As we get closer to the next GraphExpo, I’m seeing more and more press releases on new products, technologies, etc. I also saw a recent posting on Print Production Professionals where an individual was beside himself about Benny Landa’s Nano Technology and what it potentially offers. And then I remembered how the late Dick Gorelick used to reference GraphExpo — The Annual Overcapacity Fest in Chicago. People flew in from all over the world to see the latest and greatest — and buy it. Too often the reason was “to keep up with the competition.”
It’s probably an illness that goes back to the days of Johann Gutenberg. Too often we become enamored with the technology itself rather than asking ourselves, what can the technology do to improve my company’s growth and profitability. Let’s look beyond the “sizzle” and realize that most buyers don’t really care about what kind of press we use, or the type of workflow, or about the sharpness of dots (or lack of dots). They want a product that sells their message at a price they deem worthy. If we make a significant dollar investment and our customers/prospects don’t reward us with increased sales or new sales, we have to question the validity of our investment — regardless of the cool factor. And don’t buy into the “time savings” idea. When new technology “saves” time or “costs,” the result is the creation of capacity, but it comes with a price tag (new equipment, software, personnel, etc.). It’s only when “new” sales dollars are generated that the investment begins to pay for itself — and if those sales dollars don’t exceed the investment . . . ’nuff said.