By Editor Morten B. Reitoft
Some weeks ago, I mentioned the Amplify Print Event, organized by APTECH here on INKISH News. I am, of course, sad that we haven't been invited or maybe we are just too expensive? :-) In a perspective that quality costs money, it's... well!
But let's dig into Amplify to understand more about what it promises. Amplify is quote on quote, "an exhibition and educational program spotlighting the entire print finishing value chain." You can say it's the extra touch bringing WHAU to print. One of the great things to know about enhancement is that it can increase sales and, even more critical, profits!
So why not just invest and get started? There are a couple of things to consider. Even though you have higher margins, the investments should still be sound. Therefore, you will need time to build a market before your investment can be fully justified.
There can be other reasons to invest. If you want to attract new customers or redefine your entire business from one type of application, your patience might be longer than typical investment horizons.
The exciting thing is, of course, that customers in general within some segments are willing to pay more for print that shines through the layers of commodity. This applies to labels, packaging, some type of envelopes, and DM's, to communication that needs to support a luxury brand - from business cards to other applications.
Investing in enhancement technologies can have many shades. You can invest in an old Heidelberg Cylinder or letterpress machine to make really fine, complex (more or less), and more time-consuming (for sure) and typically not in copies of one. Printers do, and some are very successful in adding cool opportunities!
Many binderies even offer the enhancements we here talk about, and you can build a portfolio of products and customers before investing yourself.
Letterpress even has a renaissance and is, for some printers, an extremely profitable niche - for extremely short runs for weddings, jubilees, and other special occasions.
At Amplify, the exhibitors are quite an undefined mix of companies. You can for sure find exhibitors that don't fit the traditional definition of "an exhibition and educational program spotlighting the entire print finishing value chain."
However, the exhibitors I see are quite interesting from a broader perspective, as they (those I know) all add value to print - and see that is an agenda that should interest any printer in our industry.
The more value you can bring to a customer, the more you can charge, and if you are good - I am sure you are - customers will offer you a considerably higher ROI - and increase your profits a lot.
There are, however, things you need to take into consideration. As paper prices are high and most have to pass on the increased prices to their customers, some customers may be hesitant to add further costs to their already high prices. At EFI/eProductivity Software Connect earlier this year, Marco Boer spoke about this - and that is a genuine concern you have to address before investing.
Prices on paper are not soon (if ever) expected to get back to previous times, and it will take some time before customers have adapted to the new reality.
I am not worried about the value of print, not even with further increased prices, but you have to understand your customer's reality. Print is not for all customers the main product. So adding price increases - even smaller ones will add up when the product is marked up in the entire value chain, and with the inflation rates we currently see, the small increases will be on all the elements going into a product. That you have to understand - and that is an opportunity.
If you can help your customers with better solutions, which may be solutions to add their sales, minimize stock, increase the value of their communication, engage with customers, etc. You may be the long-term partner your customer will want to work with; forever!
So back to Amplify. At Amplify, you can meet Duplo, Scodix, Kurz, and MGI, who all offer digital enhancement solutions. You can also meet companies like BOBST, Eagle Systems, and again Kurz, which are excellent suppliers of enhancement solutions. A surprise is the small number of paper suppliers. Of course, I spotted Neenah - and yes, paper is an incredible source that can quickly increase your margins and enhance the value of your products!
When I saw that XMPie also exhibited it, it underscored how important personalization is in creating the value that can increase your margins.
So many great companies, and as Amplify promise - there will be plenty of opportunities to see and understand technology at work!
So YES - you should go. In case you can't go - I have collected several films we have done covering some of the companies and services you'll be able to see - AND - below, I have also made a list of links that might inspire you!
Amplify has also set a panel of people to speak during the four days - and oh, I almost forgot. Amplify Print takes place June 13th-June 16th in Minneapolis. Among the people I can recommend are Kevin Abergel from Taktiful (a great name), my good old friend Deborah Corn from Printmediacentr.com, also a dear friend Nick Benkovich from eProductivity, and Sabine Lenz from PaperSpecs, Trish Witkowski from Foldfactory, and also a good friend Andrew Bailes-Collins from Ultimate TechnoGraphics. You'll find more people on the program who I don't know, but sure they are great speakers with excellent knowledge to share!
And now to what film you can see below:
TPC Packaging (sponsored by Eagle Systems)
Amberley Label (sponsored by Kurz)
Introduction MGI Alpha-Jet (sponsored by Memjet)
Schätzl Print Emotion (sponsored by Scodix)
Duplo from Print Sample TV with Pat McGrew
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