In InfoTrends/CAP Ventures latest report entitled, Future of Digital Production Printing, analysts provide an outlook on the usage of digital production equipment, peripheral technologies and supplies in professional print environments for Western Europe. The document examines equipment usage and applications, investments and business trends, brand awareness, and customer relations.
Research for the report consisted of a survey of 294 end users across France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The survey captured responses from professional print service providers, cost centre printing in data processing printing environments, and in-plant printing.
Professional printing establishments are the largest producers of printed products. Our survey showed that nearly 80% of respondents indicated that they used digital colour printing and copying equipment and 68% were using a digital black and white device.
Figure 1: Type of Digital Print Equipment Used
Among all users of digital colour equipment, high-speed production printers with 40+ ppm speed are the most frequently used devices (58.4%), followed by wide format colour printers (41.1%). Lower speed colour devices are falling out of favour and their shares are markedly lower.
Value-Added Services Driving Success
Digital print enables widespread support for value-added services, design, and variable data support, all of which will further promote the use of digital technology. Finishing operations top the list of value-added services offered, with 86.3% of respondents indicating so.
A unique feature of digital print devices is variable data printing. Apart from some heavy users in data processing printing, the uptake today is relatively low. Across all types of print service providers, a total of 23.6% of all print jobs involve variable data today. Respondents are far more optimistic about the future and expect that share to increase to 35.8%.
Figure 2: Mean Share of Print Jobs using Variable Data Today and in 2 Years
Additional services that are offered by more than half of all respondents are colour digital prepress and design services. There are more services offered around database management, direct marketing, digital photography, and Web hosting, but by a smaller share of respondents.
Print is not the only document or publishing channel anymore, but one of many. There is an abundance of strategies regarding how digital print service providers approach the market. According to the study, deploying a full range of customer-facing tools, reducing costs and miscommunications, and offering better service for customers are factors required for future success.
The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ report Future of Digital Production Printing. The complete document is available immediately. To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, please contact Alison Hipp at , ext. 126 or .