Challenges facing the print industry in 2022

Trends and Insights 4 min read , July 3, 2022

No, this blog isn’t a list of 2,022 challenges. Although if you work in the print industry right now, that number might not feel too wide of the mark. Maybe a little on the low side, if anything.

You’ve probably heard about ‘the butterfly effect’ – the saying about how a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas. Well, COVID was no butterfly. It’s no surprise that a global event of unprecedented size and scale like that has a pretty chaotic aftermath.

Paper factory paper storage
Paper factory paper storage

Raw materials are thin on the ground because supply chains have been battered. This means prices are going up, so you’ve probably had to make some difficult decisions about who eats those increased costs. And that’s assuming you can even get your hands on the materials you need in the first place.

Worker preparing printing plates in food packaging printing factory

Lead times for basically everything are getting longer. In practice, this means many print businesses that haven’t adapted to all of this are being forced into offering worse, slower, and more expensive service when their customers want better quality, faster, and cheaper. Not a winning combination!

On top of all this, now most people see the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, sustainability is back on the menu. It slipped off the global agenda during the height of the pandemic, but like platform shoes and DeLoreans, it’s back for 2022. The modern consumer expects all levels of the supply chain to be as sustainable as possible, which means your customers will demand that from you, too.

The thing with sustainability is, while it’s the right thing to do, it’s not always the cheapest. But by optimizing your prepress process, you can dramatically reduce waste during production. This is more sustainable AND reduces costs. It also frees you up to invest in other sustainable wizardry, like more expensive recycled substrates, for example.

Worker operating printing machine in food packaging printing factory

And the benefits of a slick prepress process don’t end there. With the right software in place, you can overcome everything 2022 has to throw at you. You can slash lead times, getting complex jobs like wide format displays turned around in record time. And you can completely cut out those little mistakes that slip through from time to time, like a missing bleed or grommet mark. This improves quality across the board, keeping your customers happy and keeping you one step ahead of the competition.

But how can you find a suite of software that does all of this? That takes all those menial tasks and just does them for you, with 100% accuracy, every time? That pulls print jobs from anywhere, automatically filing them in the right place and verifying them for you? That even takes care of customer service for you, instantly checking customer-submitted files and drafting emails to provide actionable feedback to your customers?

The good news is, if you’re reading this, you’ve already found that software. The Enfocus suite of tools takes care of all of the above and more.

Struggling to meet demanding lead times? Meet PitStop Pro. While it can’t magic up a stack of paper to unclog the supply chain, it can take care of the entire prepress process for you in seconds. It automates all those menial but time-consuming jobs, so you don’t have to waste time remapping Pantone colors or fixing paths – PitStop does it for you. There’s a reason PitStop has been around for 25 years – it’s the gold standard for preflight validation.

That’s not all Enfocus software offers. It can even simplify customer service by letting customer-facing staff validate uploaded PDF files – instantly. It identifies any errors – including any real doozies that require the file to be reuploaded, such as a low-res image – and puts them all in a draft email that you can send back to the customer.

You’re probably picking up that automation is the future of the print industry. As more printers pick up automation tech, it’s fast going from nice-to-have to absolutely essential. This probably explains the success of Enfocus Switch, our flagship automation software. In fact, it’s the flagship of the entire industry, being the only true automation solution that connects everything with everything else.

It can pull data from W2P and MIS, integrate seamlessly with imposition solutions, and automate online proofing, all in one simple workflow. It tracks everything the whole way, allowing anyone to pull up a job’s status at any time. With this suite of software, you’ll be burning through jobs as fast as they come in.

The thing about the challenges of 2022 is that if you’re in a position to meet them head-on, you’ll find success. The beauty of Enfocus software is it turns challenges into opportunities. Want to slash turnaround times? No problem. Need to cut waste and make the most of every scrap of material? Go right ahead. Want to free yourself up from busy work so you can add value to other parts of the business? Of course you do!

So what are you waiting for? 2023?

Start your automation journey here:

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