'Courage' Keynote Session Highlights: New Opportunities in the World of Printing
On the third and final day of PRINTING United Expo, HP held a panel discussion, “The Power of Courage: New Opportunities in the World of Commercial Print,” to address the growing demand of digital printing and how courage has propelled multiple businesses to success.
To open the discussion, Nachum Korman, VP and General Manager of the Worldwide Industrial Print Go-To-Marketing business within the HP Industrial print organization, elaborated on the myriad benefits of digital printing and recalled the milestone that was drupa ’95 with the introduction of inkjet technology. He quipped that the industry has come a long way since the days of analog printing. To further expand on just how far the industry has evolved, he was joined by panelists Matthew Doran, president and CEO, The Anstadt Company; Jeff Ellington, president and CEO, Runbeck Election Services; Anthony Thirlby, managing director, Venn Holdings; and David Baird, president and CRO, Truly Engaging.
The Move to Digital Printing
To address the recent migration to all-digital production, Korman asked what can be achieved through digital printing and what the impact is on the future. The overwhelming response was that today’s digital presses drive automation, and consequently, are necessary to keep up with consumer deadlines. Doran emphasized, “We’ve aligned our technology, and digital print in particular has helped us to provide these products in the most efficient way.” For Doran, it’s all about providing value to customers, and while offset still held a place in the company, an HP Indigo 100K digital press was the turning point in Anstandt's move to digital.
Quick to agree on the importance of keeping up with demands, was Ellington. He remarked, “[…] we were trying to manage the quality and requirements around ballots for alignment and registration, and trying to keep all of that straight was becoming more and more of a challenge, so we switched over.” The switch to HP PageWide inkjet web press digital output significantly increased the number of long runs being produced within a shorter timeframe. The company also purchased two envelope converters to produce return envelopes digitally and help counties track the entire life cycle of the ballots. Simply put, the switch to digital allowed Runbeck Elections Services to manage its increasingly compressed deadlines and growing product requirements.
The Keys to Success
When asked about the keys to success, the four panelists offered an array of advice that any print service provider (PSP) can find valuable, and for any scale of work. Thirlby said, “Focus. … Focus on what you are. We don’t try to be all things to all people.” Thirlby emphasized the importance of establishing a clear target, and then being the best in class at whatever that is for your business.
For Baird, the key to success comes down to partnerships with vendors. When referring to a recent product launch, he said, “We lean very heavily on our vendors and our partners. … We all had to come together as a team and build it.” He credited vendors as being experts in their own work, and explained that having a core relationship with them can lead to astounding work.
The Power of Courage
The move to full automation is never without roadblocks, nor is it a swift change. However, it’s clear that the benefits of digital printing – productivity, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and ease-of-use – outweigh the challenges. At the close of the discussion, Korman urged the audience to continually look for ways to improve their businesses and provide better solutions for customers. He continued by saying that PSPs should look to new segments, as there is a digital printing solution for all of them. And, perhaps most importantly, he concluded, do not be afraid to experiment with the technology and find what works best for your business and your customers.