In an exclusive interview, the general manager of HP Inc’s Large Format Business has updated on the 2022 achievements for the division and outlined its plans and strategy for the year ahead.
Daniel Martinez told Printweek that the division has continued to see three big areas of focus.
“The first one is that sustainability continues to be top of mind and absolutely central to our strategy, and I think it’s becoming more and more important and relevant to the work that we do.
“We’re on a mission to transform the industry to become more sustainable, that’s really what we’re about from an HP perspective in the printing industry and we’ve made strides this year across a number of vectors related to sustainability.
“We’re working on areas related to carbon footprint, circularity, health and safety, and we see that this is important to PSPs [print service providers].”
Martinez said that for the recent World Cup in Qatar, most of the signage printed for the event was produced using HP products, “and we won that deal precisely because of our sustainability story”.
“We’re getting queries and questions from our customers in how they can better communicate all the advantages that HP’s products bring.
“We have very clear and ambitious commitments for 2025 then 2030 as a company in terms of our use of single-use plastics – 25% of recycled plastics, and we’re actually above that in large-format where we’re aiming for 2025 to be above 30%.”
He added the business is also continuing to implement its Eco-Carton cartridges [where] “we’ve seen that we can reduce carbon emissions by 60% and plastic usage by 80% vs previous”.
“And this year we’re launching a platform that has 40% recycled plastics, which is pretty much our benchmark across both the Pro and the Design business – focusing on recycled plastic usage. We’re also now going into metals – recycled metals and having very clear targets around that is a big area for us.”
Martinez said the second focus area is on workflow automation where “we see that from an industry perspective, 64% of PSPs cited that cost control using workflow tools was one of their top areas of focus for this year”.
“In line with that, we’ve had PrintOS for several years now but we’ve really seen an uptick in the last few years around the usage of PrintOS, in fact we’re up 300% registered users since 2020 and we’re seeing the growth on the platform very significantly. We have close to 20,000 customers on the platform today and we’re building on that.”
In October, alongside the release of HP’s new 3.2m-wide Latex 2700 series printers, the company launched its Professional Print Service Plans, which are designed to enable business agility, maximise uptime and productivity, and to provide learning opportunities and support.
Customers have a choice of two different Professional Print Service Plans – Basic and Plus – with each tailored to business needs.
New and enhanced features include Print Beat Live Production, which gives users a single, real-time view of all jobs queued and in production across multiple sites; Print Beat Jobs API, which makes printer data available to businesses’ external ERP/MIS systems; HP Learn, a digital learning platform with free and premium training modules depending on the service plan users choose; and an enhanced HP Service Centre.
Martinez said the third focus area for the Large Format Business was on helping customers to “get onto the growth wave of industry transformation”.
“In the past, you would [go] to a PSP and you would have a USB stick, and it would be a very physical experience.
“But now there is a lot of demand for online and PSPs are now looking for the way to connect into that demand. And we want to make it easier for them to both connect to the demand, but also that once they’re connected, to simplify the process to get that printed and managing all that volume in a very efficient way.”
Martinez described 2022 as a year “that was riddled with challenges macro-economically” but that HP’s Large Format Business had been able to navigate well.
“We were actually able to meet basically the demand that we had from a customer perspective. We really worked through a lot of the supply chain challenges last year and we were able to navigate that quite effectively.
“We’re seeing that the horizon is looking much better now than this time last year. Obviously, things can change from one day to the next, but we’re much more optimistic in terms of where we are from a logistics and macro-economic standpoint.
“Things we’re looking out for include changes in interest rates impacting investment decisions. We saw a big return to events last year and that’s really helped to drive a lot of usage, we’re also seeing China coming back with its opening up, airline travel is up, so all of that activity is really driving usage for our products.”
He said events like the World Cup helped, where HP Latex technology was used by The Look Company to deliver branding for the event’s eight stadiums, 100 non-competition venues, and the installation of thousands of wayfinding signage items, 87km of fence scrim, and nearly 20,000 street flags.
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