The Printer's Promise: We've Changed
What are the primary challenges for you right now?
Davidson: Sheridan Magazines continues to investigate rapidly changing content dissemination needs and then develop products and services based on our findings. The challenges lie in bringing good products to the market quickly and giving publishers the right tools to capitalize on them.
O'Donley: Publishers seem to be more and more busy these days, possibly due to fewer people working now to publish a magazine. Getting people to talk to you and give you feedback about their publications is tough. In addition ... we are now faced with increasing fuel prices. Many of the publications we print are regional titles, and shipping has gone up to get these magazines back to their respective locations.
Roberts: The primary challenge is no different than the recent past. It is about creating a better, faster and more cost-efficient product. It is still about creating value.
Where do you see opportunity?
Davidson: Being creative and flexible when helping our customers with their changing needs. Assisting them in finding new and creative ways to drive revenue and achieve relevance in the market.
O'Donley: Niche markets still continue to be a source of opportunity for us.
Roberts: The new opportunity now is in embellishing services and media convergence. We are accommodating the tightest deadlines in our marketplace, and we need to be able to offer even more throughput.
What are publishers telling you they are looking for in a printer?
Davidson: As we poll our magazine, journal, catalog and book customers, we are clearly hearing the need for help with revenue-building tools, membership/readership-sustaining tools, guidance through the mobile media morass, marketing assistance, as well as technical consulting.
Time-saving solutions are always welcome, of course, but today it seems that printers can succeed if they are ready to interact with their customers as solutions providers, willing to listen and collaborate, and able to actually develop products to fit brand-new and emerging needs.