Hamilton--2000 - The Controversies Continue
Then there's the new kid on the block: e-commerce. Clearly, this is a nascent area, and it is extremely early to predict anything. For me, I expect to see significant progress in specific market segments of the printing industry—especially forms, stationery and business cards—but it is more difficult to predict how fast it will expand into market segments that have traditionally relied on relationship selling.
As for the supplier/distribution channel, this is clearly going to undergo some fundamental changes, and it will be interesting to see how dealers deal with their virtual competition.
Personally, I am going to do what a lot of people in our industry do every day: try to keep my head above water. With technologies changing at an ever-faster pace—as well as influxes from industries that just a few years ago had virtually no relationship to the printing and publishing industries—it's a challenge just to figure out what's going on and what strategic direction will make the most sense going forward.
Perhaps there's a Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer to help guide us through the prepress snowstorm. Just don't count on it.
About the Author
Alex Hamilton, a former technical editor with Printing Impressions, is president of Computers & Communications Consulting, which specializes in digital technologies for printing and publishing. He can be reached at (215) 247-3461 or by e-mail at email@example.com.