In each survey, we try to gauge the extent that print service providers are branching out into new product and service areas, such as wide-format printing and all the various applications that fall under that increasingly broad category. We sought to gauge printers’ interest in some newer product and service areas by asking if they:
- Were interested in adding it, but have no timetable for it
- Were actively considering and researching it
- Had added it in past 18–24 months
- Have specific budget plans to add it in next 12–18 months
- Considered it, but found it not appropriate to their business
- Will outsource this work as needed
- Have never considered it/don’t know
For the chart below, we aggregated the “added it in past 18–24 months,” “have specific budget plans to add it in next 12–18 months,” “actively considering and researching it,” and “interested in adding it, but we have no timetable for it” responses.
All of these items are potentially lucrative products, applications, or services to get involved with to some degree, and many are the hottest, most-discussed technologies in the industry. For vendors, this section indicates where the opportunities (or education) lie. Likewise for print service providers. These are of course not completely unserviced or neglected applications, but for commercial printers looking for greener pastures (or greenfield projects), these are good areas to forge relationships or even focus acquisition efforts (which, as we saw, is a top opportunity).
WhatTheyThink’s Printing Forecast 2018 report provides detailed analysis of the most recent Print Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2018.