The market slowdown has affected all industries around the world in a pandemic year, but unfortunately also the printing industry. As it turns out, this difficult time has not meant stagnation in our industry. On the contrary, companies with an innovative approach used this time to develop, change habits, restructure within production lines and regroup.
All this is being done in order to get up with all guns blazing after the period of stagnation and not only catch up, but also increase sales in the long term. So let’s take a look at what has changed in the past year, what trends have taken over the printing market and what direction it will take.
The reduction in demand for printing services initiated the change in the way of thinking about production. Canon Polska prepared a report which clearly indicates that the printing industry is on course to increase intuitiveness, print personalization and a total revolution in the operation mode, reducing the involvement of human hands in favor of automation. This means many changes on production lines and implementation of completely new devices.
The changes to automated production lines are the result of months of remote work, during which it became apparent that many production steps could be modified so that the involvement of physically present employees is minimized.
This means de facto many positive changes. Not only in terms of convenience, but also in terms of reduction of production costs. Following the development and galloping innovation that has accompanied printing for many years, it can be assumed that the technological revolution was upon us in one way or another. Remote work and the need to process orders remotely, with care taken to maintain efficient production on a continuous basis, were simply the impetus that accelerated the process.
At Hussar Books, we have felt this trend very clearly - both in the British and Polish markets. For several months, we have been observing many changes in the production structure of entities we have been cooperating with for years. Many processes have been shortened and simplified, and in retrospect we can see that we are all actually working more comfortably.
Green printing on the move
The eco-friendly printing trend is still alive - or is becoming increasingly necessary. And this direction means many changes for the industry. Both in the aspect of completely new papers (recycling, ECF and TCF papers, as well as cooperation with FSC-certified entities) and the choice of eco-friendly inks and sustainable resource management. This broad concept includes many changes - such as water and energy savings, which often force a thorough reconstruction of production lines into much more functionally economical devices.
At Hussar Books, we also follow these trends. We are FSC certified and enthusiastically seek ways to make our productions environmentally sustainable in addition to maintaining quality aspects.
Changes for performance
Without a doubt, an important trend that influences changes is the optimization of performance. The increase in printing speed takes place at the expense of traditional offset printing technologies, which are being replaced by more modern digital inkjet printing. This will allow to process orders faster, while keeping prices at a similar level. In simple terms, this means increased profits for manufacturers.
The future of the printing industry
Trends are trends, but what do these changes actually mean for the printing industry in the long term?
The numbers paint a very optimistic picture of the future. According to the survey conducted by Siemens Financial Services, in recent months over 28% of printing companies in Poland invested in modern machine park, resigning from devices which were characterized by lower efficiency and lack of concern for environmental aspects.
As respondents declare, by increasing innovation, they feel more competitive and ready for healthy market competition. Moreover, companies which have not yet invested in new equipment have such plans - no one will benefit from staying behind. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the quality revolution that has begun will gather pace in the coming months, and those who cannot keep up with it will have to speed up a step.
This is not the first time in the history of the world that economic crises, as a result of unforeseen events beyond our control, become the driving force for development and the search for innovation. The described trends are actually great news for the printing industry. They mean optimizing production lines, following modern technological idea and offering the recipients a completely new quality. The whole industry will certainly benefit from this - both on the part of the ordering parties, as well as the print service providers.