Home' Asian Printer Magazine : January 2014 Contents Asian Printer - January 2014 29
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> WIDE FORMAT: BUSINESS >>>>
MULTI FORMAT printers are rounded
businesses capable of selling full solutions,
not just parts of campaigns. They are
comfortable handling new applications on
a wide range of media. They are willing to
respond fast to last minute promotions.
Above all, they are natural diversi ers,
willing to experiment, keen to become
Wide format inkjet print is more about
value than the cost of ink and paper. Its
focus is on content, and the task is to
communicate that to target audiences.
The response of the reader or viewer
determines the value to the buyer. The
tighter the targeting, the more appropriate
the message, the better the response and
the higher the value.
Digital print is good at handling
variable data les. In the context of wide
format, this might mean personalising
POP and display to individual stores, with
di erent prices or di erent promotion
Printers who expand into wide format
earn the opportunity to participate in the
full campaign, not just the o set print part.
That is convenient for buyers and gives
them consistent colours and production
values across a range of media.
Full service supplier
WHEN a buyer enquires about
litho the typical response is
how many, when, what size and
how many colours. It is much
the same with screen printing.
Usually buyers want a quote
on the spot. There is no great
incentive to form a relationship
and return to buy more.
Wide format printers are
nosier -- in a good way. They get
to ask about what the print is
for, where it is going, what it is
supposed to do, who will install it
and where does the information
needed to print it come from?
With 3D print, for instance, there
needs to be collaboration over
design and testing.
As a consequence wide
format printers can get involved
with the execution of campaigns
beyond the actual print. They
often deliver and physically
display the material -- not always
directly. But the extra services
allow them to charge and earn
additional margin. It is a service
that litho printers could easily
do. The margin lies in project
management, from creation to
If a printing job involves
an unexpected amount of
management and phone calls
for, say, checking les or sorting
out data management problems,
commercial printers can be
reticent about speaking to a
buyer and advising them they
need to charge more. They fear,
with some justi cation, that the
buyer will take the business to
a competitor who will throw in
the additional work for no extra
The culture of wide format
is di erent. Suppliers are less
shy. On creative projects they
can say they are performing
a tailored service. There is no
embarrassment in asserting the
value in their service. Invoices
tend to re ect the project
management, not a simple sum
of paper, machine time and ink.
A SIGNIFICANT chunk of o set business is
poster printing, but recent developments
have pushed this work towards inkjets.
The outdoor media market continues
to grow strongly, latest gures show
another eight per cent quarter growth
result, and there are no signs of its slowing
down, good news for printers looking for
growth markets, with new applications
continually opening up.
Skyboard Australasia and Outdoor
Intelligence have recently celebrated the
world's largest mobile billboard run.
The SkyBoard, a so-called mega
billboard, is equivalent to four supersites
on each side. It has served as a stage for
a concert and, for a four-week campaign
leading up to the event, as a 192sqm
double-sided billboard. The whole
structure sets up in under two hours and
dismantles in under an hour, with only two
SkyBoard director Steve Lambourne
says, "The SkyBoard skins were printed
on the Fuji lm Uvistar printer, which can
output up to 360sqm per hour."
Posters and billboards
MARGINS on routine commercial
work can languish in single
gure percentages. Some jobs
do not even o er that. Printers
are reluctant to turn away work;
lease payments on presses have
to be met and employees paid,
whether or not they are busy.
Naturally, this encourages
buyers to shop around looking
for spare capacity -- rms with
no work on. But it does not
create any loyalty; good service
is forgotten fast. When the next
job turns up, the buyer or broker
goes hunting again for spare
capacity around the market.
The printers who are
successful and are making fair
margins are those that have
broadened their print capability
and developed an in-house
creative service, coupled with
account management skills.
Stepping o the treadmill
WIDE format buyers are
di erent. Selling to them
involves a switch from remote
publishers buying quantity for
cost to creative buyers looking
for ideas, speed and novelty in a
Getting involved in wide
format print means moving up
the food chain, not just taking
orders but contributing ideas
and knowledge. This means
printers need to raise their game
in communicating with buyers.
Steve Collyer, national
manager for electronic graphics
systems at Fuji lm says, "Our
recommendation to commercial
printers is this: for important
potential buyers, try to meet
them face-to-face. Start by
thinking of brand owners as
clients and arrange your business
processes to account manage
them. Upgrade your web
presence by showing examples
of previous work and develop
your web-to-print capability.
Web-to-print is well understood
in the litho sector, but is an
equally valid storefront for wide
format, albeit with larger les
and a wider range of media.
"Selling should emphasise
the rm's capability and
creativity. It is important to
be able to price one-o jobs
accurately, with a focus on
service and value added.
"A printer who gains a
reputation for being able to
place print onto a range of
substrates will get calls asking
about further unusual jobs.
At this point the buyer is less
sensitive about price."
A di erent approach to selling
with wide format printing
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