Add value and be competitive

An excerpt from AP March 2020 Print Leaders Forum – by Pozitive Managing Director Philip Trumble 

Coming off the back of a tough economical year in 2019, 2020 is a time to invest in order to remain competitive. We have already seen a big increase in enquiries and orders for new equipment to help print providers offer increased versatility, reduce production costs and faster production speeds – simply put, to offer more value to their clients.

It’s no doubt that the industry will continue to consolidate and key markets will continue to merge – so those that work towards building strong relationships and delivering on added value will come out strong. One of the biggest trends that will impact 2020 is the shift towards fabric printing. Soft signage will continue to grow and change the way a lot of ‘rigid’ signage and POP/POS is produced.

With sustainability ever more the focus of print buyers, the ability to recycle print and have minimal impact on landfill is high on the agenda and is driving purchases.

In addition, they seek the ease of installation by untrained workers and the ability to ship easily across the country (as fabric can be folded up). The trade printing of fabrics will see tremendous growth, given the relatively high equipment entry costs to print the full gambit of fabrics. Large format printers, calendaring devices for fixation or transfer, and finishing devices may be required depending on the range of fabric applications to be offered.

On the other hand digital signage is starting to make an impact, with many fixed installations like menu boards moving towards digital.

The companies that will win are those that can combine digital signage with print and manufacture to offer a complete visual concept. Digital billboards are also a growing area and it will be interesting to see how this progresses over the next 12 months. I believe that print providers should focus on versatility. With print runs getting shorter, providers who are agile can offer the widest range of products and services will be in prime position to meet the needs of the market.

Total control of the production and a focus on customer service is now a necessity and will be more and more valued as turnaround times get shorter and clients look for businesses that have adopted a ‘one stop shop’ concept that allows buyers to quickly confirm orders across the complete campaign, then carry on with more important tasks.

Delivering on personalised service is the one important way print providers can attract and retain clients. I believe that as we buy more online, personal service will again become more valuable. It used to be that verbal communication and personal touch was our primary method of contact. When trends switched towards online buying, the speed and flexibility of emails and text messages seemed like a god send.

Somewhat unknowingly, personal touch took a backseat. These days we are all bombarded by social media, emails, and text messages and I believe clients miss that ‘personal touch’ and sometimes get taken aback when it is offered.

That good old fashioned phone call is now a rarity, yet picking up the phone and talking to our clients can make an impact. At Pozitive, we are focussed on turn key solutions and ensuring we have the right products for the market’s needs.

We plan to increase our footprint in Melbourne, and take some of our core products on a roadshow. We are also focussed on delivering value to our clients – not just selling more boxes, but ensuring we have the right solutions and products that are leaders in their field.

This article was written prior to the impact of COVID-19. The digital version of AP March 2020 is available here.

And as part of AP’s 70 anniversary, we’re pulling together a list of 70 local industry pioneers – you can make your nominations here.

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