Binding and Finishing: Shifting Gears
Instead of trying to force market conditions on clients, a number of PRINT 09 vendors did a bang-up job of anticipating their needs in a depressed economy. One such party was Muller Martini. Sure, the company touted its 12,000 cph 3696 gatherer, but a strong theme at the booth was certified pre-owned equipment. This area is generally taboo; many vendors offer used gear, but few blow that horn.
Muller Martini also promoted its relocating services, an area that has seen a sharp uptick as firms look to downsize into smaller, more economical accommodations.
Anthony Quaranta, president of Q Group, which serves as Muller Martini's agency, noted that strong attention has been heaped on the company's three-tier training program: classroom instruction, remote e-learning and hands-on tutorials. It is ancillary value-adds such as these that speak to the needs of the 2009 client, according to Quaranta.
"In today's economic environment, large capital expenditures are not in the near future," he says. "As a privately held company, you need to protect those assets. In the printing business, it's even more important because your asset is what drives your cash flow and profit. If you're not printing, you're not billing."
Printers and vendors alike, mindful of reduced spending and delayed upgrades, were given a forum to compile wish lists. Si Nguyen, marketing director for Duplo USA, feels the show provided a good opportunity to lay the groundwork for future acquisitions.
"We're expressing to customers and future clients Duplo's commitment to providing quality, reliable digital color finishing," he says. "We're focusing more on application-driven products. There's not a lot of spending going on right now, so it's a good time to educate people about our technologies and innovations."
Among the new products highlighted by Duplo was its Integrated Folding System (IFS), which incorporates an in-line knife folder with a DC-series finishing unit. It eliminates the need for a separate folding device and enables users to slit, cut and crease with the DC-645/615, or slit, perforate and crease with the DC-445.