Electronic job submission is a key driver of print volume increases for corporate computer centers and in-plants in large businesses, according to "Corporate Color," a report published by Blackstone Research Associates. Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of survey respondents reported a print volume increase that coincided with an increase in electronic submission of print jobs. The demand for color, primarily from marketing departments, is also listed as a catalyst for print volume increases among most Fortune 1000 companies, reports Blackstone.
"Generally speaking," the report notes, "when a production color printer is installed by a corporation, it is operated as a company resource by the in-plant print show or the centralized computer print operation. Each group is in a position to recommend a print method for a particular job in light of turnaround requirements, run length, print cost, quality requirements and so on." The reports claims that because none of the above-mentioned parties are the final judges as to the quality of the final product, marketing representatives become the overseers of most variable-data decisions, thus influencing the course in which digital file acceptance takes. As a result, the report analyzes how the marketing perspective affects the final product, as well as the course the technical operators must take to fulfill the expectations.
The report also theorizes that the trend in non-technical decision-making influences the path print quality and color control takes within the corporate infrastructure. Unlike the publishing market at large where production managers work together with printers to deliver intended aesthetics, the corporate marketplace thrives on a more bureaucratic system wherein many decision-makers, says Blackstone Research, act as separate entities and decision-makers. Because color control and quality is such a hot topic among print vendors, in-house technicians and general suppliers, resolution among this market is less succinct than between traditional printers and publishers.
The report is based on more than 100 interviews with marketing decision makers about digital production and color printers. Many of the respondents, reports Blackstone Research, are involved with the purchase of printer hardware and software. The research group notes, "Only a few respondents are not involved in purchase decisions." The report also adds that "most of the information for 'Corporate Color' was obtained first-hand from end-users involved in their organizations documents," specifically digital color printers capable of 25 ppm.
-Natalie Hope McDonald