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Industry

Navigating rough seas together

According to Smithers Pira, the future of global printing industry remains in a stage of transition. Visitors and speakers at Prokom 2019 gathered to discuss current challenges and how to overcome them.

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Pokrom members networking at the evening drinks reception

Although the total amount of print volumes is forecast to decline slightly from 48.8 trillion A4 sheets in 2017 to 48.1 trillion in 2022, the overall value of the industry is predicted to increase at 0.8% year-on-year.

According to the report by Smithers Pira, the rate of change and future profitability varies across a number of factors such as print process, substrate, end-use application and geographic region.

The report reads: “Significant market opportunities do remain, especially in packaging print, and those segments where print service providers can adapt to delivering higher value, shorter run work.”

The changes facing the print industry was the core topic of conversation at this year’s Konica Minolta User Community Prokom Conference which focuses on successful companies and how Prokom members are contributing to the industry.

The conference was both highly motivating and beneficial. I have really walked away with a fresh view of this industry and what can be achieved

During the two-day conference in Valencia, Spain, a number of guest speakers talked about how the industry is responding to challenges by evolving and adapting.

Peter Muir, chief executive officer of Bizucate discussed the importance of identifying a niche market and bringing customers to you. In doing this, Muir says that risks must be taken.

Muir says: “$680bn (£547bn) is spent on innovation every year and 85% is not successful. There are 30,000 new product launches each year and only 15% are successful. To de-risk the situation people have to get curious about why, which has three elements; the functional, emotional and social.”

Finishing up the first day, Graham Reed from Marlixia group discussed how he used crossmedia tools to leverage print sales, saving his business from near failure to achieve a turnover of £8m. Mark Hanley from IT Strategies provided his own views on the future trends of print, which included the rise of sheetfed UV inkjet in the market gap between toner-based technology and web-based inkjet.

Pokrom member, Sri Sivarama Digital Press received a Prokom Innovation Award sponsored by EFI for their outstanding entries at last year’s conference

Starting off the second day, Professor Julian Birkinshaw from the London Business School provided tips and advice on adapting to changes in the industry. Birkinshaw also discussed leadership skills in a digital world and important attributes for future leaders.

The Sherwood Group has diversified into the packaging market, adding to its existing greeting cards and commercial print services. Jeremy Bacon from the firm was on hand at the conference to advise on the strategic tools needed to do this.

Other themes of the second day included a talk on “what brands want”, from Kevin Abergel of MGI and Charlotte Graham Cumming from Ice Blue Sky; and “how to persuade anybody to do anything – well almost” by Lee Warren.

I have definitely learned a lot from Prokom 2019, particularly with ideas on how to differentiate ourselves from other companies

Joachim Grethlein, owner of Germany’s Leonhard Grethlein Druck & Medien, who attended the conference, says: “I have definitely learned a lot from Prokom 2019, particularly with ideas on how to differentiate ourselves from other companies.

“The conference was both highly motivating and beneficial. I have really walked away with a fresh view of this industry and what can be achieved. The speakers at the conference were very good, but the best thing to me was the opportunity to have real discussions with the other attendees and hear everyone’s stories.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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