"Companies are finding profitable differentiation in value-add services."
BPIC: What about profit centers beyond pure print work in the year ahead? Should print providers be pursuing electronic digital displays? Fulfillment? Design? Perhaps something I’m forgetting…?
Tim Greene, InfoTrends: I think integration is a hot area – where printers help advertisers integrate brand marketing across technology and media platforms. The idea is to become more than a printer or a print supplier, to get closer to clients so that the shop is not just responding to RFPs. Design, fulfillment, and other consultative selling capabilities are all part of this model.
Peter Mayhew, LightWords Ltd: Digital display sounds like it should be a cash cow going forward, and this may be the case if you carefully pick your place to play in this market. Even at this early stage in this market’s evolution, the big players are asking serious questions about return on investment and payback time. So should PSPs before they dive in.
Dan Marx, SGIA: There’s a lot of activity in profit centers after the print – services like die-cutting, sewing/seaming, lamination, and doming – as well as services outside of the process, like fulfillment, kitting, and warehousing. There are two reasons these areas are heating up. First, competing on print quality is increasingly hard to do, as users and equipment have become much more sophisticated. Companies are finding profitable differentiation in value-add services. Second, some product areas – let’s use banners as a very real example – have become commoditized. Value-add services in addition to, or outside of, core banner production help companies maintain their profitability.
Marco Boer, I.T. Stratgies: Any area where thought is put into helping your customer’s customer make money.
This is day 7 of our Industry Roundtable Q&A; for day 6, click here.