Strut Your Solutions --WaldmanOctober 2002
My favorite is Pinnacle Studio Version 8 from Pinnacle Systems, which is so intuitive that, in no time, you can produce an exciting, visual tour of your shop, complete with professional looking transitions and titles. You can easily add music and voice-over narration, as well.
Once you make your movie, you can take it on the road, or send it out as a CD (if it's short enough) or DVD. You can also place it in another program like PowerPoint, Acrobat (yes a PDF will play movies very nicely) or a very powerful new program called Liquid Media.
This enables you to create an organized presentation, with all your copy and advantage points, complete with movies that can visually show-off the power of your presses. Actually, nix that—because if you're only showing the power of your presses, you will not make it in tomorrow's very different world. This is a world where a specific press is not nearly as important as promoting total customer solutions.
OK, where am I going with this? I'm trying to tune you in to the fact that new technology has made it very easy to create exciting and powerful demonstrations showing your capabilities. You can get your message out in a creative and very informative new way. Just think of how your salespeople can get customer face time with real, visual impact. But, most important, what are you going to tell your clients? If it's that your new press prints a sharper dot than the competitor down the street, you'll have your customer thinking of different avenues and you may be on the highway to extinction.
To win in tomorrow's electronic media-oriented world, printing alone isn't the answer. You have to provide your customers with more. I was a small part of a printing and publishing industry seminar that Xerox put together with partners such as Adobe, PIA, TrendWatch and others. It toured a number of cities and addressed this very topic.
Hopefully, it was in your town and you were one of the fortunate to attend. The seminars explored the coming trends and the impact of electronic media. Most important, speakers talked about solutions for future growth. There's no question that Xerox wants to sell you one of their fine digital presses but, to do so, they have packaged total solutions with their partners to help you capitalize on the future.
They are not alone; I'm sure that HP and Indigo are trying to do the same, as are other well-known industry manufacturers.
Go to seminars of this type, attend trade shows like Graph Expo and Converting Expo and, instead of looking at specific equipment, explore ideas that will help you implement solutions. Most industry suppliers have been hard at work on this very topic, so that's what you want to talk to them about. Of course, in the end, it's up to you to put together a plan that will take you down the right road.
Once you implement your business plan, use all the great, new presentation tools that are now available to let your customers know by creating a road show of your own.
About the Author
Harry Waldman is a consultant and has been in the printing industry for 30 years. As a former company owner, he was well-known for implementing cutting-edge technologies. He has been on many advisory boards and received several honors for his industry contributions. Waldman is also an author. His book, Computer Color Graphics, published by GATF Press, enables readers to learn today's graphic software quickly by teaching the essential concepts. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.