Out of the basement and centre stage.
Why we need to invest in the print room managers of tomorrow.
At ePrint we think hard about the changing role of the print room. It informs our product development and we are frequently in discussion with customers about how they can better invest in and demonstrate the on-going value of the print room to their business. Rather than a declining role for central print we see many new and exciting possibilities.
Our task is to work with print rooms to assist in demonstrating to their organisations the possibilities and potential to deliver on objectives such as reduced waste, improved communication and new working practices. All too often, when broaching the subject, the reaction is that “we are too busy” or “the time is not right”. From this I conclude everyone is waiting until they are not busy, by which time it will possibly be too late. The bird will have flown.
Software products, such as Skyline (and other products are available, as the BBC would say) now offer the ability to develop the print room role in many new directions. The creation and design of documents for distribution online no longer needs to be the sole responsibility of the traditional Graphics department, often focused on large scale projects. Often gatekeepers of an organisation’s brand, the print room are well placed to provide advice and ideas on document design, print finishes and options. Software, such as Skyline Publish, allows print rooms to develop their role embracing designs and products.
While, naturally, print remains the central product it is increasingly just one element of the marketing/communications mix. The role of multi-channel communications offers a rich vein for exploration and development. In many cases, that may need new people and skills, a new generation of print room staff and managers who have the skills to embrace new markets and new processes. In today’s climate, that is often a tough fight to win, but is part and parcel of changing the perception of the print room from an internal service into one that recognises its vital communications role and potential for revenue generation.
These days we are a demanding lot, we want what we want when we want it. Communication, traditionally a face-to-face relationship for print rooms, is moving online and that also needs a new approach and fresh thinking. Embracing the role of social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram Twitter and Facebook to complement the print room storefront itself helps to build brand, relationships and results in word-of-mouth business. Well managed print room storefronts and newsletters means your customers always know who you are and why they should use you.
By enhancing and extending its services and raising its profile within the organisation, the print room can change business perceptions about its role. This is why its needs to invest in its people so let’s work together to get reprographics out of the basement and centre stage. The print room is full of opportunity for future managers, developers, programmers, designers and marketers looking to for a career in design, production, customer service and Information Technology.