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Why consumables suppliers like Contra Vision are spending more time in collaboration with you  - and your customers.

With their expertise printers can add value to almost any project, if only they seize the opportunity. Of course many jobs require fast turnaround and low costs and it’s not always in a printer’s interest to up-sell solutions but, then again, thinking about unusual materials and novel applications can result in truly striking outcomes. Yet so often the focus is on price when it comes to print companies quoting on jobs, and that can really limit creativity – and the sales of higher end specialist media. Which is why some consumables suppliers, like Contra Vision, are turning their marketing and sales attention to end-users.

Understand what gamefication is all about and you just might become one, as Paul Simpson explains.

Why is gamification one of the buzzwords of 2014? There are two principal reasons. First, because more companies are realising that the factors that inspire billions of us to play games - desire, incentive, challenge, achievement, reward, feedback and our innate need to be the best at a specific activity – can be used to sell products, persuade us to like a brand or change out behaviour as employees. Secondly, this dynamic resonates most strongly with Generation Y consumers, also known as millennials, who will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

343 print companies involved in digital inkjet wide-format production from across the UK and Ireland completed this year’s survey, making it the biggest poll yet of the sector’s domestic players. Here are the key findings.

The data is in and the report is out. Widthwise 2014 is an analysis of the information provided by grassroots large-format print producers, the seventh consecutive year Image Reports has conducted such research. Get your hands on it and you’ll get a true insight into the shape of the UK and Ireland market – where the growth is, where the investment is going etc. The full Widthwise Report is available for free download, but here’s a heads-up on the key findings.

We’re doing well, but we can do better according to Fespa Global Summit speakers. Here’s the upshot of the two-day event.

Technology is driving convergence. And so is customer expectation. If there was one key takeaway from the recent Fespa Global Summit, it was that what we fear should be what we embrace. That we’ve got to get beyond the mindset of being a ‘printer’ and think about how we can become specialists in visual communication, whatever that might entail.

Printing flooring offers huge scope – but not just for printers. Flooring specialists too can see opportunities and are getting in on the act, so are there lessons you can learn from them?

Twenty years after it was founded, German-based laminate flooring business Falquon has been revitalised by a management team with an innovative business model that revolves around the purchase of an Océ Arizona UV flatbed printer from Canon.

Is the industry prepared for a move away from PVC boards towards more flexible and sustainable options? Ashley Moscrop, group director of Dufaylite shares his thoughts and predictions for the year ahead and what this means for the printing industry.

It can’t be ignored; the very noticeable trend within the retail sector is a move away from PVC boards towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly substrates like paper and polypropylene. As the retail industry bows to pressure to reduce its carbon footprint by removing PVC in stores, it’s an issue that’s becoming more apparent and more pressing. In 2014 this will be both an opportunity and a challenge for the printing industry, where PSPs will need to demonstrate increased expertise in printing on in-demand paper-based substrates.

Can print really get its value across to marketeers when it comes to comms campaigns? Lesley SImpson reports from the second day of Cross Media, where the topic was hotly pursued.

There were plenty of wise words spoken in the Print and Innovation Theatre when I attended on the second day of Cross Media recently, and what’s more, there were plenty of printers in the audience to hear them.

There's trouble ahead in the wide-format supply chain according to Time Greene, Consultant at InfoTrends, which is researching a report called 'Disruptive Supply Chain Strategies' that will be published in 2014. Here's his heads up.

There are multiple dynamics at work in the wide- format digital printing supply chain that InfoTrends believes will result in a big shake-up. On the one hand, wide-format print buyers frequently wait until the last minute to place their print orders. You already know that print buyers also often shop for the best price and service, so the printers that can do jobs for the lowest price and the fastest turnaround are the ones that will win the work. 

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