Great expectations: tougher demands from print customers
Faster turnaround and sustainability are top of clients’ shopping lists, say FESPA members.
The customer’s expectations never stand still, but print service providers (PSPs) are currently facing rapidly evolving and far tougher customer expectations.
Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the continued drive towards mass customisation. More than 50% of respondents to the 2018 FESPA Print Census said that top of customers’ shopping lists were faster turnaround, short run printing, just-in-time manufacturing and personalisation.
Many customers were now calling for 48-hour shipping timeframes, and PSPs were turning to digital technology to help them out – 54% of respondents said that their primary reasons for investing in digital were to meet the increasing need for print capacity. In fact, meeting capacity rated higher than enhancing print quality.
The customer continued to feature centrally in other areas of investment – 28% of all respondents had also invested in interactive customer collaboration tools (for example visualisation, design, approval and mark-up).
Customers and conscience
But customers aren’t just pursuing faster times and keener prices. The survey shows that they are motivated to leave a lighter carbon footprint and commission more environmentally friendly practices from their printer.
The 69% of customers who insisted on environmentally responsible actions typically asked for recyclable products, sustainable manufacturing and reduced waste. PSPs have risen to the green challenge. The most popular measures included using energy-efficient and certified equipment, using volatile organic compound-free inks, staff and client training and using products with end-of-life recycling programmes.
Of those PSPs which had introduced greener practices, almost three-quarters said there had been no negative impact on sales or bump to prices: a case of keeping the business happy as well as the customer.
Customer demand stats
- 59% of PSPs think just-in-time delivery will increase
- 72% say customer demand for fast turnaround is increasing
- 61% say the trend towards shorter runs is increasing
- 47% say customers’ requirements for environmentally friendly products are a major influence or ‘top of my mind’
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