The importance of variable data printing

Since the first appearance of digital presses eight years ago, variable data printing in the imaging field has been shrouded in a halo. First of all, variable data color printing is being touted as a way to solve things that are not popular. But as with the prospects of other technologies, it cannot survive in all kinds of boasting.

It is not a function of variable data printing. The problem is that it is difficult to achieve, and the end user is not ready to accept it. For customers, the problem is not that they do not want to be a pioneer, but because they take into account other factors, even if it has a potential advantage.

The current situation has undergone some changes, and variable data printing has gradually become the people's choice. At the same time, the price of full-color printing, which is known for its speed, simplicity, and reliability, is also declining. It is even lower than last year's price.

Users who eventually realized the feasibility of variable data printing began to look for ways to use this technology. Press retailers are also starting to provide devices for different page sizes and printing speeds driven by RIP that can ultimately handle variable data.

But TrendWatch (an excellent monitoring company in the printing industry) believes that these phenomena may be an illusion. Digital color variable print jobs as printers and digital printing equipment business opportunities, such as Indigo and Xeikon's presses, showed a downward trend in last year, digital color variable data operations plummeted from 26% a year ago to 4% . However, the consultancy report also mentions that small commercial printers (companies with no more than 9 employees) that started variable data printing last spring have increased from 4% to 7%.

TrendWatch believes that unless there is a dramatic shift, variable data printing is still a dream, as Indigo and other companies envision. The company rightly pointed out: For some of the opportunities for changeable data printing enthusiasts touted, the market has shown a slower acceptance response; while the Internet industry, which is in a state of repetitiveness, seems to be better able to adapt to individual market demands.

Regardless of the fact, TrendWatch concluded that the fundamentals of variable data printing are based on color copiers and digital printers.

But on the other hand……
What is the problem? For fast and small commercial printers, such as the Xerox DocuColor 2045 and 2060, and even the DocuColor 12 have the ability to achieve variable data printing, and are also being used by commercial printing companies, document service organizations, and internal departments to achieve this. Change data printing.

In fact, some users who already have Indigo or Xerox DocuColor 2060 are considering Xerox technology for variable data printing and non-variable data printing, because it has more powerful features, lower operating costs and excellent Printing quality. Next year, Xerox will introduce a new type of press to the market, currently known as FutureColor, which is expected to further reduce the cost per page.

In addition, among the digital printing equipment, it is worth mentioning that NexPress was used to demonstrate the operation of variable data printing at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, Germany, a few months ago. NexPress 2100 is expected to be launched in late 2001 or early 2002.

Note The status quo of variable data is still not ideal. Processing variable data content is a challenging task and it is not suitable for technically immature companies. Even software, RIP, and printers can handle variable data printing, but the level of care and feedback actually increases dramatically.

If you are ready to accept this challenge, plan carefully. The following are some of the key factors that should be considered:

If you don't have a strategy plan for sales and marketing, don't start it lightly. There should be some specific customers in your consciousness and ensuring that adding variable data to the document is beneficial to them. One of the leading factors in the slower acceptance of variable data printing by users is because they cannot identify the best application of variable data printing in a company.

Make sure your staff is trained on the nuances of the database because it is very important to improve the efficiency of variable data printing.

From the beginning of a simple job, you gradually overworked and accumulated enough experience.

Begin with black and white print jobs, especially when you have a DocuColor or other monochrome machine that can handle variable data printing. Because they are much simpler and easier to sell.

Get as much training and technical support as possible from your printer or RIP retailer. Because many details are still not clear, their technical support is very important. It is useful to be able to get their participation in the initial period of a project, especially the more complex projects.

Purchase a machine that can process between 90% and 100% of variable content on each page of the file.

From design to printing, all the work you can do is done by yourself. This can help you control the entire process and ensure that each task is completed according to plan. If you can't handle everything, work with your customers and designers to familiarize them with any unique considerations in document design.

Finally, calculate the cost ahead of time and value the new service that will be provided. Another reason for the slower growth of variable data printing is its higher cost. This work is difficult, but you need to calculate the costs that may be involved in the previous work. The preliminary work refers to the necessary investment to develop a new service.

Seek outside help If you tend to make difficult work for others, try Digital Work. This is an application service provider based on web software that helps create and produce personalized and customized market exchange documents and personalized business office supplies.

Using a standard web browser, Digital Work's software enables commercial printers to provide Internet-based, on-demand printing of customer documents.

The first product of Digital Work is 1214U (One-to-one-for-you). This is a variable-data-printing software that allows commercial printing customers to select, organize, and assemble user files for a single unit and combine these files with a list of users to create a personalized direct mail file.

Differentiating issues

Adding variable data printing to a range of services may not be particularly important, but providing variable data printing may be a good option if you want to separate your own products or services from other printers on the market. .

Variable data printing can range from full color mail to fully customized commercial materials. If you have never provided a similar service, it is undoubtedly a bet.

Dr. Joe Webb of TrendWatch said: "The printers will never take the initiative to adopt a new technology until they lose a lot of money because of this new technology." So why not let others lose before acting ahead?

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