The printing industry is changing at a rapid pace, driven by new production technology changes in demand and competition from other media for time and money. Printers will need to adapt to the changing market conditions in order to compete in this transitional market. InfoTrends’ Business Trends in Commercial Print provides a better understanding of the state of the European printing market focusing on hardware, applications, and volume trends.
It seems that many printers are still stuck in traditional processes and have not embraced digital or diversification. InfoTrends research indicates that this is an industry in transition – moreover, it is an industry where the transition is happening at different speeds. There are many companies still entrenched in traditional processes and, while some of them undoubtedly are still having on-going success, statistical data indicates that there is a high failure rate in the industry. Other companies embarked on a transition already, and broadening the set of production tools they use, are embracing value-added services or refocusing to become a marketing service provider. With the on-going shift in the demand for print, and changes in general business processes (e.g., on-demand, customization, just-in-time), these approaches have more potential.
Also, investment trends show a tendency away from offset presses, as well as a transition from monochrome digital print towards color digital print and large format print. This is in-line with expected shifts in applications and in the customer demand structure. While digital print is on the rise, the focus on services in addition to print is lagging behind. With print volumes stagnating, a move to digital print can only be the first step into a successful future. Survey respondents indicate that concerns remain on technical issues and financing, which are preventing them from adopting digital print. InfoTrends recommends that suppliers address these issues and build an appropriate business model that includes digital printing processes.
InfoTrends’ Business Trends in Commercial Print is based on primary research among commercial and other printers. It focuses on hardware, applications, and volume trends in the European production print market to help printer manufacturers, software suppliers, and integrators with up-to-date market insights. This report is part of a two-part study drawn from the 2012 Business Trends in Production Print survey. InfoTrends’ European Software Investment Outlook 2012 focuses on software, automation, and business strategy in the European production print market.
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