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A Good Year for Software: The New Infrastructure of Your Print Business

WhatTheyThink Print Software section editor Jennifer Matt looks back at the year 2020 in software, some of the trends that emerged from the pandemic, and how software has become an important element in helping print companies adapt and pivot.

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About Jennifer Matt

Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions.

Discussion

By Robert Godwin on Dec 08, 2020

Jen-
I tend to comment on your posts because they have relevance, clear explanations, and profound insight. It is also what your articles are not- they do not rehash business dogma that most printshops do not have the experience or resources to deploy. In other words, they are worth the read and inspire the responses.
And so,
"Because we have very few new software solutions, many printers are forced to stick with technologies that have failed to keep up."
Printers must create the demand. No software developer is going to build on spec. This is what print associations need to take a proactive stance on. Gather the information from your membership and articulate what the common needs for software are. This is the R&D that vendors will not risk their budgets in the hope they discover a need.
Much of this 'responsibility' has fallen to influencers. While important, they are all too often beholding to a sponsor who inevitably is a manufacturer, supplier, or software vendor.
The information that drives technology is too hidden from the people who need it most: the sales team that can speak to the target audience that has the need, or potential to use print innovations.
If software and iron on the floor are only sold on the basis of cutting costs, printers are tragically racing to the bottom of the commodity barrel.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Dec 08, 2020

Robert,

Thank you for the kind words. I write from direct experience with real printers (no theory here - a wise industry leader that was a mentor of mine called it "ground truth". (like in a war - what's happening with the troops on the ground).

I find it hard to capture many print business owners attention right now for true strategic thinking b/c the pandemic has shifted the scale of unpredictability. This is to be expected. I believe mid-2021, we will start seeing strategic movement that will result in LOTS of changes that the pandemic accelerated.

 

By Wayne Lynn on Dec 08, 2020

Hi Jen, you have written the best articles of the year 2020. I mean that. Your perspective has been the most balanced and accurate. Keep it up! A lot of us are listening. Happy holidays...

 

By Jennifer Matt on Dec 08, 2020

Wayne,

Sincere thank you. I sometimes think I'm a depressing business writer b/c I'm pointing out things business leaders "should" be doing.

And in this isolated, virtual year - (no chance encounters with readers at events), I feel like I'm writing into a void ;-)

Jen

 

By Wayne Lynn on Dec 08, 2020

You're not writing into a void but I truly understand what you mean. The silence can be deafening. Keep the faith!

 

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