Embracing An Inkjet Future

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

It is fair to say inkjet’s ability to conquer the complex playing field of comercial print faced initial doubts from some quarters of the graphic arts market.  But just months after announcing the Ricoh ProTM VC60000 continuous feed production inkjet platform, we are now getting a clear idea of how rapidly the market is opening up.

The possibilities are very exciting!

Every fresh conversation we have presents new opportunities. We can see that inkjet presses are frequently replacing web-fed presses for applications like direct mail, books and newspapers, and that there is a growing volume of true commercial print applications going on these presses as well. This is due to the increased quality, flexibility and productivity offered.

Our clients agree.

Zalsman, a leading Dutch media and graphics company, believes inkjet will help it continue to grow and thrive.

Hansaprint, part of the Nordic TS-Group, is discovering new markets.

Parajett, in Sweden, says inkjet is the future when it comes to assuring high quality production.

All have invested in the Ricoh Pro VC60000.

Zalsman chose the press to help it continue to combine craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technologies to harness the potential of Big Data cost-effectively. Hugo Verlind, Director and co-owner, says the business can now offer clients a brighter, better and broader offering.

Jukka Saariluoma, Business Unit Director for Hansaprint, says that from day one clients will benefit from higher print quality and a wider variety of substrates. In the long run, he states, the greatest benefit for end users and for Hansaprint is the ability to produce new and innovative products. Initial focus will be on loyalty programmes, direct mail, transpromo, transactional and books. Jukka predicts that there will be a significant shift of volumes to inkjet both from offset and toner printing.

Our Pro VC60000 has been sold to Parajett, Sweden

Our Pro VC60000 has been sold to Parajett, Sweden

Parajett can often be found at the forefront of market evolution, and Anders Persson, CEO, is confident that the new press will deliver the quality and performance expected. It will also enable Parajett to print with ink, rather than toner, on a wider range of stock, particularly heavier substrates.

Inkjet is not going to stay in its corner. It’s coming out fighting!

As the true potential of these presses, including their capability, productivity and profitability, are better understood and harnessed in the day-to-day production environment, we will learn even more. In turn, as our knowledge grows, we can help clients create a highly effective mix of services that support the demands of an ever-changing end-user landscape.

While the technology is creating a new print production vista, our view of the horizon ensures that we are able to help clients make the most of every new dawn. That is why we believe the Ricoh Pro VC60000 will become a pivotal investment for companies looking to develop and enhance their services.

(This article originally appeared in Whattheythink European Printing Industry Coverage from WhatTheyThink.com)

How print is evolving to meet the new needs of the connected world

With more than one-third of the world’s population now online (Pew Research Center), it is little wonder that the role of printed communications is changing. The challenge is that the time spent with various media is rapidly shifting from traditional channels such as radio, TV, and print to internet and mobile channels. This means the role of printed communications must be readjusted and redefined in the broad spectrum of all media.

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Not surprisingly advertising dollars are now moving to online and mobile markets. According to PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013, internet advertising grew by about 16%, and mobile advertising by 47% in 2013.

This has major implications for key areas of printed communications of interest to Print Service Providers.

Direct mail and direct marketing catalogue volume has suffered at the hands of the recent recession and the rise of electronic media. Although both remain key marketing channels for businesses, they are increasingly being orchestrated alongside digital forms of communications.

Transactional printing – unlike direct mail and catalogues, which are business-driven marketing expenditures, transactional printing is increasingly consumer-driven since recipients dictate their preferred delivery methods

Books – Electronic media has profoundly disrupted the book publishing industry by fundamentally altering the dynamics of how books are sold and consumed. Book publishers and book printers are adjusting to the fast moving realities of the market and tapping new business models enabled by publishing in a multichannel world.

Newspapers and magazines have been impacted by online advertising, rising postal costs, and competition from electronic media. Newspapers and magazines remain widely read and trusted, however, and publishers are finding new and innovative ways to combine print with electronic channels.

Our new white paper, Multichannel Communications The Evolution of Printing in a Connected World,  examines how advertisers and publishers are adapting printed products to multichannel realities in a number of key markets: direct mail and direct marketing catalogues; transactional printing; books; and newspapers and magazines.

Download the white paper here

Breakfast Discussion on the Next Chapter For Books

LBF_view

At Ricoh we have a strong understanding of what major issues the publishing industry is currently facing and we have created a robust portfolio of services and solutions to help them overcome them. However, it is one of the fastest changing sectors and as such we know how important it is to be aware of any potential market shifts before they make any significant impact.

This is why we chose to sponsor one of London Book Fair’s first ever breakfast meetings and the results were very interesting.

With more than 30 managing directors and CEOs from publishers, printers, associations as well as industry consultants the discussions surrounding the topic of Transforming Creative Business in a Digital Age – Exploring New Business Models was extremely incisive.

It was very interesting to hear how content creation and dissemination remains a key concern for publishers – particularly smaller ones. This is something recent Ricoh sponsored research The Challenge of Speed by The Economist Intelligence Unit touched on. It  discovered 98 % of European education leaders believe they need to change faster now than they have done over the last three years, but are energised about the role of technology in the future of learning and are  interested in ways to make the education sector more responsive. This has led to some looking at alternative solutions such as book customisation and how that supports learning programmes.

Publishers partnering with innovative operations was also suggested as a way of moving away from the more traditional skills set and introducing some creative elements while maintaining core competencies. And while not everyone can follow Facebook’s example of buying Wassap to introduce a fresh perspective there are lessons that can be learned.

Integrating a more creative approach, such as working with a start up, can help a big company make some key changes and grow in a more independent way.

Another option is expanding the ‘direct-to-consumer’ approach which can work well when customer loyalty is strong. Panel member Rebecca Smart, CEO of Osprey group, warned that this was difficult to do and even more so to do it well. There is also pressure on publishers to discover new patterns and new supply chains but there are a wealth of tools to help them achieve that.

Ricoh’s Benoit Chatelard commented it was Interesting to note that the product is not the content, a book is an expression of the content.  It is how that content is marketed that is important. Andy Cork, Managing Director of printer Printondemand-worldwide agreed when he said, as a content aggregator, he needed to understand what publishers want and, as a printer, the business needs to evolve and develop ways to helping sell books.

Publishing and digital consultant Anna Rafferty explained when she was at Penguin a reader community was created as a channel to market but also as a way of gaining insight into market requirements that then informed decision making.

These perspectives were delivered on a backdrop of details on e-reader sales that highlighted a successful 2011 with spikes around Christmas and the release of the Kindle Fire. However global take up remains patchy. The UK is no longer so far behind the US and in Europe interest from Germany was set to increase, followed by Spain. France remains a long way behind. Australia was also a promising market as was India.

What was clear is that there is no one size that fits all and what is relevant in one space is not relevant in another. It is also not about what technology will allow us to do but what can be usefully done with it.

A New Publishing Vision from Ricoh at London Book Fair

Senior Publishing Execs attended the Ricoh Breakfast Briefing

Senior Publishing Execs attended the Ricoh Breakfast Briefing