SGIA Journal November/December 2013 - (Page 21)

feature How to Select Your Next Wide-Format Printer, Part II Print Technologies Know your business, and why and for what reason you are looking to purchase a printer - based on what you need to produce with it. I have been a part of the specialty imaging industry for over 25 years, and have seen wide-format color from its infancy. In the old days, we operated from a brick-and-mortar dealership. Potential customers came in for traditional demos that often lasted for hours. We were able to go into great depth, explaining the technology, applications, materials and processes - even though nobody knew what we were talking about at the time. Training was intensive, usually a minimum of two, but more often three days on-site, teaching the entire process. It happened this way all over, early innovators paying dearly for what was skinny, leading-edge technology that didn't always work. Brave customers were typically clustered around the various demo centers, and were almost always in or near a major city. My, how t hings have cha nged! Important demographic changes in the industry include the distribution of printers over a wide geographic area, gaining one's education via the Internet instead of hands-on, and the commoditization of the industry itself. In my case, I have migrated from the brickand-mortar dealership described above to the service side of the industry. This fairly short article cannot even begin to detail * Choose a good vendor partner as this the horror stories heard almost daily from is a journey in technology - not our service customers: just in the printer, but also in all of * My dealer never showed or told me the associated technologies - inks, that. materials, RIP software and service. * The only training I received was how to load material and ink. When it comes to choosing a partner to * I never knew I had to do any walk this journey with, your rep should: maintenance. * Ask about your business - your * I didn't know it couldn't print on products, customers, business cycle that material. and your financial wherewithal. * I thought all materials printed the * Make him- or herself valuable to same. you by offering good information * If I knew then what I know now I and helping you make an informed wouldn't have bought this printer. decision on your purchase. * You mean I have to pay for service? * Provide detailed information to * I never knew the service was so you about their experience or their expensive! customers' experience on any products Before delving into the technolog y they recommend. discussion promised, let's take a quick * Be willing to offer references on these review of Part One, just in case you products. missed it. There are a few things you * Be honest. need to do before you even go and look for printer: * Know your business, and why and for what reason you are looking to purchase a printer - based on what you need to produce with it. * Know your business, financials and business cycle well enough to know what you can tolerate financially. Bob Flipse, President, Grafx Network Visit SGIA at SGIA Journal ■ November/December 2013 | 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SGIA Journal November/December 2013

How to Survey Your Print Customers
Nanography™ and Nanotechnology: A Primer
How to Select Your Next Wide-Format Printer, Part II
Determining & Nurturing Your Areas of Opportunity
UV LED Printing: Will Your Business Be Left Behind?
Making Big Decisions: Will Doing Nothing Destroy Your Business?
MIS: Is Your System Working For You or Against You?
Sustainability and Media
Standardization and Process Control in Wide-Format Printing: Why It Will Change Your Life (And Make Your Customer Happy)
Test the Water Before you Commit with SGIA's Digital Equipment Evaluations
How CorelDRAW® Can Help Transform Your Sign Shop
A Time for Leadership: A Survival Guide for the 21st Century
Extracting Lessons from SGIA’s 2013 Industry Data
New Products
UV LED Technology & the 2013 SGIA Expo
The Ins and Outs of Color Management
SGIA Bestows “Product of the Year” Designation on Top Entries at 2013 SGIA Expo

SGIA Journal November/December 2013