A dozen technologies that have survival implications for most commercial printers were identified by the Must See ‘ems Selection Committee. Their implementation can be seen in Must See ‘ems products on the exhibition floor. The survival technologies are:
1. Computer – IT
Effective use of the computer with the application of information technology (IT) was voted as the most critical survival applications of technology.
2. Multiple Products
Acquiring and implementing the knowledge, skills and technologies necessary to leverage print content and formats into a variety of multiple products/multiple media ranked second in the overall list.
Automation into print production is key, starting with the use of standalone automated systems or equipment and evolving into integrated automation moving toward ‘lights-out or hands-off manufacturing.
4. Unique Materials
Creative use of unique materials, such as coating and equipment and associated technologies to enhance the value and application of print is critical to standing apart from the competition. Also included in this category are unusual die-cutting and folding.
Complete web-to-print capability includes the automation of print from customer inquiry to the pressroom and into distribution.
This includes both business planning and production planning with strategic and tactical direction..
7. & 8. Digital Printing
An understanding of direct marketing requirements and mailing capability are important ingredients for production digital printing success and are ranked in seventh place, almost parallel with production digital color printing.
9. Market and Product Specialization
This requires in-depth knowledge of the segment along with specialized technologies and equipment to produce relevant and unique print products.
10. Marketing Service Provider
Printers need to adopt the technology, skills and business approach to convert from being a conventional printer to a marketing service provider.
11. & 12. Up-to-Date Equipment
Up-to-date equipment for the pressroom, closely followed by binding and finishing, ranked eleventh and twelfth respectively, including the integration of binding and finishing into press production lines.