Process Integration — Executing the Triple Play
• Runs of 250 to 500 impressions are up for grabs by three types of printing systems—digital, DI (Direct Imaging) and automated sheetfed presses. Both DI and newer sheetfed presses can be competitive for runs of 500 to 1,000 impressions.
Padgett Printing, in Dallas, makes a nice real-world case study for many of the trends reshaping the market. It has been offering sheetfed and half-web offset printing for decades and digital color printing for more than five years.
The capabilities of a half-web press fit the company’s position as a chiefly regional printer, notes Chip Chebuhar, vice president and sales manager. Its customers tend to be small- to medium-size companies that don’t have a lot of print work intended to support national coverage, which would put it in the full-web run length range, he explains.
One of the more recent additions to Padgett’s arsenal is an eight-color sheetfed press with perfecting. “It has enabled us to offer a seamless transition from the one-side sheetfed world to the half-web quantities,” Chebuhar reports.
In the past, there were times when the company approached customers with a specific identity, such as a sheetfed printer, he says. Capabilities-based targeting had the effect of pigeon holing the shop to certain products and opportunities. “We’ve missed out on other opportunities just because we weren’t looking for them or we had conditioned our customer to only think of us for certain types of work,” relates the sales manager.
Since joining the company, Chebuhar has helped Padgett adopt a more strategic approach with customers that focuses on the flexibility afforded by its broad production platform—digital, sheetfed and half-web. If the shop does its job right, the customer doesn’t need to be concerned about whether one process or another is used.
“Today, we’re approaching our customers with the question: ‘What is your need?’ and trying to better understand their business rather than spewing to them about the various pieces of printing equipment we have,” he notes. “We’re trying to understand the customers’ needs, wants and desires, then looking to align them with service offerings from Padgett. They are looking for us to come back to them and say, ‘Here is your optimal manufacturing plan.’ ”