Why Digital Press Salespeople Need to Be Bindery-Savvy
The digital printer space is becoming more and more competitive, and the printer sales teams are always on the lookout for something that will give them the edge. I deal with digital (continuous web) salespeople every day, and the one thing I try to impress upon them is to think about the total system they’re proposing, which includes finishing.
Yes, it's true that the press is the focal point of a printed product. But knowing how that press sheet becomes a finished, saleable end-product will make you a much smarter and more successful salesperson. Presses (and digital presses) are complex systems. But they are not sold in isolation, as stand-alone units. When a prospect makes the decision to invest in a multi-million dollar continuous digital press, they're planning for a complete end-to-end workflow. Knowing the types of finished products, and more importantly, what is the best and most efficient way to produce these, will be critical to your system bid.
So the press and finishing system must be considered as a complete module. This is especially important because the offset-to-finishing workflow is often completely different from the digital-to-finishing one. And although digital print can be a more efficient print process, it's also a more expensive one than offset. So designing the most efficient, least costly bindery process for digital becomes essential.
But in order to do this, you have to have some understanding of both finishing processes, and you must be "bindery savvy" so that your commercial printer prospect senses that you've done some homework. I have seen lots of large digital print projects run into difficulty because the printer sales team simply did not put forth a credible finishing solution. So, learn the specifics of offset print and finishing, and use your digital finishing vendor partners as the unpaid consultants that they are.
Bindery folks (like me) are only too happy to advise you on the technology, and what may work best for your particular project. You'll sell more presses this way!