Article three of our "The 6 'W's' of Production Print Workflow" series, focusing on the who, what, why, where, when and how's of production print and part of our "Production Print Workflow Education Series" to understand Production Print Workflow.
After learning about what production print is and who produces it in the first two installments of our dealer education series, it's time to discuss why dealers should target production print. The answer is simple, really: production print presents a tremendous growth opportunity for office equipment dealers.
According to In-Plant Graphics research, "Trends and Services in the In-plant Industry," only about 33% of in-plants are in charge of managing their parent organizations' MFD and copier fleets. From that, we can deduce there are a lot of in-plants that are not getting called on by dealers who are selling MFPs (if they are not out prospecting for production). At the same time, there is a growing trend in which in-plant departments want to take control of print across the entire organization–from the MFPs scattered across your various departments to the production units in their print shop.
Basically, we have a marketplace with a growing demand for production print and print management.
Benefits to Dealers that Offer Production Print
In adding production print to their offerings, dealers can expand their presence in current accounts. But perhaps even more attractively, dealers can leverage their production print portfolio to gain entry and eventually take control of their competitors' accounts. For example, you might only place a new production unit on your first visit–but as you develop a relationship and prove yourself reliable to customers, who knows how much other business you might win over time?
Dealers also have to consider what life in the future might be like without production print, since they might not be able to solve as many of their customers problems compared to their competitors. And when you consider the effects of digital transformation, dealers would gladly welcome new revenue streams.
But the opportunities span far beyond selling more boxes and maintaining page volumes. Just like in the office print environment, in-plant customers demand automated solutions that help them cut costs, optimize business processes, and boost security.
The opportunities in workflow automation solutions stacked on top of production print sales are quite lucrative. First and foremost, workflow can make up an enormous portion of your production print revenue. For every dollar spent on printers and controllers, customers spend three dollars on workflow–that's 75 percent of revenues coming from workflow software.
And, because you are essentially embedding your workflow automation technology into their business processes, production print with workflow offerings can make you an irreplaceable partner that your customer relies on to be profitable. For this reason, in-plant departments tend to stay with their existing workflow solution, making it easier for you to obtain printer renewals and upgrades.
Market considerations are also making the production print market look even more attractive. In general, production print is a hot market–particularly in the digital color space. While black-and-white pages are in a slow-but-steady steady decline, dealers can leverage workflow automation solutions to lower print costs and create wider margins. On top of that, customers are printing high-value output like full-color books, labels, packaging, posters, business cards, and so on, which adds up to higher consumables revenues. In addition, many manufacturers are offloading their direct sales accounts on their dealer-partners–many of which don't have any workflow automation software in place–which presents dealers with an enormous potential for growth.
Production Print and Workflow- An Untapped Opportunity
Production print presents an incredible opportunity for dealers. Production print with workflow automation solutions can open the door for more opportunities with your current and potential clients. But currently, it does not appear as if dealers are actively pursuing production print in a concerted way. And when you consider that, plus how manufacturers are shifting their direct sales accounts on dealers en masse, adding production print to your existing portfolio or increasing your production print efforts should be a no-brainer.
In our next 'The 6 'W's' of Production Print Workflow' article we'll talk about where the best production print opportunities are for dealers and equipment vendors.
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