Heidelberg Chairman Provides Industry Outlook at On Demand Expo
Monday, March 05, 2001
3/4/01 - Despite the development of new media technologies, the printed page is here to stay, with strong growth anticipated over the next decade. Bernhard Schreier, chairman of the board for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, delivered this message to an audience of more than 1,200 Wednesday at the Javits Center in New York during the keynote address for the On Demand Expo. In the address, Schreier provided an outlook into the future of digital printing and explained the steps industry professionals must take to remain successful in the decade to come. On demand printing, the process of completing shorter run projects with variable data quickly for customers, is gaining momentum in the graphic arts industry. In order to remain competitive for the long term, industry professionals must adapt to these changes or risk being left behind. Addressing the new landscape, Schreier’s keynote speech emphasized: The printed page is here to stay. New media such as the Internet and wireless technologies provide opportunities rather than obstacles to the print industry. Industry analysts agree. Gartner Group predicts the demand for printed pages to increase by 10-20 percent per year. Moving forward, a higher level of cooperation must exist between suppliers and printing businesses, and between printing businesses and the customers they serve. Customers to the printing industry are more knowledgeable and demanding than ever. As printers look to satisfy demanding customers, they must provide full, end-to-end digital solutions. To be successful, printers of the future must make the transition from a manufacturing model to a service model: from simply producing documents to helping customers manage their information. This transition will include: 24-hour customer service Embracing of technologies such as e-portals as customer relationship tools Continued support of consumables Consulting and network know-how Printers of the future must go beyond the provision of traditional services and offer additional services such as hardware, software and brainware to their customers. Schreier noted that making such adjustments will increase the value of each printed piece, which will ultimately lead to increased profits and an ever-increasing demand for digital printing. Heidelberg’s commitment to lead the digital printing industry is long-term. “Heidelberg’s goal is to be the leader of the digital printing industry for 2010 and beyond,” said Schreier. “Working together we will provide value to our customers by offering complete solutions for every market segment. The end result is that printers will employ these solutions to produce higher-value printing and services for their customers, resulting in profits and the continued demand for digital printing.” The company’s outlook for the digital print industry stems from a decade of experience and customer and industry feedback from the digital print arena. During the 1990s, Heidelberg developed the technologies that made digital print a viable and profitable solution to meet the increasing demands of customers.