Making the most of digital printing

The age of the digital printer is fast approaching.

Whilst printers may not sound like the most exciting piece of technology available on the market today – make no mistake that digital printing in particular, can help business processes evolve.

‘Digital’ is only just starting to go mainstream and adoption is slowly rising. There is quite a way to go before it gains majority share of ‘choice’ as a printing technology in the UK and there are a number of considerations to bear in mind as digital evolves alongside other technologies in the workplace.

1. Manage digital jobs differently - avoid a ‘price war’

Maintaining profitability and preventing price erosion is integral. As digital increases in uptake, it is clear that many printers are not managing the technology in the most efficient manner, which can have a direct impact on commercial output.

Printers are installing digital technology but many are missing the hidden essentials built around the workflow that manages certain jobs. This is due to printers going from managing a small number of larger jobs with litho, to a large number of smaller digital jobs. This points to a clear shift in working practices and requires strong management software to make sure each job is as profitable as possible.

2. Get your hand around data handling

Getting the balance right between digital and litho is integral. As inkjet technology caters for roll fed production, digital toner technology remains the first choice for cut sheet production. Furthermore, with the growing influencer of data on the printer’s and indeed, the customer’s lives (especially marketing managers), printers are now under pressure to seriously consider fresh approaches - including personalisation techniques – so that they can offer intelligent and profit generating services to clients and customers.

3. Understanding the media that can be used- digging deeper

Today’s printers must advance media capability to meet litho-like demands. As the digital services continue to grow and mature, we predict to see greater awareness and adoption of digital stocks that act like litho stocks. These ‘stocks’ can be anything from labels to waterproof paper, self-adhesives and synthetic media. This will add far greater value around the printing technology itself, and in some ways, still act as a hidden facet of digital which has yet to be explored fully.

4. Cleary explain what added features give to print buyers

Printers need to place digital’s benefits to their prospective buyers. Going digital offers sophisticated options that help printers sell added value. With features like fifth ink stations and robust finishing technologies such as unique paper size handling and booklet finishing, digital can become so much more than just a profitable option - it is now a crucial component of a professional printer’s technology stack.

The age of the digital printer is fast approaching. The migration to digital print can ensure enhanced profitability and add greater value to the printing process. With the above four considerations in mind, printers can confidently implement digital print to evolve alongside other technologies in the workplace, now and for years to come.

Steven Hastings, IT distribution channel director, Ricoh UK

Image source: Shutterstock/Libor Píška