Change or be changed...


Brian Tracy says ‘In a time of rapid change standing still is the most dangerous course of action’. And we would agree. Because if we leave ourselves open to waiting for the market to pick up, for demand to increase and for customers to return, we will be exposed to the changes in a market. We will spiral out of control and most likely become victims of the market.

In any industry there has been paradigms shifts, were the normal way of existing has changed in response to the forces of the market. We believe that a paradigm shift, is that towards industrial print production.

A key driver for both technological innovators and print production companies are economic. Why? Because it is becoming too hard to make money in traditional print production and the industrial sector is the next logical and most compelling leap into a new revenue area.

Stating the obvious, it is clear that the traditional print markets are contracting and not providing exciting opportunity for growth for most print companies. Even in markets that have a small growth trajectory, such as graphic printing, in terms of actually making a profit, this is getting harder and harder.

But just how hard is it for a traditional graphic printer to migrate applications from graphics into industrial?

Is this a natural evolution? Or will it require a revolution in thinking? Well the answer to that is probably a little bit of both.

The reality is that the competition within the graphics sector is so fierce that making money out of graphic production, unless you are in a dominant position in the market is very hard indeed. It is a very mature market. So if you are thinking where the future might lay, you might want to think about industrial applications.

But how easy is it to make the transition into another sector? If you are currently printing graphics, I hate to be blunt, but you won’t suddenly be able to transfer into state of the art industrial functional printing within the 3C sphere (Communications, Consumer Electronics or Computing) but you may, with the aid of digital inkjet, be able to make the transition into surface imaging (textiles, ceramics, wood, décor, furnishing) by having a plan, experimenting with different surfaces and connecting with new potential customers.

What this requires is trial and error. And a shift in thinking and behaviour.

The chance is that you may already have some kit that will enable you to decorate different surfaces, especially if you have a flat-bed machine or such like. This is technically classed as ‘industrial’ although you may not be printing industrial volumes, you will find you will get more euros per square metre because you are not fighting a cost per sq. metre for a banner or poster graphic.

If you are a ‘push button’ printer, you may find that it’s too much of a leap. It will require some technical learning, but more than that, it will demand that you sell to a bunch of people who are not necessarily going to exist within your current circle. You will need to do this in order to take yourself into a new sector. InPrint will focus upon where technology is changing markets, adapting to new demand and delivering innovation for customers and manufacturers. You could use your existing technology differently or you could deploy new technology to unlock new potential. Some of the same technology owners who produce graphic technology are making industrial kit also. Their experience and help could be invaluable to unlocking new markets.

We are in a state of constant change, and those that make a leap into trying something new are most likely to be successful in the long run. We are not suggesting that you ignore your past or indeed get rid of your core revenue streams, but remaining wedded to one application area is not sensible, especially when that area is getting tougher, growth is limited and margins are increasingly difficult to achieve. Try out something new!

So exhibiting at InPrint, requesting our white papers, market intelligence reports and so on may be a good idea. The fact is InPrint is gathering a lot of support because, as I said, it is commonly accepted that industrial provides the best opportunity for growth for print technology.

So join us and take a look into the future. Or Fail to Change, and be changed, by market forces.