Merge into Modern Thinking With Digital Printing
New perspectives lead to better profits for distributors.
Many in the forms industry would agree that digital printing has had its share of resistance from distributors. Although the technology for this market has been in existence for a while, some still doubt its earning potential, and others have chosen to avoid the learning curve involved.
But, two manufacturers offer another way of looking at digital printing. They both provide new perspectives to convince distributors that this niche is well worth their while. In addition, one manufacturer shines a light on more advanced technology, allowing distributors to profit from selling programs, as opposed to the small-order jobs typically associated with this market.
According to Roger Buck, national sales manager, forms division, Ward/Kraft, Ft. Scott, Kan., "This market is still trying to get legs. It seems that distributors struggle with how to sell digital printing because they try to promote it just as they would promote traditional products, but it's not traditional."
Digital printing is so non-traditional, Buck said, that distributors need to treat the sale of products in this category in an unconventional way. "Distributors need to know that when using variable data, they need to behave more like an ad agency," he said. "We are actually educating our customers on how to understand the idea of response ratios so that they can market digital printing products as revenue documents instead of workflow documents. Customers can then better understand the value of what they are selling."
Ward/Kraft focuses on three areas of digital printing, including digital color offset, digital short-run labels, and black-and-white imaging in short run. "Short-run color is most prevalent mainly because we market personalization very heavily," he said.
The company offers weekly training and online "Webinars" to assist distributors in selling digital printing. "And soon, we will be providing a return on investment (ROI) calculator via CD and online, which is designed to help distributors visually promote the value of digital printing products to their customers," said Buck.