This blog is adapted from the article “The Future of the Print Industry” by Joseph Puopolo, CEO, Printchomp, and featured speaker at the 2014 Print Leadership Summit, June 2–3, Dallas, TX.

What’s one word to sum up the future of print? Adaptation.

Yes, what seems to be the law of nature also holds true for the print industry, along with many others. Those who adapt and effectively use new technologies will survive, while those who don’t … well, let’s say that it pays to listen to experts. But deciding which technology to invest in can be a major challenge for many print companies. 

Here, one expert, Joseph Puopolo, CEO and Founder of Printchomp, a 15-year leader in the tech industry, offers insights into trending technologies and how printers can use them to their advantage.

When Puopolo set out to find the most effective solutions for both printers and customers, he came to a realization. He noticed that, among the thousands of printers he’s worked with, four major trends stand out that are critical to future success. The future belongs to those who adapt to these changes in technology.

Trend #1: Automation

If you want to significantly reduce inefficiencies in your print shop, workflow automation is a must. This is a growing trend in both work and order flow. Automation has shown to be the most effective way to increase turnaround time and lower waste. Sales are rising too, thanks to the latest automated systems. While traditional sales methods still hold their importance, printers are building more intuitive automated lead-generation engines to help fill the new customer deficit.

Learn more about automation as Poupolo presents “Automating the Flow of Data In and Out of Your Organization” at Printing Industries of America’s innovative 2014 Print Leadership Summit, June 2–3, Dallas, TX.

Trend #2: Specialization

A customer goes to a customized printer and gets a price quote. Then that customer takes the same job to a generalized printer and gets an entirely different quote! If your print shop has ever had to deal with a situation like this, you know why product specialization is growing. It allows for efficient product delivery at a reasonable price to the target customer. Specialized printers’ margins are often better than the generalized Jack-of-all-trades printers who may offer a wide range of products, but are often forced to rely more heavily on trade printers for most of their fulfillment.

Trend #3: Integration

In an on-demand world, customers don’t want to use multiple systems or go through multiple people to get what they need. Go through any fast food drive-through, and it’s clear—people just expect things to happen. Printers need to integrate their clients with their operation to be successful in the future. One way to do this is to eliminate manual processes. Allow clients to order from their own internal systems and send data directly to you. Provide a vertically integrated system with the flexibility to source from multiple geographic locations.

Trend #4: Contextualization

As input mechanisms change, the context in which customers are ordering print is shifting considerably. Now with new technology, like Web apps, ordering patterns are different, and mid-level managers are adopting a Web-first approach to sourcing. Geography, turnaround times, and product needs are affecting customers’ context, and buyers—even those with established relationships—are looking to the competition if one of those elements is out of sync.

Want a successful future? We can help you get there.

To maintain your competitive advantage, your company needs more effective strategies in leadership, sales, and technology. These key foundations are the focus of the 2014 Print Leadership Summit, June 2–3, in Dallas, TX.Register today to hear dozens of speakers, including Joseph Poupolo, engage you in these critical business trends and help you prepare your company for the future.