Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Print 2017     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: British Attack on Apostrophe Must Be Stopped

Frank: British Attack on Apostrophe Must Be Stopped

Published: August 18, 2017

Frank bemoans the British attempt to eliminate the apostrophe in place names. So far, only Frank has spoken out against this perversion of orthography as misguided souls take a hammer to our grammar.

 

Video preview: Third-Generation Printer Cockrell Enovation Improves Productivity with HP Indigo 10000

Third-Generation Printer Cockrell Enovation Improves Productivity with HP Indigo 10000

Published: August 15, 2017

John Cockrell, Vice President at Fort Worth based Cockrell Enovation, has used its new HP Indigo 10000 press to migrate work from offset for more efficient production. Hear what he has to say about the future of offset in his business and the kinds of applications he is producing on the HP Indigo 10000. HP Indigo's Business Development team has been a partner in this transition.

 

Video preview: Bud Light, HP and Esko: From Ideation to Production in Less than a Month

Bud Light, HP and Esko: From Ideation to Production in Less than a Month

Published: August 14, 2017

Michael Cox, a Solutions Architect at HP, Inc., talks about HP's collaboration with Esko to create limited edition Bud Light cans for a special event using Studio for Sleeves and HP's Mosaic in the design process. This eliminated the need for physical samples in the approval process. From ideation to production in less than a month -- amazing!

 

Video preview: Frank: Xeikon Roll-fed Digital Press 25th Anniversary

Frank: Xeikon Roll-fed Digital Press 25th Anniversary

Published: August 11, 2017

We are coming up on the 25th anniversary of the Xeikon roll-fed digital color printer. Frank shows some of the classic work done by this venerable machine, which is still helping printers worldwide to make money.

 

Video preview: COT Holdings Upgrades to HP Indigo 12000 for Enhanced Productivity

COT Holdings Upgrades to HP Indigo 12000 for Enhanced Productivity

Published: August 8, 2017

Nigel Worme, Managing Director of COT Holdings in Barbados, was an early adopter of HP Indigo digital presses. The third generation family company is now on its 5th generation of Indigo presses with the acquisition of an HP Indigo 10000, now field upgraded to an HP Indigo 12000, providing a single sheet size for offset and digital presses that streamlines workflow.

 

Video preview: Inside Mossberg & Company's Evolving Commercial Printing Operation

Inside Mossberg & Company's Evolving Commercial Printing Operation

Published: August 7, 2017

James Hilman, CEO of Mossberg & Company discusses their evolution from sheetfed commercial printing on paper to digital and flexo printing for packaging, even on cans!

 

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