It’s Transformation Time for In-plants
THE IN-PLANT market is probably the most underestimated user of digital printing technology. The influence of the in-plant is apparent from an examination of the segments where on-demand devices are being placed. The in-plant market drove the adoption of black-and-white digital printing and currently accounts for 40 percent of high-speed monochrome print-on-demand cut-sheet installations. The in-plants are also leading the color charge, accounting for 30 percent of placements in the 24-59 pages per minute (ppm) production color segment and 20 percent of the convenience color copier/printers and production color devices in excess of 60 ppm.
Just like the entire print-for-pay market, in-plants are in the midst of a radical transformation. The use of digital technologies, including the Internet, has triggered this transformation. Digital technology and demands from users are forcing in-plants to adjust their service portfolios.
According to an InfoTrends study, more than 60 percent of document owners and print buyers expect the amount of print produced at their internal staffed facilities to increase in relation to print produced with outside vendors over the next two years. The logic is simple—in-plants have been proven to save money, handle increased volume, meet user department turnaround time expectations and exert more control over security.
The State of the In-plant Market
Although there is good evidence supporting in-plant growth, it is still true that in-plant facilities face considerable challenges. The management of in-plant shops is typically isolated from the main organization, and the expertise required to manage an in-plant shop can be quite different from what the overall business requires. Nevertheless, in-plants have domain expertise that extends far beyond copying to more complex printing and related services. This positions them well versus outside print service providers.
In August 2006, InfoTrends conducted a study titled “A Vertical Market Approach to Document Services in the United States.” While the presence of staffed copy centers, staffed in-plants and staffed data centers varied by industry, some sectors had a very high incidence of these facilities. Retail, legal and transportation equipment manufacturing led the list.
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile, 585-734-2228)