12 Jan Commercial print trends in 2023: reflections and predictions
Tim Carter, Commercial Print Director at Ricoh Graphic Communications, sits down with PrintWeek to discuss commercial print trends in 2023. He explores why data, sustainability, and collaboration are essential New Year’s resolutions for the print industry.
What were the key trends and industry developments in 2022?
The developments of 2022 will pave the way for commercial print trends in 2023 – so what were they? We have seen a real shift towards automation. Print businesses now place even more value on increasing uptime across the entire print lifecycle. This covers everything from pre-press to finishing, including logistics and fulfilment. Automation has helped businesses better serve their customers. It’s also enabled staff to spend more time bringing strategic value.
Sustainability is another key development. Customers now hold suppliers accountable as they assess their supply chains and find more sustainable print options and solutions. This has sharpened market competition and positively impacted the industry as a whole, an impact we support wholeheartedly at Ricoh.
What are the biggest opportunities and commercial print trends in 2023?
In 2023, we believe Ink Jet will become more prominent. With Ink Jet, you can obtain faster run speeds, increase job volumes, produce smaller print runs and enables full-colour printing on all jobs, extending the historic break even between Digital and Offset. We are particularly proud to be innovating and leading the way in this technology.
This year, there will also be a continued need for greater efficiencies in production through automation, but through focusing on integrated workflows and robotics and AI. We have written about the benefits of AI for print service providers here.
Data will also become ever more important as the industry looks to create efficiencies in production, particularly around big data that identify cost and efficiency savings for brands and marketing agencies.
Another trend is partnership and collaboration. To ensure a strong relationship with a client, you must treat it as a partnership and collaborate. Operating in sync enables you to support all aspects of the business and helps nurture opportunities to spark new business. You can read about one of our partnerships here with Aura Print.
How have economic, political, and supply chain challenges prepared you for 2023?
There has been a growing need for adaptable and flexible businesses over the past few years. One of the ways we have developed our business model was by moving away from the traditional supplier-customer relationship. We have made it clear that our clients can come to us as a trusted advisor to provide the necessary support in times of uncertainty. Ensuring we always stay true to this mantra will set us up for a strong future.
Fostering these stronger customer relationships has also allowed us to identify synergies that generate shared business outcomes.
One of the synergies we have identified with clients is finding greater efficiencies in our processes by streamlining our vendors’ network. These trusted relationships and efficiency levels will only develop in the years ahead. We’ve honoured the importance of our customer relationships in our new Champions of Print video.
How can suppliers better help printers navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in 2023?
It is crucial to be an advisor who does not solely focus on the production and output of the business but can support clients on broader challenges.
We have adopted a delivery service that focuses on our customers’ growth by creating extra capacities which move away from the traditional relationship. Throughout the organisation, we have seen the benefit of providing post-sales business support and EDGE Business Development, helping clients diversify and grow.
How can suppliers do more to promote the effectiveness of print to the broader business community in 2023?
For organisations to promote print effectiveness, there is a need to become more active across the complete supply chain. To demonstrate how effective print can be compared to Digital Campaigns and to be part of the design process, not just a fulfilment of work.
Working with industry bodies such as the BPIF and IPIA, as well as collaborating with other printers and marketing agencies, will enable originations to demonstrate the benefits of print.
Explore our Anything in Print hub if you are interested in understanding more about Ricoh’s commercial print offering.
This article was originally published in PrintWeek