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5 reasons for automation in the printing industry

Why it is worthwhile for printers to finally tackle digitisation in 2021 and thus set the course for the automation of their processes.

#1: Customer expectations are as high as never before
Printed materials in mini-runs with high personalisation by tomorrow and please do it cheaply, very cheaply. Such jobs are the order of the day in the printing industry today. Such jobs simply cannot be produced economically using traditional methods – what is needed here is the highest possible degree of automation. Those who fail to digitise and automate their processes across the entire value chain run the risk of falling by the wayside.

#2: Automation in the printing industry is advancing rapidly
It is encouraging to see a significant increase in print companies' interest in automation issues – we learn this in our daily conversations with printers. Important drivers are the rapid development of digital technologies.

Open interfaces (APIs), which enable standardised communication between software and machines, are particularly important in this context. They form the basis for any automation.

Open APIs are a supporting pillar of our open platform Zaikio and ensure that all participants in the printing industry can be technically and uniformly networked with each other – without costly 1:1 integrations.

#3: If you are not yet looking at automating your processes, many of your competitors are probably already well ahead.
Traditional printers will soon painfully realise that without automation they have no chance of competing. Companies with a high degree of automation simply have more "bargaining power" – thanks to greater efficiency they have cost advantages that they can pass on to their customers if necessary.

In plain language, this means that you should take advantage of the opportunities offered by automation now so that you do not lose your customers to the competition. By the way, this also and especially applies to small printers.

#4: Automation pays off
Many printers lull themselves into a sense of security, ignoring inefficiencies and bottlenecks that lead to problems, lower productivity and thus lost profits.

If they were to automate their processes as much as possible, they can benefit almost immediately from high efficiency gains - and that is important when you are now handling double and triple the number of jobs compared to earlier times, but now with comparatively tiny print runs.

At the same time, they create the basis for a long-term improvement of their company's situation.

#5: Automation creates future security
Despite the growing awareness of the topic of automation, many printers still see themselves as trade businesses, as disciples of the "black art". They overlook the fact that from 2008 to 2020 a printing company disappeared from the market practically every working day during these years.

Yet digitisation and automation do not mean that printers' wealth of experience is suddenly worthless - quite the opposite. By relieving them of always the same processes, they can contribute their expertise where it is particularly valuable - in advising their customers and in implementing demanding print jobs.

Moreover, digitalisation creates the basis for new business models. Classic online printing is just one example. Individual portals for customers, through which their employees can order printed matter, are also possible. Warehousing and fulfilment also offer potential for new services. Since printers have access to the released data of their customers' communication media, the spectrum of possibilities for new services is enormous.

We have raised your interest and you would like to find out more about automation in the printing industry? Feel free to contact us and read our blog posts about it:

- The print business in transition from trade to industry
- The biggest hurdles to digitalisation are in the mind
- En route to the digital world you need a travel guide
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