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Marco Boer VP of IT Strategies discusses some of the process behind PRIMIR's digital study

Published on December 3, 2010

Vice President of IT Strategies Marco Boer and Cary detail the process of conducting PRIMIR's latest study and talk about some of the findings of the research.

Interviewer:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m here with Marco Boer from IT Strategies, consulting firm of great fame.  How are you today? 

Marco Boer:  Very well, thank you. 

Interviewer:  We’re here to talk – continue our conversation about a recent premiere research study and we’ve already kind of gotten an overview from Andy Gordon in terms of who Premiere is and what the objective of the study were, Paul Foszcz from Manroland gave us a brief overview at the high level, but now we’re going to kind of dive down deep into – because you did the research into a little bit more about the results.  And first I want to just get a feel for what the methodology was for this study, I mean, how did you go about getting the information we were looking for? 

Marco Boer:  So this was a, I think, an enormous study and in total, there were over 900 interviews conducted.  There were 500 email surveys with print service providers, the commercial printers, 250 interviews with ad agencies, print buyers and people who really design print. 

Interviewer:  Like, phone interviews? 

Marco Boer:  No, those were email servers. 

Interviewer:  Email, okay. 

Marco Boer:  And so 750 email servers in total.  And there was 125 telephone surveys with print service providers and then also interviews with the equipment and supply providers. 

Interviewer:  And you did all of that yourself?

Marco Boer:  No.  So I had quite a bit of help, actually in doing these interviews. 

Interviewer:  and that – over what period of time was that done? 

Marco Boer:  We started the interviews in about March of 2010, and we finished them towards the end of June. 

Interviewer:  And so we talked earlier with Andy about sort of what the objectives were which was really to understand what’s being done digital, what’s being done offset and how do we accelerate the transition from analog to digital.  Maybe you could just start by talking a little bit about some of the findings that you came up with and particularly those that surprised you.  I mean, did you learn anything new?  That’s always a risk when you do a research like this, right? 

Marco Boer:  So as part of this interview process, we also tried to size the markets.  Right?  And that was a slightly different methodology, which I should have mentioned where we looked at 30 public sources that are well-known, legitimate sources in the industry ranging from the U.S. Postal Service data service mailings to third-party independent providers of data.  We tried to size each of these 12 applications that we looked at. 

So the most surprising finding is, in North America we’re looking at a total market size of about 10 trillion pages.  Of those 10 trillion pages that are produced, less than two percent are printed digitally, which is a shock because –

Interviewer:  Wow!  It is a shock. 

Marco Boer:  If you look at trade shows like Graph Expo and others, you walk in and you think the whole world’s digital.  And what I think when a disconnect occurs, and that was such a surprise was that we all do think that we live in a digital print world, but the reality is a throughput of digital production printers are still so relatively slow compared to offset, and the install basis so small relative to that long legacy of offset equipment and our analog equipment that we just don’t get through the throughput--

 

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