There’s so much more to printing than selecting a document and clicking the Print button. As office managers likely know, printing has evolved so much in the past five years. There are now many ways to print, as well as many trends and developments.
By staying abreast of these trends and predicting what’s to come for 2017 and beyond, office managers can increase productivity and reduce costs. They can take these advantages one step further and develop their company’s brand, create new ideas, stay innovative, and blow away the competition.
1. Use of multiple channels.
It’s not print or bust. In fact, if you choose print only, you’ll bust either way. By using multiple forms of media – such as the internet and other digital media – the print industry will thrive. Nowadays, consumers want much more. They don’t want to simply purchase an item and move on. They want to interact with the company and create a relationship.
This means that every hard copy material should be somehow connected to digital media. This can be accomplished in many ways. You can add a QR code to a flyer or include links to Facebook and Twitter accounts for the most interaction possible. Marketing campaigns are more successful when they use multiple channels to complement each other. Don’t overlook this important fact.
2. Rise in 3D printing.
A decade ago, most of us would have had no clue what a 3D printer was or the impact it would have on the printing community. Today, 3D printers are easily available to consumers and corporations alike. While these printers are excellent tools for the education industry, they are must-haves for many corporations as well. Since 3D printers can create 3D renderings of drawings, they work well for architectural and engineering firms, as well as the manufacturing and medical industry.
However, 3D printing offers practical applications for just about every office. With 3D printers now reasonably priced (many are available for under $500), now’s a good time for employers to experiment and discover the possibilities. Expect to see 3D printing continue to increase in popularity in 2017.
3. Cloud printing.
With workers traveling, working remotely, and constantly on the go, they need capabilities that allow them to print documents stored in the cloud while away from their usual printer. Employers will switch to cloud-based services – if they haven’t already – in order to save time and money.
Plus, security is top-notch now, so there are very few safety issues to consider. Cloud-based services are growing in popularity and will continue to in the future. In fact, almost all software solution providers should have cloud services in place this year.
4. Going green.
Because printing involves the use of paper – which wastes trees – the printing industry has a bad reputation. Surprisingly, though, paper products are recycled at a faster rate than other products. Instead of killing trees, paper recycling leads to reforestation, which keeps the forests intact.
However, there are still ways to make your office environmentally friendly. Measure outputs and do your best to cut back. Only print what is really necessary. After all, saving paper and lowering emissions is good PR for your company.
5. Low prices.
There are manufacturer toners and ink cartridges as well as off-brand and refurbished ones. When choosing replacements, you’ll notice so many options, as well as price points. Overall, you won’t see any price hikes, though, because of the competition.
There are now clone toners, which are copies of OEM toners. Clone toners work just as well as OEM toners, but they’re lower in price, so this keeps the prices of OEM toners low. The one drawback is that clone toners are not recyclable.
There is also low demand. As companies are moving toward 3D printing, traditional printing through inkjet and laser printers is decreasing. Plus, offices are more mobile nowadays. Employees are working remotely, and, with everything they need at their fingertips, printing is no longer a necessity.
Therefore, if you must buy replacement ink or toner, shop around for the lowest prices. You’ll get more bang for your buck. Plus, what company doesn’t like to save money and increase their bottom line?
Although we’ve heard in the past that print is dead, it’s just the opposite. While some forms of hard copy publications – like newspapers – are on the wayside, thanks to digital media, advanced printing capabilities can do so much to benefit a business. Learn more about these trends and your company will be poised for success.