Printing without print will be the challenge for printers in the next few years as new technology changes the way that businesses communicate. Todd Nuckols, CPrint President, recently outlined the new direction of the printing franchise at its Production Without Printing Conference in Cincinnati, OH.
"For printers to prosper, they are going to have to expand the communication services they offer their customers," said Nuckols. "Printing's historic role as the primary communication channel has changed and our organization has already started to integrate the new electronic technology with printing while still focusing on getting the right message to the right person at the right time."
According to Nuckols, many of the printed products that feed the printing industry have disappeared. Basic business forms are now done on computers. Customer and marketing information is now being communicated electronically. Printers must learn how to integrate both printed and electronic communications to provide customers with an even more forceful message.
"Putting ink on paper will become a smaller segment of a printer's business, but the role of the printer helping customers communicate their message will remain the same," said Nuckols. "CPrint is moving in a new direction. We are teaching our affiliates about new communication products and services that are not considered commodity items and where price is less of an issue. Customers want to talk to printers who understand how to use this new technology to reach their customers."
CPrint International is a franchise where an existing printing company uses the CPrint business model to prosper. CPrint teaches its affiliates to manage their financial information so it is easier to focus on how to make the company more profitable. It organizes the company so owners can have more time with their families. It positions companies so they are better able to sell or transition to new owners. CPrint also holds the affiliate to higher standards and makes it stand out from their competitors.
"Once an affiliate has the financials and organization under control, CPrint can help them focus on sales," said Nuckols. "We see the market place changing. If a printer wants to survive, they need consistent sales activities focused on the communication products and services their customers' need. We are providing affiliates with new tools and services that will set them apart from traditional printing companies."
Website management and development, coordinated electronic and print communication tools, and other services are being added by CPrint affiliates. "The key will not just be to add the services," said Nuckols, "but to teach affiliates how to sell the benefits of the new services to their local customers. Many printers are responding to our changing industry by pulling the covers over their head and waiting for the storm to pass. We are afraid that if a printer waits too long to react to the changes they will see their market share shrink and their business will die. We are teaching our affiliates about the changes and how to use them to expand their businesses today. And the best part is that it we are seeing positive sales results from coast to coast."
CPrint is an organization of independently owned family-based businesses that strive for professionalism and performance among small business that commonly lack highly developed systems and leadership. Companies from throughout North America participate in the program.
The CPrint designation is available only to printers who demonstrate exceptional quality and service by maintaining standards in operations, training, equipment and software as well as worker benefits and working conditions. This program requires annual onsite recertification as well as participation in continuing educational programs.