Editor's Note The Digital Message
I was in Rochester, N.Y., the other day at a meeting with Xerox executives. Though they had a lot of interesting things to say about their strategy for leading "the new business of printing," one item in particular grabbed my attention.
Anshoo Gupta, president of the Production Systems Group, said that despite all the buzz about digital printing over the past decade, despite all the advancements in digital technology, many printing establishments still have not bought into the digital message. They are still printing nearly everything with offset presses, whether short-run or long.
As startling as this may seem to those of you who installed your first DocuTech ages ago, I can testify to its truthfulness. I've spent years writing about the benefits of digital printing, publishing story after story about in-plants that have found great success using digital methods. And then at a conference an in-plant manager will pipe up with a basic question like "Has anyone noticed any digital printing being done at in-plants?"
I just want to cry sometimes.
According to recent IPG survey data, almost 20 percent of in-plants have no digital printing. (In-plants are still ahead of commercial printers, though, according to Xerox. Gupta credited the in-plant industry with having the "highest penetration of production publishing technology.")
Sure, not every in-plant needs digital printing. Workloads vary drastically. But I've visited several and heard of many more that are still shooting film and burning plates to print 200 memos. This is, quite bluntly, a waste of money.
Yet when I bring up the idea of getting new, digital equipment, many managers immediately start shaking their heads, saying things like, "Our company would never give us money for equipment." That initial outlay, though, would quickly pay the cost of the equipment in reduced waste, better efficiency and new business.