David McGuiness, UK marketing manager at PrintIQ, says cost control, visibility, and new revenue streams will be high on most people’s agendas in 2023.
What do you feel were the main trends and key industry developments in 2022?
I’m not sure you would call it a trend but the customers we have spoken to have an ultra-sharp focus on costings right across the board from utilities through to supplies. They have realised that the smallest increase in a utility can reduce profits overnight and therefore they need full visibility of how their business operates and to have the ability to adjust quotations instantly.
The development of workflow automation has introduced new revenue streams that didn’t exist before and has reduced touchpoints within the organisation. Customers who have a good online presence and automated quoting can gain around 40% more work per month and build a strong returning customer base.
How have the numerous economic, political, and supply chain challenges that have dominated 2022 affected you and your customers, and how have you had to react?
Many of these challenges have actually worked in our favour as our systems are designed to help deal with monitoring cost control, stock supply and even the lack of skilled workers. With our easy-to-use interfaces most members of staff can interact in the job ordering and quoting process.
How have your relationships with customers and their expectations from you as a supplier changed in the past 12 months?
Customers have needed us to know their businesses more intimately than in previous years as there are so many fluctuating elements that can cause a loss. Our implementation team have to work even closer with the customer’s staff to understand the inner workings of the firm and translate this into costs.
What do you expect to be the main trends, key industry developments, and biggest opportunities for printers in 2023?
Cost control, visibility and new revenue streams are high on most people’s agendas and a defining trend for the next year. Most printers have woken up to the fact that an online presence and environmentally responsible business can help propel their businesses forward and gain new audiences.
How can suppliers better help printers navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in 2023?
By remaining adaptable and responsive to customer needs. Understanding how a customer’s business needs to adjust to the challenges and planning in advance can make a big difference. Connecting customers across the world and allowing networks and communities to develop can be a powerful and economic sales tool.
Suppliers of heavy equipment need to start publishing power consumption figures to allow customers to make correct purchasing decisions. A press may use less ink and be faster but if the power it requires reduces the profitability and sustainability then customers need to know this in advance.
How can suppliers do more to promote the effectiveness of print to the broader business community?
There is a wider job to be done by associations and suppliers that puts print in the forefront and gives the right message as far as sustainability goes to the buyer. We all know print is a sustainable medium, but the public have a slightly different view. We almost need a traffic light system similar to food packaging that says how green the piece of print is, combining many factors like carbon footprints.
These facts can be built into a good MIS quoting system so as the buyer can determine how they want the print produced.
Note: This prediction is taken from a special Briefing article in the new issue of Printweek featuring insights from industry suppliers, hence it does not follow the same question template as the other predictions.
This text is reproduced with kind permission of Print Week, you can read the original article first published here