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The Deregulation Of the Digital Press

February 2000
The flood gates are open—digital presses for commercial printers are no longer one size fits all. There are enough devices to tempt the commercial printing community. From the zealous prepress provider to the comprehensive of one-stop printing operations: Specialization is the new mandate for the digital press in on-demand printing, variable or not.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


Quick. What is a prime directive of the best of the best commercial printers when it comes to exploring new digital technologies for print?

  • Be receptive to embrace emerging digital printing technologies?

  • Be proactive with contemporary and unique marketing initiatives to promote new digital printing investments?

  • Deliver the highest quality printing services possible—plus offer a specialized on-demand printing service?

  • What about the customer? What about staying one step ahead of the customer by positioning to be a true one-stop printing resource for both long- and short-run applications?


What about being a technologically savvy commercial printer, intent on gaining new business by proactively marketing newly implemented digital printing services? How about that for a mandate.

With several years now well under their collective 'belts,' digital printing equipment manufacturers from Agfa to Indigo, Xeikon to Xerox, Scitex to Screen and, of course, Heidelberg, are changing—finally—the way even the more conservative commercial printers view the evolving digital printing business.

Exactly how is the digital press market redefining the goals and marketing plans of even the most traditional commercial printers? There is a new word in town when it comes to discussions of this nature—discussions of the potential of digital printing under the roof of the all-American printer.

Think deregulation. No longer is one specific type of digital press necessarily a right or wrong fit for any particular commercial printing environment looking to grow in areas of direct imaging.

Specialization of digital printing services is the mandate progressive commercial printers are now following as they consider the logic, given the corporate agenda for each particular printing operation, of evolving into areas of on-demand, short-run digital printing. Today, digital presses come in enough flavors for all commercial printers to step back, evaluate the short-run potential of their operation and say: "Is it time? Am I ready to be a digital print provider?" More and more, the answer is: "Yes."

Tailoring On-demand
"The power of digital also means the power of specialization—there is no longer a feeling of 'one size fits all' when it comes to on-demand digital printing," reports Doug Clott, North American sales and marketing director for Karat Digital Press, a joint venture.

 

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