Modern PSPs in the digital sphere are beginning to experience massive growth. Because of this, there is a lot of opportunities for these companies to grow—if they grow with the times.
PSPs today are very different from the print shops of the past. Although twenty years ago, it may have been commonplace to outsource the finishing of your jobs to another firm—or even cut manually—modern business has high expectations from PSPs, including a full value-creation chain of designing, printing, and cutting.
According to the Specialty Graphics Industry Association (SGIA), many PSPs have already begun making these adjustments, and ninety percent of PSPs offer some sort of finishing services, including options like grommeting, cutting, milling, and installation.
Just Printing Isn’t Enough
Printing alone might have been enough to sustain a PSP in the past but not anymore. However, this isn’t a bad thing—there are huge business opportunities to be had for any print shop that is willing to update its equipment and take advantage of the customer’s desire for a full-service shop.
However, too often, print shops haven’t done so. They’ve invested in expensive UV printing stations that can print on just about every substrate but resort to inefficient manual cutting processes, or they’ve farmed their products out to third parties for finishing, which is undesirable in today’s market.
According to Bill Hartman, the COO of MCTdigital (the manufacturer of the only American made, fully capable flatbed finisher), the print shops of today have a huge opportunity to create value by adopting the “full-value-creation-chain” by offering finishing services in-house.
Not only does your company create more value by having quicker turnaround times and a more consistent product, but it can also recoup its investment in finishing machines within a year. These savings are a result of decreased turnaround times, reduced labor requirements, fewer overtime expenses, and a reduction in worker’s compensation claims and injuries.
Increased production, reduced turnaround times, and cost savings combined with increased business opportunities to make an investment in finishing technology is a great idea if you’re looking to the future of your company.
Finding the Right Technology for You
Something we always run into is the fact that most PSP’s have no idea what sort of job is going to come into their shop, so therefore choosing a finishing technology that can suit all types of media and substrates or modular projects is something to consider for future growth.
What finishing technology is appropriate for your company mainly depends on your answers to several questions:
- Media and Substrates: Which media and substrates fits best with your company?
- Total Production: How many jobs can you expect to complete daily, weekly, or annually? Are you growing? Do your customers continue to challenge you with more and more different material requirements?
- Accuracy: How important is accuracy?
- Cost: Highly accurate can be more expensive but are required for some jobs.
- Space Constraints: How much space can you dedicate to a new machine? Will a finisher replace the space needed by hand finishing operations, potentially even saving space?
- Quality/Price Comfort Points: How much can you spend on a new machine? Are you willing to compromise on quality?
Larger companies may be able to afford multiple machines—CNC routers, flatbed cutting machines, roll cutters, and others—whereas smaller companies may only be able to afford a hybrid machine such as a router/knife combination and a small complement of manual cutters.
Whichever is the case, the ROI on these sorts of machines is quite high—if you can broaden the substrates upon which you can print and finish products, you may open yourself up to quite a few business opportunities. One of the cardinal rules of sales clearly applies here in that a versatile cutter may allow you to handle more work from an existing customer and is by far the least expensive way in which you can grow.
Not only that, once you begin production in earnest, you’ll find yourself with increased revenue with which to expand your machines and purchase more expensive and flexible modular devices.
A Bright Future for Full-Service PSPs
If you’ve already made an investment in finishing services for your PSP, you won’t regret it—the digital printing industry is predicted to expand massively in the next several years, and you’re in the right position to take advantage of this growth.
And if you haven’t done so, there’s still time—demand for digital printing services is only growing, and by making your investment now, you can still ride the wave and reap the benefits of offering full value-chain services.