Break bread with your inplant kin

Darryl Danielli
Monday, November 26, 2018

This issue’s round table discussion on CRDs was certainly an eye opener for me, not least because it highlighted the eye-watering diversity of products and services that a modern CRD has to offer to maintain its relevance and viability.

However, what was by far the most surprising aspect, despite the fact it probably shouldn’t have been, was the similarities between the commercial and inplant worlds.

Because while there were some fundamental differences in terms of business model, the overarching message was that if you removed the letters CRD and replaced them with SME, then, in terms of the challenges they face and the opportunities they’ve embraced, the comments made could, by and large, just as easily have come from the owners of any similarly-sized print businesses.

Just to give you a taste, some of their key challenges were: below-cost competitors, check; the need to drive up revenue, check; while simultaneously driving down costs, check; the digital bias of too many clients, check; and the need to constantly evaluate their own skillsets against the needs of the business and adapt accordingly, check.

And the same is true when it comes to opportunities: our CRD panel highlighted that continued diversification, embracing a multi-channel offering and developing a deeper understanding of their clients’ changing needs and building stronger relationships with them were some of the openings they were embracing. Triple check.

In fact, I can’t help but think that there must be an opportunity for commercial printers and inplant bosses to break bread and share some ideas on how to improve their respective lots.

Because with so much common ground – not to mention common goals – collaboration might just be the single biggest opportunity for both. 

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