Big Picture - March 2017 - 10
EFI Connect 2017
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EFI hosted its 17th annual user
conference, Connect, in January at the
Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. With
customers, dealers, and press from 37
nations, this was the largest Connect
Special sessions included fireside
chat keynotes with EFI CEO Guy
Gecht, Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson, and
Quad/Graphics CEO Joel Quadracci.
Gecht says artificial intelligence
(AI) is the next big thing; whether
that's scary or exciting is up for debate.
EFI is looking into some AI projects
as consumer behavior continues to
influence on-demand print production.
During his first interview since
Xerox's split, Jacobson touched on
ways to keep print meaningful to
millennials - through innovation,
winning culture, and CEO visibility -
because they are key to growing a
successful business. "It all starts with
the printed page," said Jacobson. "Print
is the igniter for it all." And how is
Annual Meeting 2017
Xerox becoming more involved in
print? With new investments in
packaging and inkjet.
Quadracci spoke on how to
integrate customer needs and
available technology to achieve
success. "Never waste panic. Never
waste tough times. That's when people
are willing to try new things," he said.
Quadracci points to personalization,
packaging, and awareness of change
as key for the future of print. "Print
is about evolution," he said. "Today,
it's about effectively integrating all
of the channels."
This year's Connect featured
technology advancements from EFI,
including the debut of the company's
largest soft-signage printer, the Vutek
FabriVu 520, and new LED, roll-to-roll
printers, the Vutek 3r and 5r. Ken
Hanulec, EFI, says inkjet continues to
be a growth driver for the company.
And what's to come? Single-pass
technology for the corrugated and
products that are re-created and assembled using unused,
discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon, or virtually
any raw material and/or product from a computer-related
device," according to techopedia.com.
Interior Design Magazine 2017 Trends
This year's Wallcoverings Association Annual Meeting, held in
Clearwater Beach, Florida, focused on the future of the economy
and its influence on the hospitality and wallcoverings industries.
Speakers included Tad Radzinski, co-founder and president
of Sustainable Solutions; Paul Markillie, innovation editor at
The Economist; Mark Strauss, president of Interior Design
Media; and Gene Marks, business executive and columnist.
Wallcoverings' Sustainability Story
Radzinski spoke on how to set up wallcoverings providers for
long-term sustainability. "Sustainability becomes part of your
culture and DNA; it's integrated into your business strategy,"
he said. And who is most interested in sustainable businesses
in 2017? Millennials. "They're your new customers, and
they're your new employees. And they want to buy sustainable products, and work for a sustainable company."
that Will Shape Our Future
Markillie shared five technology trends that will shape the
wallcoverings industry's future: smart computers and
software, novel materials, an increase in automation, a new
production process, and the maker movement - "a trend in
which individuals or groups of individuals create and market
Strauss held his annual wallcoverings trends session with
some interesting takeaways:
* "63 percent of clients are willing to design a space
promoting health and wellness." How does this impact your
print shop's offerings?
* "Texture: When color fades, tactility reigns."
* "Muted hues, spotted prints, and custom murals are
trending in the wallcoverings industry."
* "Millennials want to text or email sales reps instead of
face-to-face meetings. How are you adjusting to this?"
* "Top pet peeves in a sales rep: lack of product knowledge, not knowing or providing pricing, and only caring about
making a sale."
Your Business, Your Future
Marks, a weekly columnist for The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc.
com, and The Huffington Post, and a frequent guest on MSNBC,
CNBC, Fox, and Fox Business, spoke on how economics and
politics in 2017 and even 2018 and beyond will affect your
print shop. His first and most important suggestion? Get
together with your accountant. And the three hot technologies
he thinks your business should consider for furthered success:
video capabilities (Facebook live), a CRM system (Insightly),
and online backup (Carbonite).