Is it time to think beyond the MFP? New technology recently unveiled at the International Graphic Arts Show in Japan points to a coming digital revolution in commercial and industrial printing.

Will the majority of plate-making analog printers finally be replaced with digital technologies? What are the implications for traditional MFP dealers in today’s market?

Manufacturers offer clues to where innovation is headed. For example, Canon’s VOYAGER now has B2+ capabilities. Fuji and Fiji Xerox now have devices that effectively handle a number of type and small-lot jobs. The HP Indigo brings sharp image quality, and their Latex R2000 prints effectively on board-like materials. Ricoh has introduced software that makes it more convenient to create a wide variety of POP displays for use in retail establishments with performance equivalent to faster digital-printing machines. They are targeting the C&I printer – and they are starting to win.

How Can C&I Printers Prepare for Change?
Any change in business is first driven by people. C&I printers need to make sure they are staffed with talent that is not only well-trained in the use of new technology but also ready for change. Despite having seen its share of technology advancements over the years, the industry can have a surprising resistance to change.

Having a staff that embraces rather than resists new technology is critical for success. Digital tools enable increased efficiency, so adapting internal processes to meet job requests is a must to keep employees and customers satisfied throughout a change like this.

Finally, there is the capital element. Whether accomplished gradually or all at once, the replacement of analog technologies will require significant capital investment. Much of the time, lenders will be needed to help support this investment.

How Can Dealers Prepare for Change?
Dealers should be asking themselves some questions as this shift gains momentum. For example, do you want to develop or expand your high-volume specialties? How big of a market opportunity could it be for your dealership? Just one high-volume commercial and industrial outfit could be more profitable than an entire vertical segment of standard office environment MFP devices.

Once you decide to go after this segment, really double down on your technology prowess. Remember, this is a major shift in the commercial and industrial print market, and as mentioned before, change isn’t easy. The more your customers can count on you to help them over the learning curve, the more value you bring when they need you most.

You should also help them prepare for the financial impact. If you haven’t already, bring in a finance relationship with a company equipped to help customers plan ahead and willing to be flexible in everything from invoicing to the finance term.

Welcome to the Revolution
When is the right time to begin preparing for change? In a dynamic climate driven by rapid advances in technology, it’s always time to prepare for change.

Before you hit the whiteboard to create your game plan, talk to us. Not only do we offer leading customer finance programs to the imaging industry, you can also leverage our decades of industry experience and financial resources for a real capital advisory conversation.