In connection with drupa 2008, Canon Europe has released a 51 page report which predicts an industry shake-up.
The year 2020, says the report, will see the end of declining print runs
There will be a renaissance for the small printer due to innovations in workflow and technology
Diminishing print runs will force the print industry to expand value-add services
The report, titled “Insight Report: Digital Printing Directions”, is an independent study into the future of Professional Print commissioned by Canon. It was researched and written by Professor Emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Frank Romano and a team of graduate students.
The report’s authors interviewed 600 printers globally, and looked at the professional print marketplace now as well as making projections for the future. A key finding was that digital printing looks set to lead the market by 2020, as it suits the continuing trend toward short runs and print-on-demand. In addition, the report predicts good news for small print businesses, as they will undergo a renaissance due to advances in workflow and technology, including an increased acceptance of web-to-print technologies and hybrid workflows.
Not only that, but new, easy-to-operate machinery, investment in IT training and infrastructure, and hybrid workflow will lead to a mini revolution in the way that printers approach their craft. Copy shops and quick printers will, as a result, evolve their range of services to adapt to a new digital age, according to the key findings.
Not only is the year 2020 the era of digital, it is also significant as the year that print runs finally finish declining; threats posed by global competition and electronic media—including the internet—will finally come to the end of their influence on run length. Professional printers will see a stabilization of the market, as the print volumes that can be substituted electronically will have been replaced by 2020. To date, some western print companies have seen a decline of up to 40% in print volumes in less than five years, due to global competition and “new media” substitution that has eaten away at their traditional customer base.
Professor Romano says: “Not since the 1950s, when letterpress was first threatened by offset printing, has the industry faced such a radical shift in workflow processes and the traditional skills base. In 1951, an article in a British magazine said that offset lithography was ‘only good for quick and dirty printing.’ There were plenty of articles published in the 1990s that echoed this sentiment when digital printing was first introduced. Now, a little more than 10 years later, there is an awful lot more respect being shown for the technology.”
The report also highlights that as many as one in five print jobs will be for run lengths as low as one copy, again by the year 2020. More than half of all print jobs today are for less than 2000 copies.
David Preskett, European Marketing Director of Professional Solutions at Canon Europe, says, “with the changing dynamics of the modern working environment, printers have been forced to rethink their positioning in the Professional Print market. Whilst many printers report rising revenues, their costs are rising even faster. In a market where resources are becoming scarcer, they will have limited control of how to reduce their overheads. The Insight Report finds that the new landscape demands a new way of working. As printers make less money from ink on paper they, of necessity, are adopting new revenue opportunities, primarily in digital printing, finishing, and fulfillment.”
To download your copy of the report, please visit: http://is.gd/EZT