In our green conscious society, traditional print is dying and print on demand at small quantities with overnight turnaround is becoming commonplace. Just like FEDEX one-upped UPS, web to print is leap frogging the traditional print process. It’s a must have if one is to survive the severe disruption sprung upon today’s print service provider. As far back as one can remember, printers have invested in very expensive high speed presses and equipment requiring huge capitalization with years of interest payments attached. The ultimate iron pushed the largest piece of paper the fastest, with the least number of passes, equating to the largest number of impressions per pass allowing the printer to print more colors, on a single pass for the least cost. Printers only made real money with B2B clients.
Fast forward to today with the advent of the Internet and everyone wants small quantity, customized to their liking, and they want it for the cheapest possible price. The audience with the greatest potential is now B2C. As printers are forced to pay for their expensive equipment while gearing up for the disruption of this new phenomenon, new players quickly arrived on the scene to take even more money from the printers in order for the printer to serve both audiences. They sold on the fear factor using terms like “1-1 marketing”, “vdp” and “personalization”. Now along with the conventional costs and processes, printers had to swallow a whole new set of equipment, computers, software and more payroll to service the needs of the new audience. This is where all hell broke loose and most players are still decades behind. See more posts for particulars.