Wide-format print is one of the most vibrant sectors of the digital print market, as evidenced by the 22,000 people who made their way to Fespa London in June 2013. There are however, three major reasons why the wide format print is increasingly gaining popularity among people, this may be as a result of increased demand to meet customer demands as need for commercial printer specialist.
There is also a wide rate of technological development in the area of wide format print. There are new ways of printing and designing emerging each day such as signage, package prototyping as well as label printing that seem to be emerging each day.
There however seems to be a problem when it comes to integrating the business of an individual and the production of wide print despite there being improvements each day.
For instance the wide format printers are very isolated in their productions from all the other kind of prints that are available in the market place. Basically this happens because the customers do not trust automation as well as lack the interest and awareness towards them.
The printing cost is only a small amount of cost to the total cost incurred when it comes to wide format printing as its finishing are generally very elaborate. Just like most complex jobs, most one off jobs require more elaborate planning, shipping and creative input in order to have a good finished product. With high levels of customization being the norm, there may be a reluctance to believe that automation can help in what has always been a labor-intensive business.
The manual method of conducting wide format printing is very time consuming and may result into a lot of wastawge. The other problem is associated with the inability to load balanced work across machines leading some machines being left idle.
Every point at which manual processes occur is a point at which costs can rapidly be added and yet these costs are often unaccounted. Most of the time, job costing methods per metre often result into products being sold at a loss because not all the costs are accounted for during calculating the total costs. The manual method mainly does not provide all the relevant information and therefore as there are no bottle necks already in place, it means that some costs that have already been incurred will be left unaccounted for.
As the wide-format print provider market becomes more crowded and competitive, margins will come under increasing pressure as they have in offset print.