You don’t necessarily need a crystal ball to see it. The patterns are already evident. The successful print business of tomorrow will be a different kind of entity to its ancestors from even ten years ago.
It will be motivated by value, not volume, outcomes more than inputs. Its factory floor won’t churn and roar; it will hum and click. Digital will be natural in everything it does, and in all the ways that it does them. Software will carry the message. Automation, everywhere that it makes sense.
Its people won’t see themselves as Captains of Industry. They will be purpose-driven practitioners, fluent in the language of data and deliverables. They will still be printers with a love for print, but they will be thinkers too – strategists and tacticians – alive to the possibilities, attuned to the ideas; armed, metaphorically, to the teeth. From a suite of smart solutions, they will fit the best building blocks together, and marry the best minds. They will create as much as they reproduce: every day, another freshly cut pathway to reach and achieve their customer’s purpose.
Some are already cutting those new pathways. They are investing in people and partners. They are transforming how and what they deliver. It’s never too early to prepare.
We had ample demand and saw an opportunity to attract more business with an environmentally friendly solution by making the shift to production inkjet. Roll fed inkjet technology would easily integrate with our extensive investment in CMC packing lines. Ricoh came with ideas about how we could re-engineer our manufacturing process to make the move from polywrapping to paper. They worked with our entire team to make sure we understood all aspects of the ROI.
Danny Narey, Managing Director,
I’ve put breaks on capital investment,
I said right, I want to take stock of our real capabilities, both in terms of machinery but more importantly capabilities of my staff. After working with Ricoh, we’ve found that we can increase the work going through the factory, we are now working smarter not harder. They have not only helped us with that change process but also opened our eyes to other opportunities. The new system that we have built has allowed me to confidently plan to grow this business.
Spencer Slee, Managing Director
I was becoming very conscious that, in terms of quality, we were in danger of becoming a commodity printer, and as soon as that happens you’re just battling on price, and I believe by investing in the latest technology it gives us something extra, above and beyond some of the competition. We are looking to not only expand our customer base by providing direct marketing print, it will also allow us to meet the demands of both existing and new transactional clients for an increase in volume, quality and turnaround times.
Steve Beeching, Managing Director,
Why collaborations & partnerships
Print has always been a highly competitive sector – some might say cut-throat, or even suicidal, when it has come to winning work to fill the presses.
And of course, it still is – but looking around the UK print sector, there are signs of a new spirit permeating through: print companies actively seeking partnerships, either formal or short-term collaborations, with like-minded operations, where a united front that presents smart, powerful, integrated solutions will help to deliver the whole job, not just that slice of it that the printer is traditionally considered for.
Working with partners from within the print sector and associated creative and marketing industries equips a print service provider with the confidence to expand the conversation. It allows them to scale-up and skill-up in new directions, quickly and convincingly. It enhances their competence and their allure to busy marketers that need real-life, purpose-driven solutions, delivered faultlessly.
Another kind of partnership is also desirable – another means to propel a print provider into new and exciting worlds of commercial growth and opportunity. Today, they should expect more from their technology suppliers. They should expect a partner that looks beyond a machine sale; that sees it as the starting point, not the finishing line. A partner that is prepared to dig deeper, to understand the print provider, its aspirations, its journey; that will apply its
its expertise and experience, its own digital transformation, to support that of its print customer. A partner that cherishes innovation and imagination, for itself and its customers; that advocates the beauty and the power of print; that understands the digital world, and how print can serve to complement and accentuate in the rarefied air of that world.
Partnerships should bring
expertise and energy, fresh thoughts, positive plans.
Shrewdly identified and cleverly implemented, they make it possible for a print provider to build a platform of competence and confidence; one that enables them to look to the future and know for certain that both today and tomorrow, anything in print is possible.
We value the input of Ricoh
to our business both in terms
of technology and as a partner
in developing new business.
Dave Phillips, Site Director,
Paragon Customer Communications
We also have a fantastic reciprocal relationship with Ricoh. They often connect us with potential customers, and their commitment to our business's success meant they were more valuable to us than a competitor.
Steve Beeching, Managing Director,
The relationship with Ricoh has been great. Moving forwards, we will continue to work in partnership to maximise the quality and variety of output we create with the Ricoh printers.
Robert Foote, Reprographics Controller,
The biggest benefit to us of our partnership with Ricoh has been
the access to talent... We need a production partner that can work with us long term developing our business and Ricoh certainly
fitted that bill.
Nick Green , Founder,
Ricoh have always been there for us and have understood we’re a growing company. They have invested their knowhow and expertise and there’s
a massive bond of trust between us. They have always provided products
at the right time, and whenever we’ve wanted to buy something, they’ve qualified it. They have an excellent knowledge of our business needs,
and in the past have advised us against certain purchases,
demonstrating they truly want what’s best for us.
Kevin Dunn, Business Development Director,
Ricoh’s response to us have been absolutely excellent, the level of service and sales support is second to none…better than any previous suppliers I’ve worked with.
David Duncan, Production Director,
The team at Ricoh has provided the answers to some of the headline questions that I needed answering: what is my finite capacity? How much can I do in a day using the resource that we have got and the equipment that I employ? I chose Ricoh because
I like the people, and the experience that Ricoh has gone through itself and has overcome through using process improvement was very similar to some of the challenges and opportunities that we have had within our business. I needed people that understood how to communicate and manage that change process in a way that my team would relate to. They have not only helped us with that change process but also opened
our eyes to other opportunities.
Spencer Slee, Managing Director,
We were looking for a partner who had the experience within the print industry and the changes and challenges that are facing us all. Right from the start Ricoh wanted to form a partnership. They wanted to fully understand what we wanted from the tender exercise; they took the time to listen and they invited us to their Customer Experience Centre in Telford so we could trial and test on the kit that we might be putting in. They really wanted to form a partnership with the university and from my perspective that was very important. We were not offered
that service by any other supplier
in the tender exercise.
Lisa Mitchell, Business Services Manager, Print & Copy Bureau,
University of Leeds