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As technology changes, some industries are questioning their fate. One such industry that is challenged to survive because of rapidly changing technology is the quick printing industry. Technological advances affect these companies twofold. First customers have access to improved technology and second improvements in technologies within the printing industry make it expensive for quick printers to keep up.
Studies have shown that this industry’s customers are traditionally small retail companies, churches, schools and other small business organizations. Today these customers have more convenient options for printing stemming from technological advances including improvements in the quality and affordability of the laser printer and easy-to-use word processing software such as Microsoft Word. Suddenly, printing 100 or 1,000 copies from the office laser printer is affordable. Not to mention, the quality is comparable to using a quick printer.
In addition to home or office printers, the small business customer has the option of user-friendly and cost-effective online companies such as Vistaprint. These services add a convenience factor that is not duplicated with quick printers where a person has to drive to the location to place the order and then drive back to pick it up.
Quick printers can no longer rely on small businesses and the home office sector to survive and thrive into the future. The solutions for overcoming these challenges are:
I believe that companies will struggle to achieve one or both of these tasks. First of all, middle market companies purchase from sales people who call on them in their offices. This format is drastically different from what a quick printer is accustomed to where clients walk in the doors when they need something printed. In order to make this change from reactionary business to proactively selling, staff would have to be trained and educated in sales which would require a great deal of time.
The second aspect, obtaining equipment would require a significant monetary investment. It is just not feasible for the majority of quick printing shop owners to devote the resources to make these necessary enhancements.
The bottom line is that quick printers will no longer be able to rely on home office consumers and small business owners as the bread and butter of their businesses. Individual quick printers must make significant adjustments if they have any chance of surviving for future years to come.