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Global Print Leaders Talk About Growth Strategies

Posted Aug 28, 2023 | Views 161

Several Dscoop members are making bold moves in these uncertain times, including investing in new equipment and technology. Three of them shared their experiences during a global online Idea Xchange session. Here is the session recording, and you'll want to stay for the lively Q&A at the end. You can also ask your own questions in the comments field, and we'll make sure to get you answers:

PSPs from different parts of the world -- David Bennett of Bennett Graphics in the USA, Vincenzo Cirimele of PressUp in Italy and Joris Bosch of Wihabo in the Netherlands -- spoke candidly about why they decided to make investments and upgrades even during tough economic times. They also shared how those moves affected their businesses in 2020 and what they anticipate for 2021.

David Bennett Recognized Need & Opportunity

"We feel like in these difficult times, making investments helps us gain space between us and our competition," David said. He realized Bennett Graphics needed more capacity to handle direct mail and other time-sensitive projects, and wanted to replace an HP Indigo 10K Digital Press with a new HP Indigo 100K Digital Press.

He discussed the move with his internal leadership team, HP leaders, key clients and others. Bennett Graphics installed the new press in March, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in the US.

At that point, Bennett Graphics was five months into its current fiscal year, and on pace for record sales. But all of its main business segments "got hit pretty hard" at the beginning of the pandemic, David shared. That included digital print, which accounts for 53% of the PSP's annual business.

But David has always believed in the value of being forward-thinking and progressive, and says the investment in the new press is starting to pay off.It has been a "true workhorse" that has helped Bennett Graphics' output get "almost back to pre-COVID levels," he said. "It just eats the jobs up."

David said he appreciated how easily and quickly HP installed the new press, as well as how efficiently HP handled in-house training of Bennett Graphics' production team.

TAKE-AWAY TIP FOR PSPs: Before making a bold move, communication is critical with internal teams and clients. Make sure all key stakeholders are aligned and understand why the investment will matter in the future, not just today.

Vincenzo Cirimele Gained Stability & Productivity

Vincenzo of PressUp in Italy echoed David's comment about the ease of installation of the HP Indigo 100K Digital Press, which the PSP installed in October 2019. The company runs about 5,000 jobs daily and is focused on increasing its digital print technology and capabilities, he said.

Vincenzo said he expects PressUp to invest more in digital technology over the next two or three years. His team focused on two main requirements when making the move to the HP Indigo 100K Digital Press -- stability and productivity. "If you print lots of jobs every day, every hour, it's important to have a stable machine," Vincenzo said. The press prints up to 6,000 sheets per hour.

Vincenzo said PressUp is pleased with its bold decision, and the new press is now running on three shifts. "Slowly, day by day" the company is seeing "positive momentum," he said.

Vincenzo pointed to HP's technical and support teams for helping PressUp with rigorous testing of coated and uncoated papers, jobs of different run lengths, and other aspects that made the transition seamless. "The machine is essentially plug-and-play," he said.

TAKE-AWAY TIP FOR PSPs: Before making a bold move like investing in new technology, make sure you define your company's key requirements -- the one or two benefits the investment needs to deliver for the move to make sense fiscally.

Joris Bosch Capitalized on Demand for Short-Run, Personalized Pieces

In the Netherlands, much of Wihabo's recent work has come from clients wanting short-run, personalized pieces. Instead of conventional run lengths, Joris says, his team is handling more work for "63 unique pieces, 45 unique pieces... lower volumes and smaller customized jobs."

Joris and his team continually seek new ways to deliver communication that makes an impact. Wihabo wants to make "special" printing feel normal to clients, and that spirit led the PSP to make the first commercial installation of the Indigo 100K Digital Press.

Volume at Wihabo had been growing before this spring when COVID-19 hit, and even as the pandemic grew, Joris and his team felt a need to explore ways to deliver unique solutions to customers. "We don't stay still," he said. "We go further."

The transition to the new press was complicated a bit by the cancellation of a pre-Drupa event in Israel, but over the past few months Wihabo "constantly focused on how we can do this -- how to manage for smooth installation," Joris said. Success required close communication with his team and HP, he said, adding, "When you work together, you grow."

The pandemic hasn't diminished Joris' expectations for the future of digital print. In fact, Wihabo is "getting close to fully digital," and is likely to halt offset production soon except for special projects and circumstances.

TAKE-AWAY TIP FOR PSPs: When you want to make a bold move for future growth but current issues aren't cooperating (COVID-19 is a great example), keep your "eyes on the horizon," as Joris said during the session. It might be worth dealing with short-term challenges to reap long-term gains.

Around the World, Dscoop PSPs Are Helping Each Other

Since COVID-19 began, Dscoop PSPs have banded together to share open and honest communication about how the pandemic has affected their businesses.

Part of Dscoop's role is to foster that level of peer-to-peer knowledge, no matter the economic climate. During this uncertain, stressful time for us all, the more we can all learn from each other, the better.

That's why these Idea Xchanges are well-attended and much-appreciated by attendees. They're gaining great practical ideas from each other.

That idea-sharing and comes not just from panelists, but also from attendees who come to sessions ready to listen, learn, ask questions and share their own thoughts.

TAKE-AWAY TIP FOR PSPs: If your business hasn't reached pre-pandemic levels, use some of this "COVID pause" time to consider what process changes your team can make so it's better prepared to help clients in 2021. Here's a recent Dscoop webinar t hat might help. And here's another one.

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