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Commentary by Steve Aranoff & Robert FitzPatrick, The EAGLE
July 24, 2006 -- Fespa Digital, held in May in Amsterdam, was recently discussed by The EAGLE. One of the items we covered was the format, almost all digital, with its emphasis on rapidly moving technologies, rather than the myriad of more slowly moving and more traditional products that make up the balance of the screen printing market. Fespa, we indicated, as well as SGIA Digital, held last December, did a very credible job of making it easier than in that larger and more typical format of being able to review competitive products virtually side by side.
Wandering the floor, there were still many different kinds of products being displayed. Unlike earlier days, especially in the offset world, we were missing the kind of large company booths/stands where all of the products that a screen printer might need for production could be seen in one place. We could see products, but not help a prospect to gather more information about what was now possible for different kinds of efficient production and for new ideas that could be sold to client customers.
Old friends, talking about what was taking place at their booths, lamented the fact that they could not easily demonstrate what it would be like to use their products in a productive workflow environment.
Each of them showed their part, but, the practical sense of being able to show the benefits of continuity in a true workflow was missing. It was easy to compare printers, perhaps, but what about being able to follow a design from the prepress step through the RIPping process to print and to finishing - ready to deliver to the customer?
We used to say that many different output devices or presses could do the necessary job, but the printer might fail because he put in the wrong network.
Thirsting for Information
Screen printers, even less sophisticated than offset printers in the techniques of workflow, are now being challenged to provide quality products in smaller quantities for less money. Wringing costs out of the process is now becoming just as important as it became in offset. But, who is teaching this to the buyers who know nothing about the long term parallel efforts in the longer-run offset and flexo markets with standards such as JDF and CIP4?
Having talked last year with Mike Robertson, president of SGIA, about how he was going to keep SGIA relevant and important in the era of converging technologies at multiple trade shows, we asked him to consider the above question. Mike, who wants SGIA to be the knowledge base for the Screen print industry, rapidly volunteered to sponsor a number of workflow pavilions at SGIA ’06, the specialty printing and imaging technology expo in September.
More information will be forthcoming from SGIA itself, however, we want to provide the information to our readers so that they can make arrangements to visit SGIA ’06 in Las Vegas and see for themselves the impact that such complete workflows and community demonstrations can have on the dissemination of practical information to buyers. SGIA will have three interesting pavilions that give attendees a head start in understanding what they are able to accomplish through more than one manufacturer.
Wrap the Boat, Wrap the Car, Baby. Four of SGIA’s consumables manufacturers have been asked to show off their latest large object wrapping techniques and media on vehicles including a boat at the Wrap Display Area. Vehicle wraps were one of the first and continuing big users of digital technology for both printing and digital cutting.
An Image Flows Through It. The optimum in digital imaging workflows will be demonstrated at the Digital Workflow Pavilion. You’ll go with the workflow, following an image from design, to RIP, to printing, and finally to finishing. Two workflows showing different capabilities for both flexible and rigid printed materials will be demonstrated.
Look Inside for Your Next Market. Think inside the box - or, rather, the room. Or the restaurant. Or the store. At the expo’s Interior Design display, exhibits plus a free seminar will show and discuss expanding into the interiors marketplace. This is another unique opportunity for customized short run specialty graphics - a new business opportunity.
We think that SGIA is going a long way towards showing that they don’t see their trade show as just a “real estate” sale, as do some traditional shows. By sponsoring these pavilions and holding the participants to do a credible job, a big service to the marketplace should result.
Stephen P. Aranoff is founder and principal of ARTTEX Associates. He has 28 years experience in the development and profitable distribution of printing/digital imaging market products. Managing prepress technology companies from start-up through significant growth, such as Xyvision, Eikonix, Raytheon Graphics, UNDA, and ScanView, he has played a leading role in introducing many first-of-a-kind successful printing industry products.
Since 1986, ARTTEX has provided pragmatic business, marketing and sales strategy and implementation consulting to both large and small client companies based upon this successful operating expertise - including bringing off shore products to the domestic market.
Well known clients include: Cactus/3M, Dainippon Screen, Heartland Imaging/VieNet, Island Graphics, Kodak, Ricoh, and Scitex, as well as venture capitalists, law firms and startup technology ventures.
Since 1995, Mr. Aranoff has specialized in the marketing and distribution of Digital Imaging products, with emphasis on marketplace convergence brought about by the use of powerful off-the-shelf components.
Mr. Aranoff also holds a Masters Degrees in Systems Engineering and an MBA Degree, with Distinction, in Sales/Marketing. He often serves as a speaker and forum moderator and for many years, has done so at NAGASA's Forums. He is also a frequent guest writer for digital imaging publications.
Contact Stephen Aranoff at: 25 Canyon Shadows Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336 USA, Tel: (928)282-4173, Cell: (928)300-8757, Fax: (775)254-5768, email: Steve@arttex.com
Robert L. FitzPatrick, president of FitzPatrick Management Inc., is an industrial relations consultant, writer, speaker, facilitator, and trade association advisor. He is a nationally recognized analyst of mature industries. His work involves grasping the fundamental economic needs of all parties in the supply chain as well as understanding the dynamics and life cycles of products.
Since 1981, Robert FitzPatrick has continuously published THE EAGLE, a unique and influential journal that analyzes technology, manufacturer/ dealer relations and trends in analog and digital product distribution. His articles on the dynamics of mature industries have appeared in trade journals for graphic arts, sanitation supply, automobile parts, office automation, wholesale florist and food processing industries, among others.
He has been a featured speaker at dealer conferences for Hewlett Packard, FujiFilm, among other major companies and he has organized international dealer/manufacturer conferences in Antwerp, Belgium and in Guadalajara, Mexico. Consultancy clients of FitzPatrick Management include Fuji Photo, DuPont, Lastra S.p.a., Anchor Chemistry, AB Dick, #1 Network, London Litho, Heartland Imaging, VieNet.com, among others.
He was a consultant and featured speaker at the meetings of Food Industries Suppliers Association (FISA) four consecutive years. In 1997, Robert FitzPatrick co-authored and published the first book to expose and critique the multi-level marketing model of sales and distribution. Entitled, False Profits, this book is available in bookstores nationwide or from the publisher at web site www.falseprofits.com. He has served as Expert Witness in various cases involving pyramid scheme fraud perpetrated against independent distributors.
Contact Robert FitzPatrick at 1522 Lilac Rd., Charlotte, NC 28209 USA. Tel.: (704) 334-2047, Fax: (704) 334-0220, Email: email@example.com.
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