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GAP Intelligence Sees In-House Printing with Shorter Runs

Published on September 23, 2011

Senior Analyst for GAP Intelligence Jake Fishman tells Cary Sherburne about the tactical market research firm and details some of the findings on how some enterprises are keeping print in-house.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Jake Fishman who is a Senior Analyst with GAP Intelligence.  Welcome.

Jake Fishman:  Thank you.

Cary Sherburne:  Maybe you can tell us, first, a little bit about your company.

Jake Fishman:  Well GAP Intelligence is a tactical market research firm.  A lot of the area of our focus is on the printing and imaging industries but we also report on product industries across the IT and consumer electronics spectrum.  I'm the office and production print analyst there and I basically focus on those markets particularly products that sell and are built on copier technology.

Cary Sherburne:  You know, it's kind of interesting as you look at the many, many changes that the printing industry is going through, one of the issues that commercial printers and especially smaller commercial printers face is that more and more pages are moving inside the enterprise because of the increased capability of MFPs, MFDs, whatever you want to call them, finishing, inline finishing, all that.  What are you seeing in that regard?

Jake Fishman:  Well, I'm seeing the same thing and you know one of the big selling points and areas of excitement about digital printing is the shortening of orders, the reduction of order volumes and also the quicker turnarounds and that's something that is also driving growth in the office.  It's given them more reason to produce in house.  At the same time, all the manufactures are really focusing their RND investments on their color systems, both in the higher volume office products and then also into the white production realm.  And that's really where we're seeing the lineup expansion from each of these manufactures.  So that's not only driving, I guess, growth of sales in house but then also providing a niche that really wasn't there before for the commercial print shops where they're now able to place the digital systems in there and kind of meet them halfway between their heavy production offset presses and the copier basis.

Cary Sherburne:  So the light production machines and examples would be like -- give me an example.

Jake Fishman:  Sure.  Light production could be the Konik Press C7000, 8000.

Cary Sherburne:  The Ricoh 901C.

Jake Fishman:  Yeah, absolutely.  And that's a graphic arts system.  So you need a skilled person behind there.

Cary Sherburne:  So, the question I was going to ask is as you see more of the light production going into the enterprises do you seem them going into staffed copy centers or do you actually see them out in the hallways where people can use in workgroups?

Jake Fishman:  It would be attached to the marketing department, but you will see some of the, for example, the Canon C9075.  You will see that even in an reprographic department.  So there's still somebody manning it, it's just not a workgroup system where people are walking up to.

Cary Sherburne:  Okay.

Jake Fishman:  But there's opportunities on both ends, whether it's in-house or at the commercial printer for those systems.

Cary Sherburne:  You know, it's also interesting to kind of watch what's going on with the whole facilities management idea.  In my checkered past I worked for Xerox and Ikon, both of whom had facilities management services and at the time it was about maybe 25, 30 percent penetration of companies that actually had someone come in and manage the copiers.  Are you seeing any shift in that or is that -- I mean, cyclical sort of, but I was just wondering what's happening with that these days.

Jake Fishman:  Right.  Well, of course, management services is a big area focus for all of the manufacturers.  Some of them do include their higher volume systems in that and also facilities personnel and other manufacturers basically focus on taking care of the existing kind of desktop office fleet printer base systems and that's really the area of focus and they haven't expanded it beyond that.  And that includes some manufacturers that do have what would be considered light production presses.  Whether that's something that they're going to look to expand in of course one of the other big buzz words is just services in general and that's certainly falls into that realm.  So that could be something we'll see more of but right now you named basically the big two as far as the groups that do provide the facilities management being Xerox and then Ikon, which is part of Ricoh.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, 'cause a lot of times in the enterprises this could fall into under purchasing or it could fall under IT and neither one of them really wants to deal with it.

Jake Fishman:  This is true.

Cary Sherburne:  And then the other interesting area there is the strides that have been made with scanning applications associated with these MFPs, you know, and help people really use that as an onramp -- I hate to use that term, it's so old Internet -- is the onramp for paper, getting paper into digital format and getting it into digital workflows.

Jake Fishman:  Right.  Yeah, so that's big.  Both in terms of finally bringing the on MFP scanning technology equal to the scanning technology that's been on stand-alone scanners for years.  And then also the applications that are available through these MFPs for organizing and routing.  And also one of the big things next is where you're going to put it so they're now discussing taking it off the centralized server and put it into the Cloud and making it available to various locations of that enterprise.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, that's great because of a lot of the scanning solutions have connections right in to the document management systems so you can literally scan, put the meta data in and boom it goes right into your document management system, whether it's in house or in the Cloud.

Jake Fishman:  Right.  Exactly.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.  So it's still kind of a pretty interesting area.

Jake Fishman:  Oh, it's very interesting.  Yeah.

Cary Sherburne:  That's great.  Well, thank you very much.

Jake Fishman:  Thank you very much.

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