Covid-19 has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations, and an opportunity to transform them. – McKinsey.
The global economic downturn has forced many businesses to reduce their operating models and workforce headcounts, or even close down. The Covid-19 has not only affected business operations directly – consumer behaviour change is being accelerated by the pandemic. Everything from sales and distribution channels to product preferences is being impacted by fears around the transmission of the virus. Welcome to the new normal.
An immediate and noticeable change is that businesses are no longer operating from a centralised hub – employees are now scattered between satellite/virtual or work-from-home offices with only a necessary skeleton staff complement at head offices and branches. This enables businesses to reduce health risks and ensure business continuity but has also created the opportunity to lower business operating costs.The education sector has similarly been turned on its head, with schoolchildren now attending online classes from home just as their parents are logging into their workstations from home office setups.
The commonality in many of these new operating setups is that trends in printing requirements and specifications are changing quickly to adapt to the needs of these distributed offices.
Print-on-demand, short-run, customisable and flexible digital printing attracts attention
According to Rafiq Sallie, Chief Operations Officer – InsideData Group, “One of the new trends in reducing cost, improving productivity, and enhancing the customer experience is the adoption of reimagined print-to-digital inkjet printing, from the traditional off-set printing.”
Sallie says the reasons for this conversion are:
- Digital printing houses are able to respond quickly, even during the constraints of lockdown restrictions, delivering excellent-quality printed manuals, books, reports as well as promotional materials – all on demand.
- They can provide short, highly customised print jobs on a variety of different stock and with different in-line or off-line finishing equipment.
- Printing and finished kiss-cut labels, laminated posters, folded brochures, leaflets, or the binding of manuals, study guides and saddle-stitching of books, etc. can be delivered with fast turnaround times to increase productivity, lower costs and deliver on-demand in small quantities.
- Operations are simple and fewer workers are necessary during a period when a limited staff complement is allowed back at work, making digital printing the most suitable print process in current times.
- Time and material cost savings offer benefits to both the service provider and the end-user.
Agile, flexible, and variable data – The same but different
Brand custodians, marketers, their agencies, and even financial services transactional divisions are demanding and expecting more from their printing houses during the current economic turmoil. They need print solutions to address their end-customers’ changing requirements and help them continue delivering great customer experience (CX).
Personalised product printing with variable data helps brand owners, communication, and marketing, as well as transaction departments, to obtain a competitive edge in providing printed matter with the same base content, but customer-specific, and in a personalised format.
“Agile, flexible digital printing not only makes variable data printing possible but also easy. Variable data printing fits neatly into the fourth industrial revolution where data is king,” states Sallie.
A colour burst and print quality
The new normal of printing allows the creative industry’s output to blossom with a burst of colour since digital printing allows for printing an almost infinite palette of colours on a large variety of materials. But it’s not just creatives who benefit – digital printing makes colour sampling for brand custodians so much easier, enabling tweaks until brand colour accuracy is achieved.
Understanding how certain types of paper will affect the colour quality is crucial since there is often a disconnect between what a designer is seeing on the screen and the colour that is going to print on the paper, especially on uncoated stocks.
According to Sallie, “InsideData obtained and Assegai award, is a member of the Printing Industry Federation of South Africa (PIFSA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and an accredited service provider of the South African Post Office, authorised to issue PAMMS certificates, and is ISO 9001:2015 certified.” “These memberships, accreditation, and certifications serve as a great barometer to determine whether you are dealing with a reputable print and direct mail house”, concluded Sallie.
Digital inkjet printing offers a multitude of benefits that ease current economic pressures and align with constantly changing consumer behaviours and needs. Productivity improves with faster proof cycles, resulting in faster turnaround times. Professional-looking printing is more accessible with a digital inkjet print solution for every type of client - from small businesses to blue-chip corporates - since small-to-medium print runs are cost-effective. Customised and personalised marketing and training materials, books, manuals as well as any transactional printing on-demand (what you need, and when you need it) can all be tailored to your audience's needs.
Digital printing also contributes to a greener environment as digital print archiving can be paperless, filed in a secure cloud.
Sallie says, “The ‘new normal’ will continue to fluctuate, but the irreversible digitalisation of business from end-to-end means the commercial printing landscape will be completely re-engineered to digital inkjet print solutions that can offer on-demand, short-to-medium run, customised and versatile quality print solutions.”
Contact InsideData for your next digital printing job. We’ve got it all: expertise print and finishing equipment, ISO certification, and many options to make your printed matter look great. Visit our website for more information
-- ENDS --
About Rafiq Sallie – Chief Operating Officer: InsideData Group
Rafiq Sallie brings his extensive management experience from years in banking, printing and mailing, a Performance Management Diploma from GIBS and his passion for teaching together to lead an unstoppable team accountable for the performance of regional divisions and the Print on Demand arena.His natural networking skills, deep understanding of the pain points of clients and high level of compassion results in his expertise and successes in labour relations, management development and building long-term relationships with stakeholders and clients alike. With one eye firmly fixed on bottom-line growth for both InsideData and its clients, and the other constantly keeping track of co-workers’ health and work-life balance, dedicated family man Rafiq truly lives InsideData’s value system.When Rafiq is not giving expert advice on how to make customer communications show value on the bottom line, he gives his time to charity drives.
Every business needs to engage with its customers and stakeholders. We take data received securely from clients and transform it into valuable direct messaging through a variety of innovative delivery channels to reach those who need to hear or read it. Whether it is in hard copy, email or mobile format, we utilise the most cost-effective and efficient channel for getting the message across and we provide web-based storage for all marketing and communication campaigns. Then, we continuously measure response rates and analyse every communication to help our clients constantly improve and strengthen customer loyalty and stakeholder response.InsideData has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and has won numerous awards for its seamless multi-channel business communication approach for blue-chip clients including Investec, HSBC, Sanlam, Vodacom, the JSE and many more. Visit www.insidedata.co.za to see our services, products and B-BBEE credentials.