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HP's Xavier Garcia's Advice to Printers in an Evolving Wide Format Market

Published on January 9, 2012

Cary Sherburne and Xavier Garcia, General Manager for HP's Scitex, discuss the evolving wide format market and give advice to print providers.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and I’m here with Xavier Garcia from HP, who’s the General Manger of HP Scitex.  Welcome.  

Xavier Garcia:  Hello.  

Cary Sherburne: Nice to see you here.  Maybe I can start by talking a little bit about the wide format, super wide format market and what are some of the trends that you are seeing evolving in the market today?  

Xavier Garcia:  So, we are seeing in the market, currently on the signage market, a clear growth of the digital inside the market.  Even today, only one out of three pages in the market are printed with a digital device.  

Cary Sherburne:  Okay, and the others, they use like screen printing… 

Xavier Garcia: Yeah, screen printing, offset printing.  The overall percentage is quite flat worldwide, however, when we look – zoom into the digital part of the market, we are seeing from 11 percent in growth a year, of a year.  So that’s a great opportunity for our customers really, so we converted from analog to digital.  

Cary Sherburne:  And when you sort of drill down into the segments of the market, like indoor versus outdoor, where do you see the biggest growth areas?  

Xavier Garcia:  Yeah.  

Cary Sherburne:  Or the biggest growth potential.  

Xavier Garcia:  So, there are verticals inside the signage market and we’ll say that the two biggest ones are the outdoor graphics and the EOP retail.  And the outdoor where really all the digital started, it’s a market where 60 percent of the pages, more or less, are already digital.  

Cary Sherburne:  So that would be things like billboards and bus wraps and vehicles wraps and… 

Xavier Garcia:  More on the outdoor, some bigger wraps.  That’s different – although all of them are digital as well, I would say.  But that part has more value, as in the pages than the outdoor.  So this is really already a digital plane.  

Cary Sherburne:  Okay.  

Xavier Garcia:  Margins are low.  And the growth will only be at an eight percent growth, a digital inside that market; however, on the point of purchase is where only 50 percent of the pages currently are printed digitally.  

Cary Sherburne:  Wow, that’s… 

Xavier Garcia:  Yeah.  Yes, it’s… 

Cary Sherburne:  Huge growth opportunity.  

Xavier Garcia:  Huge growth opportunity.  And finally we are seeing a 15 percent growth opportunity year over year and that’s the area where our customers really are focusing their investments, and so, Hewlett-Packard as well.  

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, so you know, it’s interesting when you think about the whole retail POP, I mean, the old way would be, if you had 100 stores in your chain, you’d print 100 of the same signs, you know, one for each store.  But now with digital, you can make them all different.  You can customize them.  

Xavier Garcia:  Exactly.  That’s the good thing about digital.  That’s so you can capture pages that are more valuable and follow the trends that we are seeing on the market, if you let me talk about that.  We’re seeing, the first very important one, is all our customers are telling us that runs are shorter, shorter and shorter.  So, compare the jobs that they are doing today with the jobs they were doing a couple of years ago, they need to have three times more the number of jobs in order to have the same number of pages printed.  Okay?  That’s clearly the area where digital, where it’s very effective for short runs.  It makes a lot of sense for them. 

However, once you are in digital there is an incredible amount of opportunities that are open to your business, like variable data printing printing, things like electronic collation.  And we’re seeing that even more in the future, so as in the other areas in the electronic industry, the Cloud, the internet, is changing the way the contents, the content owners and the print service providers can interact with each other.  I would say that there is enormous potential of opportunities of business model like connecting consumers with print service providers, so more a personal business, which will enable business models that will be very profitable for our customers.  

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great, and maybe I could just touch on a little bit of the innovation that HP is bringing into the market in terms – obviously you’ve got, you know, world class leading kind of equipment, and maybe you can talk a little bit on some of the inks and some of the other – workflow.  

Xavier Garcia:  So, HP is a leader on the wide format market and we’ve been leading in the last years the conversion from analog to digital, and a good proof of this is the strategy is the products that we are introducing.  During this phase, we are focusing on increasing the productivity of our solutions.  

Cary Sherburne:  And that’s to handle the smaller, more frequent jobs.  You can’t manually do everything.  

Xavier Garcia:  Exactly, exactly.  And also to be able to capture more and more run length upfront applications that were particular than in the screen, in offset or even in packaging, corrugated packaging, with our solutions.  Versatility is an important part and where we’re investing a lot, we are introducing the flatbed 225 ink, which is expanding the possibilities, the media range with further addition, better environmental…  

Cary Sherburne:  Sustainability.  

Xavier Garcia:  … sustainability characteristics.  And improve certifications for offset printing.  We are also introducing new services.  We are announcing new partnerships.  So we’re really focused on productivity, not only in the printing technology, but in the end to end workflow from the printing press really to the delivery of, and the finishing of the print.   

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  Thank you very much.  

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