PrintCast allows for payments and invoicing to be handled in local currencies, alleviating the need for each Chromapress site to be involved in complicated exchange rate conversions.
"'Distribute-and-print' isn't a new concept, at least in terms of the digital printing world," suggests Hunt. "Today, I don't think that people doubt that it's possible to send a file. … You simply need customers who have long-distance requirements to make it happen."
Customers do understand that it is possible to transmit digital data. They also understand that it is possible to compress these files and have color management values added at the time of printing, based on the type of digital press, which wasn't true even two years ago, Hunt points out.
"However, there's still the need for people to understand that it's a viable alternative to print and then distribute. And I think some companies are catching on.
"For example, Canon was distributing some of its manuals to different countries, and 80 percent of that cost was attributed to distribution. The company found that it could print these manuals in multiple locations and save that 80 percent courier cost. That's a substantial savings," states Hunt.
With 80 percent of Agfa's Chromapress installations residing internationally, there are new opportunities for U.S. companies. "What PrintCast is doing is making distribute-and-print a formal process," suggests Hunt, "so that each Chromapress user does not have to bear the responsibility of the administration, of finding the user and managing the shipment of the file."
Wanted: marketing strategies
As chairman of the International Printers Network (IPN) and President of Xerographic Repro-duction Center (XRC), New York City, Roger Gimbel has been able to monitor the distribute-and-print market closely. "Distribute-and-print has not been brought up to speed to the level of expectation the industry had," he confirms. "Mainly, that's due to lack of marketing."