Inkjet Summit Concludes with Thought-Provoking Selection of Takeaways
Because the 2018 Inkjet Summit, which took place April 9-11 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was a forum for exchanging ideas, there could have been no more appropriate way to adjourn its conference proceedings than with a recap of some of the event’s most pertinent ideas and observations. Conference chair Marco Boer did the honors in a closing session, adding a few summary comments of his own.
As he had in his opening keynote, Boer called inkjet the printing industry’s fastest growing technology. He also credited it with changing the print business model from one of highest quality at the lowest price to acceptable quality at prices reflecting the value that the process adds. To this, he attached quotes in the same vein from various conference speakers:
- “Inkjet is a game-changer.” As adoption spreads, inkjet will reshape business cultures and open doors to new opportunities. (Direct Technologies)
- “Print for show; finish for dough.” This spotlights the role of finishing as a competitive differentiator in inkjet production. (King Printing Co.)
- “Get the workflow right is key.” Without it, all the printer has is a hungry, high-capacity inkjet press. (Cathedral Corp.)
- “Buy inkjet to do something different.” Use the technology to break into new applications for the incremental revenue they can bring. (SPC)
- “We should have bought inkjet earlier!” This realization dawns when the printer sees how many conventional costs (plates, setups, etc.) switching to inkjet eliminates. (L&D Mail Masters)
- “You don’t buy workflow - you design it.” Workflow isn’t plug-in-and-go software. It’s an all-encompassing process that printers have to mold to their specific requirements. (inkjet Insights)
- “Change the conversation. Talk to customers about trends and options, not your hardware.” Self-explanatory; in the inkjet world, an equipment list gets no meaningful dialogs started. (DMS Ink)
- “Embrace Millennials” as customers and employees. Believe it or not, people in this age group like print. (Formost mediaOne)
- “Be brave. Guarantee your customers will see revenue improvement from your programs.” This, according to Boer, was a paraphrase of a statement by a conference speaker whose company has so much confidence in inkjet that it makes precisely this pledge to its clients. (APEX Revenue)
Boer noted that inkjet technology has advanced to a point where “there are no bad products”: just solutions that suit some applications better than others. Inkjet systems have demonstrated their reliability and profitability, and users are willing to speak openly about what they’ve been able to accomplish with them. The task before prospective adopters is to find the combination of printing, paper, software, and finishing that lets inkjet be everything it can be.
Selecting the right system, Boer said, is a matter of clarifying “fit and culture”: the applicability of the device to the kind of work it will be called upon to produce and the kind of relationship the buyer of the equipment can expect to have with its vendor.
He closed with video testimonials from Inkjet Summit attendees and with a salute to the event’s advisory board: Elizabeth Gooding, President, Insight Forums and Co-Founder, InkjetInsight.com; Barbara A. Pellow, Manager, Pellow and Partners; Matt Swain, Group Director, Keypoint Intelligence - InfoTrends; Skip Henk, EDP, President and CEO, Xplor International; Mark Michelson, Editor-in-Chief, Printing Impressions; Bob Neubauer, Editor-in-Chief, In-Plant Graphics; and Charles A. Pesko, Strategic Advisor, nGage Events.
Related story: A Philosophy of Workflow for Inkjet Service Providers