Canon puts business consultancy at the fore of its Drupa plans

Breaking from the typical hardware focus, the manufacturer used its presentation at this week’s Drupa Media Conference to speak in-depth about its Essential Business Builder Program, which will be central to its Drupa presence.

Canon and Océ presented together at the press conference – a preview of Drupa itself, where the two vendors will offer a completely united front on a single 3,750sqm  stand.

The pair did touch on new products during the press conference, but these took a backseat to news of initiatives to help customers make money in the current climate.

The focus is squarely on applications for technology.

Canon’s Drupa booth will showcase more than 50 case studies showing how print service providers have used its products and services to capitalise on market opportunities. There will also be information on more than 50 applications for digital print.

One specific “zone” of the booth will be dedicated to its Essential Business Builder Program.

According to Canon, “Visitors to the stand will also have the opportunity to find out about the new Canon Essential Business Builder Mentoring Program, where independent industry experts work with print businesses to support them in achieving their long-term goals.

“Mentors will offer structured advice and practical support in areas such as developing a business plan, introducing a new print service offering, improving marketing, seeking out new sales channels, handling internal finance issues, managing staff and more.”

David Preskett, professional print director at Canon Europe, said that, for example, printers could meet with designers who would give insights into what marketers and agencies want from print providers.

Canon will also use the trade show to reveal the full findings of its fourth Insight Report, a broad survey of print buyers.

The report was conducted between December 2011 and January 2012, surveying 420 print buyers. While most details are being held until Drupa, Canon used the press conference to reveal a few nuggets of information.

The report pinpointed opportunities for printers to better educate customers on what digital print can do. Some 32% of the survey respondents were not aware of short-run publications and 30% were not aware of print on demand.

In the hardware side, the Canon and Océ have already made substantial announcements about new technology, including the premier of the new Colorstream 3700 inkjet production press and new additions to its Jetstream inkjet range.

Drupa takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany on 3-16 May 2012.

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