Thinking About Growing Your Wide-Format Business?
The entry of more commercial printers into wide format-shows that “there’s plenty of room for growth in this market,” according to Becky McConnell of Fujifilm North America (Booth 8220). In her Thursday session, “What to Consider When Growing Your Wide-Format Business,” she ran through several factors that businesses should consider when looking at the machines.
An important first step is to “ask your clients,” she said. What do their campaigns look like as a whole? What else can you do to help them solve their needs?
Another consideration, McConnel said, is making room in your facility for wide-format, “not just immediately, but in the future as well.” This will help create the proper conditions for the wide-format equipment, such as humidity, electrical supply and placement, air, cleanliness, and movement around the printer’s footprint in your plant.
Using different substrates and substrate sizes presents challenges for the shipping department. You’ll also have to decide how and where to store materials for “just in time” or for “just in case” usage. “There are enough people to talk to who can help you,” she said.
Operational considerations include prepress preparation, as well as looking at your entire workflow. “Finishing is the number one bottleneck,” she said. Also, think about who on your team can help educate your customers as well as other members of the team. She suggests designating one person as the wide-format “champion” – a person “who will embrace it and make it their own.”
The type of materials you work with is another factor in your decision. Premium and non-traditional materials offer a higher profit, which will help build your portfolio as well as your bottom line. The same also applies to inks, which can add value by creating special tones, gradients, highlights, textures, and layered effects.
McConnell also promoted UL GREENGUARD Certification, stating requirements have been met for reduced VOC emissions in your workplace materials. This is important in selling wide-format products to schools, hospitals, and other institutions.