SGIA Journal November/December 2013 - (Page 21)
How to Select Your Next
Wide-Format Printer, Part II
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,
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:
* Ask about your business - your
* I didn't know it couldn't print on
products, customers, business cycle
and your financial wherewithal.
* I thought all materials printed the
* Make him- or herself valuable to
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
customers' experience on any products
Before delving into the technolog y
discussion promised, let's take a quick * Be willing to offer references on these
review of Part One, just in case you
missed it. There are a few things you * Be honest.
need to do before you even go and look
* 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.org
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
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