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Print Business Editor Gareth Ward comments on the printing industry around 8.30am GMT every Monday morning. Have it delivered to your inbox along with the latest news: Subscribe. Even better, subscribe to My Print Business and file your favourites in bespoke folders.

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10 February 2020

Will print always be about printing?

The technological changes coming to print over the next decade are already underway and so predictable. The challenge is to understand how demand for print will change through demographic and social change. These will have more impact on how print develops says Gareth Ward.

The start of a new decade prompts widespread speculation of what the industry might look like in another ten years. This is relatively easy: more automation, continuing rise of inkjet, decline of litho and other analogue processes, increasing use of robotics and robots to cope with shorter print runs and faster turnarounds. Artificial intelligence will make many of the decisions about production paths and schedules. And so on, all this is relatively predictable. These are what might be called the known knowns.

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22 July 2019

Friends with benefits

There is no better time for printers to forge partnerships with digital and marketing agencies.

The combination of marketing agency, digital agency, print and fulfilment into a single entity is an enticing prospect and something that has been tried a number of times over the years. And in pretty much every case the entity has failed. The business ends up as a hydra headed beast with mouths and heads all wanting to be fed. Taming such a beast has been all but impossible.

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17 June 2019

Print does not get the internet

The internet is the most powerful communication medium yet developed. It is an always on means of letting your prospects and customers discover you, but so many in printing fail to understand this.

The Internet is the most powerful platform yet developed for communication, trading and research. It has transformed business cultures, enabling the growth of Amazon and in this industry the likes of FlyerAlarm, Cimpress, Onlineprinters and Bluetree to name but a handful. It is an always on resource where websites are always welcoming to visitors and potential customers.

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07 May 2019

When clairvoyance and myopia combine

Understanding costs is crucial to any business, especially with across the board pressure on margins.

It’s one of those quirks of the industry that few printers know their own costs with any degree of accuracy, but are absolutely confident they know their competitors' costs to the second decimal place. Any of the MIS providers will relate stories of customers and prospects who do not know nor understand their real costs but instead work with historical data or with figures that the software provider supplies as generic figures.

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