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Digital Printers Adding New Applications to Expand, Retain Business

May 2009
By Larry Corwin, President, Rollem International

Launching new products or offering an expanded range of services is a great way to energize your customer base and attract new business. This is exactly what Rollem International is seeing from digital printers who are looking for an edge in today’s competitive markets. Many printers who have found substantial niche markets are finding new and necessary product offerings.

Whether you have a mature product that needs re-invention or you truly have a new product to offer, new offerings are always interesting, always instill curiosity and always draw the interest of the intended recipient.

With that in mind, why not consider some of the hundreds of other well suited products that digital variable data presses can create? For example, you may be active with the production of postcards, so why not offer greeting cards? Or maybe you offer photo books as a primary use of your press when you could add mailing services. The list goes on.

If the cost of new product offerings worries you, because it might require an investment, examine your options. Your variable data press is likely your most expensive investment to date. Therefore, it is more than likely that your new product might only require an investment in a finishing machine, which is likely a small fraction of what you already have invested.

A good first step is to consider which applications you are best suited to expand into. For example, if you have an interactive Web site where your customers can design their own products, you may wish to consider customer calendars, photo processing or greeting cards. If you already produce postcards and have experience with mailing applications, you may wish to consider a direct mail offering with more types of mailing forms and remittance options.

After you have identified the applications you would like to offer, find the companies that specialize in the finishing of these products and consult with them about your options, including production information and cost. It would not be surprising if you find the cost of expanded products is relatively low in comparison with the return on investment.

Once you have identified your new product offerings, market yourself as a specialist in that area. You will be extremely pleased with the reaction you get from your new customers as well as your existing customers.

Rollem International has been designing and building finishing machines for hundreds of applications for more than 80 years. We have assisted hundreds of printers in finding new and expanded products to offer and often at a surprisingly small investment outlay.
 

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