Editor’s Note FUTURE ALREADY The is In our “Sales Clinic” column this month, author Joe Rickard imagines the printing salesperson of the future, noting fi ve areas where actions, skills, and behaviors will be transformed. “For successful print operations, the future is already here,” he concludes. Find this article at PrintingNews.com/12286496 February 2017 ® Printing News 5 Now, Joe is addressing sales eff orts, but print shops are gearing up for the future – and future business success – in other ways as well. For instance: Exploring B2 and other press formats: Printers are exploring how a B2-format press can add to their capabilities (see this month’s “B2 Bravado” cover story, page 11) and, just as importantly, their profi tability. Th e technology that these smaller presses are built upon continues to advance, and is allowing shops to expand not into only new applications but entirely new vertical markets as well. It’s a very exciting time to be in this market space, and the future certainly looks even brighter for B2 technology and the shops that choose to pursue it. Capitalizing on web-to-print: Is your company taking advantage of web-to-print? To truly capitalize on web-to-print, you have to approach your business diff erently than you might have in the past (see “Achieving Web-to-Print Success,” page 17). To be future-thinking here, you need to become a marketing partner with your clients, be conversant in traditional as well as social marketing, and you must be willing to explore specialty areas that your customers have an interest in. Preparing now for data security: No one likes to think about how their company’s future might be impacted by the theft of customer data (see “Securing Your Customer’s Data,” page 15), but it’s a reality that can aff ect any print operation in this day and age– particularly since shops are oft en working with more and more personal information from customers. Add the increasing sophistication of data thieves and their technology, and you have the opportunity for a “perfect data-theft storm” that can be crippling. To protect that future, take the necessary steps today to safeguard that data. Taking advantage of learning opportunities: Finally, this month: As this issue is readied for publication, we’ve just returned from the 2017 edition of EFI Connect, the annual gathering of EFI customers in Las Vegas– which, this year, featured attendees from nearly 40 nations around the world. Attendees were treated to EFI CEO Guy Gecht’s keynote addressing the current and possible future state of artifi cial intelligence, more than 200 classroom sessions, some great networking opportunities, and a dazzling array of new technologies from EFI and its exhibitor partners. I’m always impressed at the buzz this event generates among its attendees, as well as their passion for expanding their knowledge base in preparation for a future successful business. We’ll have a more detailed recap of the event in future pages here and on printingnews.com. A college friend once told me that, in Malaysia, they have a saying: “Prepare an umbrella before the rain” – you have to be proactive when it comes to future challenges, she said, and make the necessary preparations ahead of time. I think that’s good advice for any company, particularly print shops. How Safe is Your Data? According to a Verizon Data Breach investigations study and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), 40% of data breaches occur at the smallbusiness level; in addition, 35% of data breaches involve a contractor or someone inside the organization, reports the BBB and the Ponemon Institute. For more information on bettering your shop’s data security, see this month’s feature, “Securing Customer Data” (page 16). By Gregory Sharpless Editorial Director An award-winning veteran journalist, Greg has been covering the critical trends and emerging technologies in the graphic-arts and visualcommunications markets for more than 25 years. Here How proactive are you being when it comes to future challenges for your shop?
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