The Future Is With the Ladies, Anne and Carly –Waldman

A transfer that is happening more and more, and will be a major part of the future. That’s why I keep writing about this. Because you, my fellow printers, must be alert to this trend as surely as you must stay alert to the latest price of paper. So read on as I present my case. And Anne Mulcahy and Carly Fiorina—the heads of Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, respectively—if you’re out there somewhere, read this, because the future in so many ways is in your hands.

Table Shopping

A few years back my wife took me shopping for a new kitchen table. Of course, I was ready to buy the first table I saw and get back to the football game. But, as you might imagine, she dragged me into every furniture store and design center on the planet. Each place we visited had catalogs and color brochures showing styles of tables that were not on exhibit.

My first thought was that’s good for us printers. However, since so many catalogs were out of date, missing or just buried in a disorganized mess of printed materials, it wasn’t easy to find the specific brochures she needed.

One store, however, was an eye opener. They had copied the catalog pages or got available PDFs and computerized most of their literature. The salesperson flipped through a computer screen and simply printed my wife’s choices on an HP office ink-jet printer. It was in color and included a picture and the specs.

OK, I know what you’re going to say. The quality wasn’t as good as a commercially printed brochure, and you’re right. But my wife was happy because she got what she needed. It was more than fit for her purpose. Most important, the furniture dealer had everything at its fingertips and didn’t have to worry about stocking or sorting through countless brochures.

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