Buying a Press? The Questions are Changing

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Is it just me? Or are you noticing that, if you’re in the market for a digital press, the questions are different they used to be?
The specs of the press remain critical, of course. But as the number of press manufacturers, press formats, and options explodes and the “feeds and speeds” gaps between manufacturers continues to close, I see vendors spending less time talking about specifications and more time about how they can help their customers use their presses to make money.
This was particularly striking to me a few months back at Graph Expo. In past years, my notepad was full of scribbles about RIPs, image resolution, and format sizes. This time, it was full of scribbles about identifying target markets, solutions developed to address business pain points, and developing vertical market strategies.
This doesn’t sound like old-fashioned press sales, and it’s not. When it comes to buying a digital press, the questions have changed.  It’s not “which press has the fastest speeds, prints on the widest range of substrates, and has the best image quality”? It is . . .

  • Which vendor will help me identify the right target markets?
  • Which vendor is best suited to helping me identify my ideal customer or prospect?
  • Which vendor will provide the best support for my markets, my applications, and the products that are best suited to my individual business?

There will always be specific presses with formats, speeds, and image quality better suited to certain markets than others. But it seems to me that identifying the “right” solution has become less about feeds and speeds and more about which vendor you feel will be the best business development partner.
So I’d like to pose the question to readers of this blog: What motivated you to choose Xerox as your press vendor? Was it feeds and speeds? Or was it something beyond the press?

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