Let’s Walk the Talk with Inkjet
Each year, I am proud to be a part of the Inkjet Summit. It is the only industry event where competitors (printers and vendors) can come together and really share their experiences and technology offerings to advance inkjet adoption.
Where else can you find equipment and consumables vendors coming together to create an environment of teamwork without competitive tension? And, where else can you see those printers who have not yet purchased an inkjet solution talking with seasoned inkjet printers about testing print jobs and production outsourcing?
It is this sense of teamwork and open information sharing that make this conference so special. This year, I overheard a lot of conversations, like "How else can I fill my high-speed production inkjet printer?" Many print providers now have up to three or more continuous-feed devices. They took the leap early on and have worked through the learning curves that come with embracing a disruptive technology. Now, finding more work to fill the "hungry" presses is necessary. They are not just looking at printing "boring sheets," but more at creative ways of filling their machines with repeatable business.
For those who haven’t attended any of the three Inkjet Summits held so far, each vendor has a table—not a booth—to be used during the one-on-one sessions portion of the highly educational programming. Tables create a more personalized experience for printers and vendors to chat. One thing I noticed when visiting most of the vendors’ tables, though, was various literature promoting inkjet printers, papers, finishing, software, etc.—but most of it was not printed inkjet.
To me, if you are producing printed materials specifically to showcase a specific printing process, you would naturally employ this technology and relevant paper stocks to print your literature. When I asked why such literature was not printed inkjet, the most common response was, "It wasn’t available at the time."
Now, some may argue with me, as many do, but our job as consultants and suppliers is to promote and support our customers to whom we are selling. We all want the high-speed inkjet market to grow and, to do that, creating more production print is required. If printers are asking themselves, "How else can I fill my printer?" and suppliers to the inkjet market need printing, the answer should be obvious.
Literature, folders, spec sheets, direct mail, manuals, posters, kitting, etc., related to the inkjet process, should be sent by industry suppliers to their customers to output on their inkjet presses. It also presents a great opportunity to introduce or trial a product with a customer, who otherwise would have not had the chance.
Remember, all of us succeed when we create more demand for inkjet printing. If any vendors or printers need more ideas, just let me know.