How Printers Are Getting Their Differentiation Back
This article is adapted from the article “Differentiation Is Back!” by Paul V. Reilly, Partner, New Direction Partners, published in the 2014 FORECAST Part 1: Trends and Tactics. Reilly is a featured presenter at the 2014 Print Leadership Summit, June 2–3.
Technology can be like a double-edged sword. We use technology to increase print quality and differentiate our company. Then, as competitors eventually acquire these same technologies, differentiation decreases, and we’re left right back where we began. You could say that technology is so good, it’s bad!
So the question is: How can printers today distinguish their company when they’re using the same technology that is available and comparable to their competitors’? The solution is customization.
You may have heard of Proprietary Customer Interface Technology (PCIT). Our industry has developed this new customization tool to solve the technical differentiation problem. Here Paul V. Reilly of New Direction Partners explains how adopting PCIT can help you multiply your sales.
What is PCIT?
PCIT is a computer application that facilitates the interaction between the printer and customer—what some might refer to it as “Web-to-print on steroids.” But PCIT is much more than Web-to-print, providing a high level of customization for each customer’s individual needs. PCIT is usually a combination of acquired and custom code, but it always includes custom code. This allows a company to differentiate itself from a competitor who has similar software.
PCIT fully integrates the flow of data between the printer and customer, whether data is stored on the customer’s or printer’s servers. PCIT, similar to all solution sales, transfers risk held by a customer in a transactional sale to the printer. Examples include delivery time and accuracy, versions, proofing, etc. The image shows a schematic of how PCIT works.
How can PCIT help increase profits?