In the first of a two-part interview, Ricoh Graphic Communications President, Koji Miyao, shares his thoughts on the local and international markets.
Miyao was appointed as Ricoh Graphic Communications President at the beginning of 2023, after 22 years with Ricoh – most recently as General Manager, Business Management Division. During a recent visit to Australia, Miyao sat down with Sprinter and shared his thoughts on the local market as well as the global trends facing the production printing sector in the year ahead.
Shift from Offset to Digital
Miyao reinforced the global trend of growing digital printing sales as companies look to diversify from traditional offset printing methods.
“Offset to digital is definitely happening right now and we have strong expectations that this will be accelerating in the next two to three years because not only Ricoh – but other vendors – are developing and introducing new technology that is providing more productivity and more cost advantages.
“Many customers are currently looking to transform themselves and their digital printing capabilities. At the same time, from the customer’s perspective, print jobs and run lengths are getting smaller and smaller as trends such as print on demand and more personalisation increase, which is also providing digital printing with several advantages over offset printing.”
The Australian Market
Based on his observations, Miyao believes the Australian market features behavioural elements from both the European and American markets.
“My instinct tells me that the Australian market is more aligned to the European market. In America more machines are sold to in-house printing operations, and in Europe and Australia more production printers are sold into commercial printers. Australia from a commercial printing perspective is an advanced country and we are very happy that the world first customer for our latest Pro C9500 is located in Melbourne.”
Following his interactions with printers all over the world, Miyao has observed a number of key trends.
“Printers globally are looking to transform themselves to capture new demand and new markets as it is difficult to grow organically. Other printers are adapting to an on-demand requirement, such as annual books or photobooks and they are also including service and delivery so they are capturing the total workflow to the customer.
“I have one customer where commercial printing was previously representing almost 100 per cent of their business. They have transformed their business so that printing is now 10 per cent of their business by transforming into a company that can supply turnkey graphics solutions for retailers when they open a new store – such a 7-Eleven Convenience store. The starting point for this evolution of this business was printed materials and they have transformed themselves to create a completely new business operation.”
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