by Benny Bowman, President and COO
When compared to other hi-tech industries, the printing industry is the grandparent that knows how to use Uber. While many technology-based industries appear to be in their childhood or adolescence periods, the printing industry is mature. This dichotomy causes confusion for the employees of the printing industry. Many of the employees within the industry today were trained to perform a craft in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The quality of print was in the hands of the employee. Equipment was a device that required the manipulation of an expert to achieve an expected outcome of quality and productivity. Technology has changed the way quality and productivity is obtained. By following the correct protocol on today’s print output devices, operators can provide high-quality printing with less effort, less waste, and less time.
Where does this leave the craft-trained pressmen? Potentially, it can leave the rigid-minded outside looking in. However, the intelligence that allowed these craftsmen to reach their goals in the past will in most cases be applied to the challenges of reinventing themselves. To embrace the technology of today’s printing industry requires an acceptance that what was once perceived as the future of the industry has now become the present. Therefore, those press operators who wish to continue to be held in high esteem by their customers, peers, and managers need to recognize the new expertise required.
The user-friendliness of today’s output devices gets the ink on the paper, but the maintenance of this sensitive equipment is paramount to performance. In addition, the new functions of digital output devices allow for creativity that does not exist on static output conventional equipment. Personalization, data, and mailing expertise are required by output operators to insure a smooth workflow through finishing and distribution. Worth Higgins & Associates is a Virginia commercial printer who has embraced the changes. Which leads to the next change in the industry, the digital automation in binderies across the world.
It is a good thing Grandpa can Uber.