The demands put on the modern print shop have become increasingly complex over the past two decades. The need to be responsive to customer demands has convinced many shop owners to invest in both digital and offset printing solutions. By offering this hybrid approach, they are able to provide their customers a multitude of print options. In an article put out by Printing News called Hybrid Printing is Here to Stay, writer Deborah Toth explains the many benefits of offering both digital and offset to the customer. In this article, Toth quotes Warren Werbitt from Pazazz printing: “the digital presses have offered our clients more options as well as opened up new potential work for us…However, we believe that having both offset and digital provides a better service to our customers. We are truly a one-stop shop.”
More Options for Customized Print
As we move forward into the next era of printing, companies are looking for new ways to customize their packaging and print pieces with better, faster, more cost-efficient technologies. The same can be said for direct mail and catalogs. A hybrid approach is one cost-efficient way to achieve this, by using both offset and digital printing methods on the same piece.
Shorter Runs and Faster Turnarounds
Today’s print customers want their jobs printed faster, and with more complexity, than ever before. That means smaller quantities, more frequently, with more bells and whistles. In fact, a survey conducted by InfoTrends and the North American Publishing Company reveals that “run lengths of less than 500 document sets are steadily increasing” (you can read more results from this study here). Likewise, the same study reveals that the demands for fast turnarounds have also increased significantly.
The hybrid environment allows you to produce high quality, short-run jobs faster. In addition to creating more options for your larger, more profitable customers, a hybrid approach allows you to take on these short-run jobs without disrupting those more profitable workflows. By adding a digital option into your workflow, you not only open the door to new customers, but you also become a more rounded full-service shop for your existing customers.
Although having a hybrid print environment solves the so-called “print-buying problem,” for many printers it can come with its own set of complications. In the article End-to-end workflow solutions generate efficiency in digital and hybrid environments, Melissa Donovan of DPS Magazine explains that: “print providers continue to update their analog facilities with digital printers, which creates a hybrid of technologies, but room for error increases due to more touchpoints…”
When adding hybrid functions to their print shops, printers need to ask themselves where these touchpoints – and potential breaks in the workflow – exist, and eliminate them. As a result, printers will spend less time chasing down information and more time producing great quality work for their existing, and NEW, customers.
What questions do YOU have about the hybrid printing environment? Why not Ask Avanti? We have answers.