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IP3 Today - Who Needs an Expert: Peter Wade

Peter Wade MIP3


Who Needs an Expert

Over the last fifteen or so years there has been a very fast pace of technological change affecting the whole of the printing industry. This has been particularly noticeable within origination concerning the front end processes where the introduction of computer electronics has brought users and their customers alike some real benefits, which certainly includes higher printing quality, much shorter job lead times at lower prices.

There are some serious disadvantages that have worked against printing companies generally and one such example is customer price pressure, which has created fierce competitive conditions between firms. Print buyers perhaps do not see this as a disadvantage if they can obtain printed matter more cheaply than ever before. However, the industry has had to learn to adapt to these changes for better or worse. To counter these prevailing conditions many companies have invested in new and more productive equipment so that customers work can be produced as cost effectively as possible.

The UK economy is subject to a modest growth rate of around 2.5% per annum so that there will be an increase in the amount of printed matter required. However, with much faster production equipment now generally available within the industry there is a downside to such investments, which has resulted in a gradual over capacity of equipment within the printing industry. This has substantially increased the competitive pressures felt by all commercial printers, because the productivity gains are far greater than the annual rate of economic growth.