What They Think about the ONDEMAND Show, Views from Attendees By Patrick Henry, Executive Editor, WhatTheyThink April 24, 2007 -- While at the AIIM/On Demand expo last week I spoke with many printers and service providers. I asked about the most impressive technologies at the show and also asked some to tell me their most critical issue for their business. Below are some of the comments. Tom Cunningham, svp-worldwide operations, document services, docHarbor, San Diego, CA: "We’re a document movement company that helps our clients manage information by digitizing their paper documents and electronic data to leverage manual tasks and improve quality. Our challenge is to help our customers see the benefit of not doing it themselves—to convince them that we can do it better than they can, because these are our core competencies." Sally Urbaniak, president, and son Matthew Urbaniak, systems integrator, Automatic Imaging Inc., Michigan Center, MI: "We are a 30-year-old, family owned microfilm and imaging service bureau specializing in back file conversion from film and paper to any format and vice versa. Our customers are over-inundated with the variations of software that they have to work with and the storage challenges they have to deal with. As a business, we face pressure on the pricing of our services. We work with our customers as well as with other suppliers to recommend the right solutions." Manish Kapoor, Deluxe Corp., Townsend, MA: "As the world’s largest manufacturer of checks, we have two primary challenges: how to maintain the lowest operating costs while still being able to add new technologies and offer new solutions. On Demand is a great opportunity to network with our vendors as we look for solutions that will meet our business needs." Sheldon Yarmovsky, director of business development, Next Generation Printing Inc., Canton, MA (a corporate technology sponsor of On Demand): "As a printing business, we position ourselves primarily as a total marketing solution provider. Promoting printing as a part of that solution drives both our digital and our offset volumes. The hard part can be convincing our seasoned print salespeople and brokers of the annuity benefit of selling programs such as Web-to-print and cross-media targeted marketing campaigns. That pitch must be made to a CEO or a chief marketing officer, but most reps are used to selling only to print buyers. Salespeople must learn to take the next step up to the C level." Andy Waterous, infrastructure manager, workflow and content services, US Bank, St. Paul, MN: "We operate 125 servers that contain all of the company’s loan, lease, and human resources documents. Our document management objective is make it easier for our users to use our systems. It should be possible for them to make and record documents without having to learn anything new—in other words, they should be able to create and access their documents using familiar tools such as Word, Excel, or a Web browser." Stephen Rejniak, CEO, and Jamie Rejniak, Thirteenth Floor Graphics and Printing Inc., Rocky Hill, CT: "The challenge for our small DI and conventional offset printing business is to be more competitive in the range of services we offer. That’s why we invested in a DI press: to become more competitive in four-color printing. Now we’re looking into UV coating, and here at On Demand we have seen several UV systems in a price range that a shop of our size can afford. We’re also interested in folding equipment and estimating systems. This is our first On Demand, and it’s a great way to see technologies that can help us expand our capabilities." Bob Molnar, manager of the in-plant printing department at US Surgical, North Haven, CT: "On Demand is a regional show, so we try to attend whenever we can. We’re here this time to look at equipment for short-run four-color printing and options for binding and finishing. Some of the large-format inkjet systems we’ve seen at the show are very impressive. Our shop currently has a 36" inkjet device." (image: molnar.jpg) Sofiya Weinman, systems architect-information technology, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD: "Johns Hopkins implemented a document management system six years ago, and now we are ready to move to the next step: electronic forms processing. We must also address integration with other systems such as SAP. At the conference sessions, I gained a great deal of input from the leaders in document management technology. It will help me to apply the proper technology solution to what we need to accomplish." Kevin Bupp, in-plant operations manager, Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, IL: "We want to give our customers the ability to get their work to us via the Web, sending it directly to our production devices. We have a multiplatform capability now, and we’re facing some challenges in integrating the various equipments for the results we’d like. Here at the show, the Konica bizhub platform is looking like a solution that we could implement quickly. We’ve also been impressed by some of Xerox’s lower-end color devices, and we’re going to take a look at what Océ has to offer as well." (image: bupp.jpg) Bill Gunther, principal, WHG3 Consulting, Pittsford, NY: "Among other areas, I advise my printing company clients in their selection of vision systems for inspecting print quality. The vision products I’ve seen here at the show, including those from Axode, Lake Image Systems, and Videk, are demonstrating higher image capture speeds and other improvements. I’m also seeing advances in inkjet technology from Kodak, HP, and others." Chad Harris, valuations analyst, global asset management, GE Capital Solutions, Danbury, CT: "GE Capital Solutions provides leasing opportunities for digital printing equipment, and On Demand is a good venue in which to network with our digital equipment vendors. I found Kodak’s NexPress 2500 impressive for the broad range of its color-matching capability—its spectrum is close to offset. On the software side, I like the OmniPage Nuance application for text recognition and document conversion." David Héon (left), vice president, and Charles Héon, president, Imp. Héon & Nadeau, Victoriaville, QUE: "We are a third-generation commercial and book printing business established in 1938. We are primarily offset litho, but we are looking to expand our digital printing capabilities. Here at On Demand we are very interested in the HP 5000 digital color press, which potentially could replace four of our small litho presses. The HP Indigo 5000 can handle spot and Pantone colors with the same quality as an offset press. We have a lot of work, including short-run books, that could go on it." Please offer your feedback to Patrick. He can be reached at [email protected]