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The Trapped Data of the Print Industry

The print industry’s technology is too closed, too proprietary, making it overly difficult for print businesses (the entities that make this whole ecosystem work) to access, use, distribute, and learn from the data their business’ generate every day. If we keep at this, we will choke off the only thing that matters (growing print businesses).

By Jennifer Matt
Published: April 20, 2016


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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.



By Paul Dombrowski on Apr 20, 2016


I conduct ROI analysis for printers considering the purchase of capital equipment (i.e. inkjet presses). For these engagements, printers allow me access to the data that lives within their MIS systems. I construct a financial analysis to discover the cost per page for the current state compared to the estimated cost per page for the future state. The analysis provides the press owner with insight into production costs. It might validate what the customer already believes to be true. Oftentimes the research generates a view into production costs that the customer might not have not seen prior to the analysis. In every instance the data analysis provides evidence to inform the decision regarding significant process change.

Without exception, every conversation I have with press owners and with management responsible for estimating and billing work product, includes a discussion and questions about how to and what tools are available for managing (consumables) costs. And for the need to efficiently communicate this information with the customer.

I’ve seen compelling examples of technically sophisticated communications companies. Some have even built their own marketing automation platform. The goal of the most sophisticated printers is to have every press integrated into the MIS.

What’s most exciting about the HP PrintOS API is its promise to un-block the bottle-neck of paper work processing.

Customer conversations I’ve had view an integration path into the digital presses (and back to their customers) as the single best opportunity to reduce operating costs for the digital press hall.

Paul Dombrowski


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