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The Education and Training Industries

The On-Demand Print Opportunity

Despite all the hype in the mid-1990s predicting the demise of classroom training and rapid migration to online learning, nearly 80% of training still uses the instructor-led classroom model, and the accompanying paper-based training materials. In addition, while corporate spending on employee training suffered a decline as the Twentieth Century drew to a close, the last couple of years have seen a rebound, and this trend is expected to continue.

For the print service provider seeking to grow print-on-demand volume, corporate training materials, whether developed in-house or by third-party training organizations, present a good market opportunity. Since corporate training materials share many characteristics with other types of manuals, print service providers that are already producing materials will need to make very few infrastructure changes to capitalize on this market. For new entrants, investments made in gearing up to produce corporate training materials can easily be leveraged to other applications.
Key Applications in the Education & Training Industry

The typical training kit is a good match for the capabilities of the digital print service provider. Key components include:

  • Student notebooks or workbooks
  • Handouts of presentation materials
  • Instructor’s or leader’s guides
  • Supplemental reference materials (i.e. product information and documentation)
  • Videos or CD-ROMs, depending on the learning technology
  • Instructor supplies, including name badges, tent cards, tablets, and pencils
  • Course evaluation forms

CAP Ventures surveyed several corporate locations about their training needs. Based on the dynamic nature of training documentation, there is a clear understanding of the benefits associated with print on demand technology within this community.

The typical site was conducting instructor-led sessions for between 10 and 20 students. External training companies were conducting sessions weekly at multiple locations. Sometimes these were conducted at corporate locations, and other times they were conducted in a hotel or conference center. Internal training departments in several instances conducted training in regional office locations in an effort to reduce travel costs. Typically, it was less expensive to fly the trainer to the students than to fund travel expenses from multiple locations around the country to a central training site, although many large companies still maintain centralized training facilities or corporate universities.

The training departments or companies want the quantity of materials for the class to be consistent with the number of registered attendees to minimize waste. An accurate number of attendees is often not available until a few days before a session is conducted, making rapid documentation turnaround essential.

Most importantly, training departments and educational services companies are seeking a print provider that can print, kit, fulfill, and deliver the training materials to the point of need in the exact quantity required for the beginning of a training session. Very short lead times are often required, and companies are increasingly looking for the ability to store and access training materials via an online catalog or a centralized document repository.

The print and document services opportunity for digital print service providers associated with the training documentation process is as follows:

  • Store training materials online for the customer: these materials ensure that there is client access and the ability to modify any of multiple versions of the training documentation based on the specific audience and curriculum changes.
  • Provide online order entry and guaranteed 48 hour turnaround time for training materials
  • Print documentation, including black & white student workbooks and handouts, instructor guides, and supporting reference materials. Print and insert full-color covers and tabs and finish the document in accordance with customer specifications.
  • Print CD-ROM packaging or videocassette case covers and labels.
  • Provide kitting for the student and instructor kits. A typical completed student kit includes a shrink-wrapped package containing a student workbook, product reference material and brochures, a CD-ROM, a name badge and tent card, and a course evaluation form.
  • Box the order to include one set of instructor materials and the specified number of student material kits.
  • Deliver the order to the specified regional office, hotel, or training center.

This document has been abstracted from the CAP Ventures white paper entitled “The Education & Training Industries: The On-Demand Print Opportunity,” which provides an overview of the corporate training market, identifies the segments most likely to require digital printing services, provides techniques for prospect identification, and outlines strategies for selling print on demand services to training clients. Additionally, the case histories included in this white paper provide examples of how, in the past, print service providers have been successful in capitalizing on the corporate training materials market. For more information about this and other CAP Ventures white papers, contact Alison Hipp at ext. 126. 


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2011 InfoTrends