4 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Print Technology
When you’re running a busy print shop, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
You’re so focused on getting work out the door, you don’t have time to ask yourself the big questions: How has the market changed? Am I keeping up or falling behind? How do I stack up against the competition? Does my business model still make sense? Where will I be in a year — or five years?
Often, the answers to these and other questions come down to the technology you’re using. After all, you’re only as productive, efficient and competitive as your press(es). And if you haven’t upgraded in the last few years, you may be missing out on new business, or new opportunities with existing clients.
Here are four signs that it might be time to upgrade your print technology:
1. You’re Selling On Price
In recent years, there’s been a lot of downward price pressure in the print market due to the emergence of online print shops. With their lower costs, larger client bases and faster delivery times, it can be hard for you to compete if you’re doing a lot of labour-intensive, low-value work.
Online print shops’ high-volume, low-margin model means they can usually undercut you on price for this type of work. And it’s not just the online competition. Your local competitors may also be selling on price to retain market share.
You may feel tempted to adopt the same strategy, but competing on price is a race to the bottom – and that’s a race you never want to win. Instead, the answer is to differentiate yourself, offering value-added services that neither online nor offline competitors can match – delivering premium print jobs at premium prices. You could become a valued marketing partner instead of ‘just another print shop’. And upgrading your technology can help you get there.
2. Waste Is Eating Into Your Profit Margins
Even in a perfect world, jobs go wrong. What matters is how often it happens and how seriously it hits your bottom line. A good way to see the size of the problem is to look at the size of your wastebasket.
If you’re using older technology you might think waste is normal. Those alignment, skew and magnification problems are just part of the process. The same goes for colour density issues, which can sometimes force you to throw out a whole job. Paper jams are always frequent when you print on different stock or when humidity increases and paper expands. Paper seldom cuts straight, and blemishes are par for the course.