Technology, deadline, team, flexibility, value: what every print buyer needs

Dr Anayath provides five mantras to ensure print's innovation potential isn't under-utilised.

04 Jun 2013 | By PrintWeek India

Print firms set technology best practices and increase expenditure in machine investments. But, compared to other industries, where is the commitment to the customer? Dr Rajendrakumar Anayath says print's innovation potential is grossly under-utilised. The small and medium enterprises in the industrial clusters can be effectively served if they adhere to Professor Anayath's five point mantra.
Technology available
Before deciding on a printer, the first and the foremost thing that a print buyer seeks is the type of technologies which are available. This can give the print buyer a complete confidence about the jobs. Today’s print requirements can be rendered by adopting the proper technologies. Therefore, this knowledge is the most essential. Printers must ensure the transfer of this knowledge is clear, concise and technically correct.
Ethics and deadline commitments
Other than technology superiority, what rates highly is the ethical behaviour of the printer. The secrecy of important documents that you share with the printer and its security are very important. This must be guaranteed and safeguarded. Do not be sloppy; or careless about this. Remember: technology is not the only USP in your arsenal; a printer should also stick to delivery commitments. If you could not deliver a print job on time, the whole purpose of a technically perfect print shall be a waste.  Deadline commitments are nothing but the ability in meeting the deadlines as agreed with the customer. The goodwill or corporate identity of a company's image is defined by your delivery habits.
It is always better to inform the customer of the team behind the organisation so that you can have smooth and proper communication and confidence. In spite of having the best machinery and equipment, if the team behind is not up to the mark, then that will certainly reflect on the product. The role of a team can come to play a major role in designing jobs, developing customer skills and imparting training in company's innovation systems. If this is not happening, please ensure you put into practice concepts such as systems of innovation and mechanisms to forge links with the buyer.
Flexibility shows the company's financial situation to the 'outside world' and indicates how much the price of a print product can be decreased without making a loss. But this should be rendered without compromising on the quality. This shows the resiliency of the company to adapt to all kinds of changes as and when needed. Flexibility also shows the amount of innovations; and quite often an enterprise can unveil a raft of new products and services to their customers in a proactive manner. The higher the frequency, the more services are to be offered on the market. The stronger is the success factor.
Value-addition capabilities
Value-addition capabilities are the technology offerings concerning special requirements that signifies the company's ability to accept orders which require services other than the specified ones being part of the standard program or product portfolio or in the work order. This includes being ready to guarantee short-term deliveries, as well. Creating value-addition capabilities should be one of the key elements in a print firm's respository. It is strange that such an important perspective finds lip service.
To conclude, it's imperative that Indian print firms benchmark themselves with best cases. For this they need to look outward at comparative studies from various countries with qualitative, quantitative and impact indicators. Meanwhile in India, we need a new set of best practices that look into production and shopfloor nitty-gritty and capital investments. Above all, we need a new breed of technocrats and specialists to introduce a fresh thought-process into the organisation. So far, most print firms in India have no provision for recruitment of such professionals and to reflect a new mindset; and build a robust client list.