The print industry has been faced with an endless stream of challenges throughout the past several years, but it has become clear that where obstacles have been leaped, so too have opportunities surfaced. Although there have been a diversity of complexities and issues that could be discussed, the most commonly discussed one is digital – and for good reason – as many saw the rise of Internet communications and services as the biggest hurdle ever facing the print industry. 

However, while many in the sector have tried to continue carrying on with their old procedures in hopes of some day beginning to turn the tides on digital competitors, others are taking a more modern approach in leveraging the most advanced technologies around to become more prolific themselves. At the end of the day, when the final bell has rung, chances are that those companies which embrace a digital and print hybrid model will be the ones still surviving and sustaining for years to come. 

This goes for both companies that are embarking on novel marketing and sales techniques through the use of a range of digital and physical collateral, as well as those firms providing printing services to these types of clientele. One is increasingly difficult to sustain without the other, and combining the two into a more powerful, centralized and robust strategy will surely help to combat some of the more difficult matters facing the print industry. 

Case in point
What They Think recently published an opinion piece written by Jennifer Matt on the ways in which successful printers are beginning to embrace digital technologies in hopes of improving their own performances and sustainability, citing the fact that too few have actually started to approach this methodology. Not only will it be important for leaders to embrace these technologies, but they will also need to ensure that they are changing their organizational mentality toward them. 

According to the author, the relationships between vendors and printers, as well as printers and their clientele, become a bit arduous and frustrating, it is important to begin changing the approach rather than continuing on in an unproductive fashion. She used the example of software vendors with respect to printers, and cited her storied career in the print industry as the foundation for her opinions on these types of matters. 

After striving to overcome these types of frustrations, the author stated that the outcomes for one printer were strong.

"The leadership at this printer is now in full solution finding mode," Matt asserted. "They are gracious, they say thanks, and they have developed real relationships with key players at the print software vendor. They are building a partnership that gets them special treatment and they aren't paying more for the privilege in money, they are paying in gratitude. I know it sounds a little mushy but I see it working all the time. The customers who are the most frustrated, spending the most time yelling and screaming have to yell and scream and escalate to get any attention. Those customers, who have found a way to look for the behavior they want from their partners, find more and more evidence of that behavior and get better service by expressing sincere gratitude to the people who make the partnership real."

Applying good business practice
Whether printers are trying to find the right partners for software procurement, or working to help bridge the gap between digital and physical assets for their clientele, new technology can go a long way in helping to achieve objectives. Should printers or their customers begin to get bogged down in antiquated processes, partnerships and the like, the chances of actually moving forward and progressing with respect to financial growth will be slim to none. 

Embracing the tools that are readily available to help strengthen operational sustainability and general performances is a simple tenet of business ownership, and might never be more important than in an industry such as print where so many are fighting for continuity. By partnering with the right printer, clientele can ensure that they are getting more modern assets and services, thus building upon their success in marketing, sales and other departments.