How do-it-all devices are helping print shops profit

July 31, 2018

New revenue streams are emerging for print shops investing in devices that can do more for less says Pamela Ghosal, General Manager, Marketing Communications EMEA, OKI Europe Ltd.

Once limited in their abilities by the technologies available to them, print shops are now presented with an ever-growing range of new revenue streams thanks to the innovation currently on offer. Printers have come a long way since print shops had to invest in different devices for varying uses and have evolved to ensure affordability is no longer a set-back.

From small labels to expansive billboards, print businesses can now achieve more than ever before. Using a single device, print houses are able to explore more service offerings, attract new customers and win more businesses that would have previously gone to larger organisations with more to invest in innovation.

Take large format printing, for example. Print shops of all sizes that are typically limited on space can now invest in affordable devices that strengthen their service offering no matter how much space is available. These devices open up revenue streams in both indoor and outdoor printing, with the ability to print wallpapers, pop-up displays, floor and exhibition graphics, banners, fleet and vehicle graphics as well as backlit displays.

When it comes to backlit displays, the quality of ink has long been a weakness. Yet a higher quality of pigmentation now ensures that backlit displays are as strong and bold as they can possibly be. For example, black ink traditionally appears grey and saturated when backlit. However, with OKI’s own inks – containing the highest pigmentation on the market – even backlit black appears as deep and dark as it would of any other application. This makes for a more refined finished product that has a greater impact and a more impressive result for customers investing in backlit graphics.

Another challenge within large format printing has been the lack of boldness and clarity in small text, yet OKI has worked hard to ensure that text as small as 2-point can is now clear and easy to read on projects printed by its own Large Format range. This adds further value to both the print shop and the customer, providing large format collateral that has the strongest possible impact.

Innovations in LED printing have also raised the quality of colour printing, allowing print shops to simply and cost effectively produce high resolution results in desired colour including white. Speciality printing is another key area where print shops can flourish through investment in versatile new devices.

OKI has put a lot of research and development into its own Pro Series range of speciality colour printers enabling print shops to print what was previously difficult to do without lengthy specialist print processes. Examples of this include vibrant and eye-catching full-colour projects that go beyond the standard CMYK range, including dazzling neon, brilliant white and printing in five colours, on a diverse range of light, dark and transparent media such as clear film, colour paper and transfer media. This significantly increases the impact of printed marketing materials, providing customisable options that truly stand out with a minimum print volume of 1.

The evolution of the envelope press opens up a further revenue stream for print shops – a revenue stream that until recently seemed to be drying up. Before email, direct mailers were a primary marketing focus for so many businesses. Now direct mailers are experiencing a resurgence as part of a combined approach that utilises both traditional mail and email campaigns. Research has indeed shown that 75 percent of consumers can recall a brand after receiving direct mail compared with only 44 percent being able to do when targeted with an email campaign.

OKI’s own Pro9542 Envelope Print System has been developed to add even more value to envelope printing for direct mailers with vibrant colour on colour printing, on envelopes as small as 2.5”by 3.5”and as large as 13” by 15” making it easy and affordable to create and print envelopes that truly stand out and capture attention.

As printer manufacturers continue to innovate, print shops must ensure they are keeping up to date with the latest solutions that will help them efficiently and affordably increase their service offering and explore new revenue streams. For print shops, there’s a bright future ahead.

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