The creation of all great inventions, from the light bulb to the Apple iPod, have all had a common theme—someone had to not only think of a solution but had to also execute a product that could provide an exceptional experience. A key ingredient that has helped create these great ideas is the leveraging of the human network. Simply put, this means listening to what a customer wants, needs, and requires and then coming up with a solution that is unique not only to that customer but to the broader audience as well. By doing this, suppliers can create products that stand out as being different, exceptional, and most importantly, needed.
Print shop businesses today are defined by a unique combination of services and employee culture that help determine internal production workflow and what is necessary for the company to thrive. Evaluating which products and software are best for their unique business needs is often a difficult task, especially considering the vast array of similar, competing software offerings that are available in the market today. By listening closely to customers who are passionate about leading the market in innovations and by talking with customers directly to understand their individual needs, a business can then challenge itself to continuously push the limits of technology innovation.
This human network, customer-centric approach began over a year ago at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. (Konica Minolta), and has allowed the company to deliver solutions to vertical customers that are unique to those businesses, and are meaningful, productive, and profitable.
At PRINT 13, Konica Minolta (Booth 518) is introducing two new solutions based upon this unique approach. Both were created and developed collaboratively with existing customers. EngageIT Automation and EngageIT XMedia are two distinctly different solutions that address the need for growing top line revenue and bottom profit for those customers. These ideas were born from leaders in the graphic communications business—designed by printers for printers—and developed using the human network approach.
Building an automated system
EngageIT Automation was born from the need to build a workflow offering that was easy to use. This offering would facilitate getting print work from a client to the printer, eliminating all the touches that are typical to a print shop that could cause errors and redo’s and add non-value added—non-revenue generating touches. The starting question Konica Minolta got from the customer was, “Short runs are growing and we need a better method to handle this work through our shop to be more profitable and efficient. What if we automate the combining of multiple print jobs in a digital print run?” Addressing this need led to the development of a system that would eliminate errors, automate order entry through shipping, and monitor the print to ticketing of a job to using JDF/JMF standards. Suddenly, by leveraging the human network, Konica Minolta was creating the specifications for a new solution that could be used to address the tangible needs of other leading customers as well.
Cross media from a single application
EngageIT XMedia took a similar path. Doing cross-media today is very complex. A breakthrough solution came about because of a question from an existing customer, who asked, “How can I build a cross media campaign and monitor it live from a single application?” This grew into a unique SaaS application that is built around a campaign builder to monitor live multi-channel campaigns. This application also manages complex “big data” requirements in a simple-to-use tool to launch complex multi-channel, cross media campaigns for a true marketing service experience a printer can deliver to its customers.