the press is running at 16000 sheets per hour.
This is the new print world and I quite like it.
Our presses include Digital presses, printing up to 30 jobs in an 8 hour shift, Wide Format solvent press printing banners and exhibition material up to 10 metres long. Printing is now ink on substrate, clients want print with 3 features, Quickly, Cost effectively and good quality, there are no excuses, that is what you have to be doing just to stand still.
To go the extra mile, print suppliers need to be spending time with clients, giving that personal service, advice, developments and new ways to support clients needs.
Print companies need to embrace the digital age, indulge in it and use it a tool to prospect as well as support clients. We use web marketing as well as printed media, they work well hand in hand, we have also developed a client portal where you can manage all your print in one place any time night or day, even edit artwork live – technology that works and helps you , the client.
This is what I have seen in 17 years of the print industry – this is how Remous Print has evolved, this is what we are proud of, this is what we consider to be Print with a difference.