Memjet CEO Len Lauer shares his insights on the printing industry for 2018.
In the digital age, many used to think that it is the start of the decline of the printing industry. With eBooks replacing paperbacks, online transactions becoming more preferable over traditional bank transactions, and custom vinyl stickers in NZ, US, Canada and other parts of the world seen as a more personalized option for customers instead of store-brought alternatives. However, the printing industry is not lagging behind—enter digital inkjet printing industry.
How does the printing industry look in 2018?
Lauer says that the first quarter of the year has shown growth in the GDP of the United States and Europe. What this means is that consumers are small business owners are optimistic this year. But how does this affect the printing industry?
The increased optimism is also seen among printers and suppliers. In a survey involving 700 printers and 200 suppliers, 40% of the printers and 56% of the suppliers feel good and positive about the business this year. This is a huge difference compared to the 9% printers and 5% suppliers who are rather worried, or believe that business has been poor. This optimism, Lauer explains, may lead to increased capital expenditure.
Investments in the Digital Printing Industry
Inkjet technology has shown promise with its high-speed, high-quality print and vibrant colours. It helps a lot that it needs low capital and running costs as well. It has become a more favourableoptions for service providers and end-users, in part due to its versatility. In can be used in packaging, labelling, mailing, commercial purposes, and even 3D printing.
Personalization has become a trend, and continues to be even more influential. Before, printing shirts and custom vinyl stickers in NZ, Australia, Europe, and the rest of the world was seen as an innovation, and it is, but digital printing aims to take another step further.
According to Lauer, printers have finally started to see digital media not as competition, but as a tool to enhance customer experience. For example, customers can make custom designs digitally, upload the image, and have them printed not only on paper but also on other items such as shoes. And it doesn’t stop there. Even the packaging can be customized to match the customer’s design for the product itself.
Lauer sees even more progress in the digital printing industry for the rest of the year and beyond.