Changing Gears

What aspect of the wide-format industry would you adjust?

We asked 10 of Big Picture's Editorial Advisory Board members to address the current state of the wide-format industry and reveal what we should expect in 2019.

If you could change one thing in our industry (technology, adaptation to change, communication among shops, etc.), what would it be?

Stan Lucas, business development manager, wide format, DCG One: Continuing education and development of employees and their learning. That would be fostered, not just at tradeshow events, webinars, and individual classes, but also with actual extended class time, research, and certification. It would be good if an industry giant took the lead. 

Chris Laniak, VP of sales, Excelsus Solutions: One thing that I would like to see is the big press OEMs helping to create more of a demand for interior décor with end users. They do a great job creating the demand for the equipment, but if they want to sell more, they need to help with the demand for applications. It’s hard for print shops to go out there and create that demand on their own. 

Elaine Scrima, VP of operations, GSP Companies: I wish we could share information regarding processes, equipment, or hiring practices and not worry about it being a competitive threat. I just want to make the business better – I don’t want your customer. I won’t turn your customer away if they approach us to do business, but it would be nice if we could share without being concerned that we’re after one another’s business. I would gladly sign an NDA to go visit a competitor’s shop if I could learn about ways to streamline or make my business more profitable or see a piece of equipment that would help us become more efficient. 

Brian Adam, president/owner, Olympus Group: One change: How about if we all doubled our margins? Understanding this is not realistic, especially with all the excess print capacity out there, I would personally love better tools to evaluate TCO (total cost of ownership) – when making major capital expenditure decisions, I believe a lot of printers (myself included) often use gut. 

Ryan Clark, president, Direct Edge Media: We’re running ourselves into the ground, but I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, just the way it is. If I don’t take that impossible job, someone else will be there ready to swoop it up. This gives the client way too much control and leads them to wait until the last possible minute or expect the job to be done at cost. It forces everyone to be on their game with developing a perfectly streamlined process, which is the positive side. But having to perform miracles on a daily basis has been getting tiresome. 

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