If You're In the Right Market for Inkjet, 'Don't Wait'
On April 10 at the 2018 Inkjet Summit, attendees serving the transaction printing space joined Elizabeth Gooding, president of Insight Forums and co-founder of InkjetInsight.com, for a breakout session, "Transaction Printing Trends and Thought Starters."
Gooding explored the trends in transaction printing in relation to production inkjet adoption over the past few years. She explained that early adopters of inkjet were in transaction printing, but by 2016, direct mail began to overtake transaction printers in the adoption of continuous feed inkjet technology. Now, transaction printers are moving into other markets with the help of inkjet technology, blurring the lines between the segments. One of the things she said is understood is that sheetfed inkjet technology is still new in these segments.
A big question asked by those considering inkjet technology is what the entry level volume is. Gooding explained that for entry level roll-fed, the technology is justified at approximately 1 million impressions per month; for B3 sheetfed it's approximately 2.5 million; and mainstream roll fed clocks in at around >4 million.
When considering production inkjet technology for transaction printing needs, Gooding suggested taking a significant amount of time testing papers and educating yourself on ink usage. On the paper front, Gooding said there is a lot of R&D being done specifically on inks and primers to reduce the need for specialty papers.
Some of Gooding's key takeaways were:
- Take a lot of time to plan a transition to inkjet;
- Talk to customers, there may be opportunities to cross-sell something that they have been interested in doing;
- Talk to customers in a way they understand, they aren't looking at print the same way that you do. "The way you think about inkjet and the way it translates into value for the customer are two totally different things," she said; and
- Figure out what would work best for your operation, not what is the newest technology.
However, the biggest thing that Gooding stressed was that if you're interested in inkjet, the time to make a decision is soon.
"If you think you have the right market, don't wait," she said. "Waiting is going to put you behind the curve."