Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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G R A N D F O R M A T • October 2017 • 15 Starting Points Tom Wittenberg, sign and display marketing manager at HP Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia, says he always tells people look- ing at grand format to start with the applications you want to produce. "That helps you define the type of technology you want. Next, it becomes both a space and economics discus- sion—Do I have the space available for the printer/press and associated finishing equipment? What are the costs associated with purchase and operation? Do I have the volume to make a profit? How long will it take to get a return on my investment?" Wittenberg says researching and analyzing your shop's needs means deciding what it is you want to achieve, and the kinds of prints you hope to sell "Start with what it is that you want to sell, and then find out if you can sell enough of it in the markets available to you to make a profit. This leads to the technology question above and ulti- mately the financial decisions. Many of the grand-format printer manufacturers can help you with some of the decision-making process including return on investment ( ROI) calculation tools, go-to-market ideas," he adds. Becky McConnell, product marketing manager, Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division, also points out that just like with any investment, you should determine what you're trying to accomplish and how you're going to get there. "If your goal is to quickly increase top-line sales, perhaps the first consideration should be 'what else can I sell to my clients?' Think about the times you've had to say 'I can't' to a client and what you can do to say 'yes.' If it's a capacity issue that's forced you to turn jobs away, think about what throughput levels you'd need to achieve and work your way backward," she explains. Make a Plan Joe Garcia, managing director at StratoJet USA, Santa Fe Springs, California, says it's best to start with a sound business plan. "Understand your current situation as far as cash flow, labor, specific customer demands that you currently can produce in Stratojet manufactures and services a wide portfolio of print solutions including UV-LED flatbeds, grand format UV-curing roll-to-roll printers, dye sub and eco-solvent printers. (Image courtesy of Stratojet)

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