The HP user group, Dscoop Edge Fusion, has heard why printers need a winning strategy.
The accelerated changes the print industry has faced in the past year make it critical for businesses to be agile. In doing this, they can quickly react to changing environments.
The Dscoop event enables owners of HP Indigo and other HP solutions to interact and learn more about how HP can help them get the most out of the technology. Currie Group supplies HP Indigo in New Zealand.
Adi Retman, business development manager for HP Indigo, used her session to stress the importance of businesses pivoting. She said, “The world as we know it has changed after Covid-19 and we all had to quickly adapt. We had to factor in social distancing. Therefore, we had to work from home with all events cancelled.
“Covid-19 has accelerated many of the mega trends in the commercial printing market.”
The rise and rise of e-Commerce
Retman identified e-commerce as the single platform that has changed a number of industries following Covid-19.
She said, “E-commerce is growing and consumers are rapidly changing their behaviours and demands. In addition, there is a growing transition to buying more locally. E-commerce penetration in the US took 10 years to grow 10 per cent before, but in the first eight weeks of Covid-19 grew by another 10 per cent.
“The winning industries of 2020 that have enjoyed a spiking rise in demand include Zoom, Wix, and UberEats, amongst other e-commerce sites. When we look at these industries, we can say, ‘well, they were at the right place at the right time’. But what happened to the other industries that were hurt?”
Retman further elaborated that the global events industry, estimated at more than US$1tn ($1.39tn) in value a year, just stopped operating globally. Industries that support the events industry, like printing, suffered significantly with this. Moreover, this makes it difficult where printers need a winning strategy.
She said, “These businesses had to pivot their businesses, with a ‘do or die fast’ attitude and identify opportunities for growth.
“Another industry that suffered because of Covid-19 was digital print. Over the past five years before Covid-19, digital print was growing while analogue printing was on the decline. Through Covid-19, while there was some impact, digital suffered less than analog. Why is that?
“When we look at market trends, we see that they are all fuelling digital print. We see that e-commerce in print is also growing from year-to-year and is predicted to continue to grow, making fast delivery more important than ever before.”
Dscoop Edge Fusion: Short run demand triples
Retman said the demand for short run print has tripled in just the last five years. knowing this can help where printers need a winning strategy.
At the same time, offset costs rose in 2020 and 2021 with price increases in paper, freight and offset ink. She said, “This means that today, more than ever, it’s risky to stay in the commodity of offset. A print business needs to come up with a winning strategy – whether that be to focus on innovation and high value products or improving the level of automation to work more efficiently and reduce labour costs.
“When we analysed our customers’ 2020 performance, we see that customers that used more unique features such as special inks and variable data printing did much better that year.”