Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Production Inkjet Tools & Resources     Industrial Print Analysis     European Coverage     Conversations on Print Podcast

The Software Technology Stack of Your Print Business

Published on March 16, 2017

our print software is as important as your print manufacturing equipment. Software enables you to get to new customers and automate your workflows to enable you to do more with less effort. Software is becoming your most strategic resource.

Email Icon Email         

 

Discussion

By Gina Danner on Mar 16, 2017

Jen, I think you are correct in your premise -- printers still aren't focused on a solid technology strategy. The challenge I see is that owners understand how to invest in equipment, they understand run rates, hourly rates, and waste rates. The challenge with the technology stack for the printing industry is that there are really very few systems that work together, are designed to integrate effectively or that do what is needed for those of us on the leading edge.

Those of us who can "figure it out" have a distinct advantage, but it still takes vision to get there. I don't know about my peers in the industry, but I don't have a blank check for technology. It takes a lot to get comfortable with the "money sucking black hole of R&D" in the technology aspect of our industry.

Add to that the very limited way that we view technology staff and the way some technology pieces are sold -- aka bundled in with equipment -- we do have a huge learning curve.

Alas, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Mar 17, 2017

Gina,

It is a learning curve, there are no perfect solutions (but there are no perfect presses either).

Here's something interesting. When a printer buys a press they don't request the press company if they can make it just a little smaller ;-) or have it come in a different shape so it fits into their floor plan a little better. We laugh at this (I hope) b/c its ridiculous - 1 $500,000 press can't be changed in shape or size after its come off the manufacturing line!

Yet, I see it every day in software. An ERP/Print MIS solution that has been under development for more than a decade (very complex). Printers ask for changes all the time to make the ERP solution fit their business better. Software is expensive to change.

One of the best ways to have more success with software is to look carefully at what is easier to change (your business process / workflow or the software?) In almost every case, it is easier to be flexible with your workflow, yet I've seen million dollar investments thrown out of places b/c the software didn't fully fit their needs.

Our industry can't afford that kind of waste.

Jen

 

By Gina Danner on Mar 17, 2017

Where to start. The biggest challenge for anyone is "Yes, we can do that." and so many start up software companies say that. The larger companies aren't very good at selling the owners on "why they need to change processes".

As an owner, I don't have the energy to change ERP systems. It is a tipping point for many and there is research that points to the change in ERP/CRM being a critical growth point. I always go back to a set of data points...
96% of all businesses are under $1MM in revenue - they exist based on how hard the owner works.
.4% of all businesses are over $10MM in revenue - they have put in some additional leadership beyond the ownership.
To get over $25MM in revenue and beyond one of the key items is ERP/CRM systems and being able to see the entire business in real time at a glance.

Right now sitting where we are, the thought of a new ERP investment literally makes me want to vomit. The energy required to get the entire organization to change EVERYTHING is enormous. That is one of the things that limits printers from going digital - even digital print.

Alas, or industry must change and so much each leader within it.

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: Frank Talks to Shaw Carpeting about Label Printing on the Konica KM-1

Frank Talks to Shaw Carpeting about Label Printing on the Konica KM-1

Published: October 20, 2017

Dwight Blackwell of Shaw Carpeting in Georgia just installed a Konica KM-1 to print labels that are glued to the back of carpeting. The Konica KM-1 prints 6 pages on one sheet and Shaw will replace a number of smaller printers with this new unit.

 

Video preview: PGSF Scholarship Recipient Colby Kibbe Talks About Finding a Career in the Industry

PGSF Scholarship Recipient Colby Kibbe Talks About Finding a Career in the Industry

Published: October 19, 2017

Colby Kibbe a PGSF scholarship recipient and now a Project Manager at EFI talks about what drew him to the industry. Scholarship and internship programs influenced his interest and growth in the industry.

 

Video preview: Bookmasters Turns to Digital and Production Inkjet for Its Book Printing Ops

Bookmasters Turns to Digital and Production Inkjet for Its Book Printing Ops

Published: October 18, 2017

Ken Fultz General Manager at Bookmasters talks about how production inkjet printing is changing book production. Bookmasters has gone through three transitions offset to digital toner to production inkjet. Hear their story.

 

Video preview: Professor Erica Walker on Guiding Students into Careers in Print

Professor Erica Walker on Guiding Students into Careers in Print

Published: October 17, 2017

Dr. Erica Walker an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University talks about attracting students to the industry and helping them match career goals with different training and education levels.

 

Video preview:

"Have You Heard the Cover"

Published: October 16, 2017

Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano talk about the production of a special edition of their new book The Third Wave that included interactive print elements.

 

Video preview: Frank Visits Strategic Factory

Frank Visits Strategic Factory

Published: October 13, 2017

Keith Miller took a small print shop and grew it into an $18 Million super shop called Strategic Factory. He changed the concept of what a printer is. Call the company what you wish but they still put imagery on all kinds of substrates for marketing applications.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved