Editor's Note: On the Road Again — Literally
In the weeks leading up to PRINTING United Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 19-21, I along with two colleagues — Ashley Roberts, managing editor; and Toni McQuilken, senior editor — took to the roads in California and Nevada. We had the opportunity to visit with print shops in San Diego, in and around Los Angeles, and in Las Vegas.
It was truly exciting — and gratifying — to spend some time with each shop we visited, to see what they do day in and day out, to talk about the challenges they face daily, and hear about the triumphs and happy customers who keep returning time and time again.
Even though we visited a host of different companies — large and small, wide-format and commercial — several topics seemed to be universal.
Supply Chain: Paper and substrates were everywhere at these companies — on every walkway, in every nook and cranny, in shipping containers in the parking lot, in newly-leased warehouses a few blocks away. Paper and media management were top concerns to everyone we talked to as they strive to ensure they have the materials they need to deliver on the jobs promised to clients.
Convergence in Action: It was so interesting to see how convergence and diversification are integrated in many of the companies we visited. Commercial printers are adding wide-format technology. Sign and graphics printers with litho presses are also moving into packaging. Some companies are adding logistics, fulfillment, and kitting to their slate of services. There’s so much opportunity out there, and these companies are proving it every day.
One-Stop Shops: Many of the companies are trying to become a one-stop-shop, offering multiple services and applications to their customers, from design and build, to wide-format printing; from fabric printing, litho, and cold foil printing, to custom packaging and installation. This trend is certainly on the rise as PSPs don’t want to say “no” to their customers. They might start outsourcing a new service or application, but soon enough they end up bringing it in-house as another revenue stream.
Sustainability: Green initiatives are an important focus for many, as companies strive to find partners to work with on sourcing more sustainable options.
Passion: No matter where we went the message was clear: from the C-suite, to the back office, to the shippers, the folks we met are proud of the innovative and creative work they produce and genuinely love what they do every day.
Would you welcome a visit? Drop me a note and let’s talk about how we can make it happen.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.