Production print requires a dynamic approach to incorporate new technological improvements that can add value to customers by helping them to respond to their ever-changing needs. Becoming more involved in production printing can assist dealers in meeting the challenges of the market.

Focusing on improved quality, better efficiency, and innovation can contribute to a production print operation that is prepared for keeping up with a fast-paced industry. Resourcefulness and expertise in regard to various print applications and workflows can work to serve changing customer needs. Dedicated production specialists at dealerships can be a key resource toward growing a production print business and understanding and identifying ways to thrive in an industry that requires adaptability.

Faster turnaround times can lead to cost savings, as increasing efficiency assists in growing a business. Customers may alter their strategies for print production, and a dedicated production specialist can help assess and coordinate appropriate solutions required. The specialist, by serving as a knowledgeable and reliable contact person, can aid in the process of positioning and demonstrating the appropriate production print equipment that can meet a customer’s needs.

A dedicated production specialist can offer feedback and explain what their end-customers are looking for in order to grow their business. For example, Keypoint Intelligence estimates digital production printing only represented 15% of the total production pages printed in 2022. This number is expected to grow to by 3% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) and represent 21% of the production print pages by 2026. The production print growth, especially in color, continues to offer market opportunities for selling production print equipment focusing on both commercial print and in-plant print centers.

Production specialists can also look for ways to help customers capture new business opportunities with the growing range of applications that can be printed digitally, and also help in-plant print operations understand ways that they can keep more of their printing work in-house. 

Dealers who employ a dedicated production print specialist can benefit from their expertise when deciding to expand product offerings. A specialist who knows items such as the necessary sheet sizes, total coverage area for color applications, and the type of mix of color and monochrome pages can assist a dealership formulate a plan in identifying the types of equipment and solutions required. Taking advantage of service planning tools, based on specific-use case conditions, can garner an assessment of expected service costs.

Finding new growth areas and knowing the costs and requirements of production print offerings is a complex job. A dedicated specialist can work for a dealership to bring the facts to management and provide the necessary information for decisions regarding entering the print production market or the potential risks of losing opportunities. 

Now that the benefits of a production specialist have been established, dealers should strategize for hiring the right person in the first place and providing the resources for these specialists to develop and improve in their positions. By clearly defining the job’s role, a dealership may be able to identify the necessary skills and qualifications for the position, which can make finding the right fit at the outset of the application process easier. To that end, creating a job description that accurately reflects the responsibilities for which this production specialist would be tasked is crucial.

A thorough interview process can contribute to determining if the candidate is the right fit for the position and matches the type of skills, outlook and approach the company wants out of its production specialist. However, once a candidate who fits those characteristics accepts the position, the company’s role is far from finished. It is important to ensure that individual receives ongoing training so the production specialist can continue to develop skills and knowledge. Staying current with changing trends will benefit the employee, the company, customers and all other stakeholders. 

Consequently, career development opportunities, such as training and mentoring, can help keep the production specialist motivated and engaged in their position. Helping the production specialist grow in their position doesn’t just provide a benefit to that individual; it can grow the dealership and fortify the relationship with both customers and manufacturers. 

Once the right specialist(s) are in place, forming partnerships with print production customers is a way to demonstrate credibility and potentially drive future sales. A specialist may be able to contribute to things like the creation of a reference site, where potential customers can gain the ability to speak with current users or access testimonials for sales materials and case studies. 

Specialists are important for many reasons, and dedicated, highly skilled workers who can generate a business plan, launch services and work with customer sales and implementations can be key in having success in the production print market.