Dscoop 2017, which took place in Phoenix, AZ, marked the 40th anniversary of HP. Bar-Shany utilized Dscoop 18 to reflect on the 10-year anniversary since the stock market collapse in 2008. Not only did he provide valuable lessons learned along the way in the printing industry, he gave suggestions as to what might help avoid those same pitfalls going forward.
“What we’re trying to do is print different, which means breaking boundaries, unleashing print, opening up new business models,” said Bar-Shany. “We just want to do things out of the box, and I really love that concept, and I think that’s what this industry has done.”
HP originated in 1977, and it has been 25 years since the introduction of Indigo at IPEX in 1993. According to Bar-Shany, the launch of HP Indigo S3 at drupa 2008 was a turning point for the brand. Brands and printers both began their transformation, which coincided with the recession of 2008.
“This is the time to think ahead and make the right decisions,” Bar-Shany said. “What drove Indigo was the impact of the recession. Fundamentally, it forced change. There was massive change because of what the global recession created. It forced people out of their comfort zones and forced them to make tough choices. People needed to understand you couldn’t just price marginally and use old equipment. You had to change your business model, and it changed not just with printers but with designers, marketers, brands, agencies and so forth.”
In the next 5-10 years, the printing industry will have to answer several important questions. For example, how does it compete with internet presences like Google and Facebook? There will need to be an answer to greater demands for immediacy, data and personalization.
Bar-Shany conceded that the future is somewhat harder to predict, as new, emerging technologies have changed the outlook. Product lifecycles are getting shorter, and consumers preferences have continued to change over time. Today, consumers are willing to pay more for experiences and memories, but also higher quality.
This will often be seen in the craft beer industry, which capitalizes on unique and intricate labels featuring eye-popping graphics. There are over 3,000 craft breweries in the US, and craft sales have grown by 17% since 2013. Bar-Shany also emphasized that many label converters for craft beers use HP Indigo presses to capitalize on short runs and quick turnaround times.
“It’s amazing to see the innovations and experiences our customers can create,” said Bar-Shany. “We’re creating something you can hold, share, and we’re creating emotions.”
Dscoop will help with the future of digital print providers, he added. “A lot of the future will be built around the trust we can create as a community,” he said. “And it’s not just between ourselves as brand owners and customers, but as a community with all the solution partners, media partners, and with brands and designers. This is a change. That is why Dscoop is so important, because it’s not something you can just do as a vendor. HP will try to drive the market and keep this passion for customers. The Dscoop customers drive us and tell us where to invest our R&D.”
In order to keep up with industry trends, HP has made significant investments in inkjet technology. The company is also relying on feedback from customers by requesting samples and case studies. HP is trying to change the perception around digital and the supply chain that digital printing can be a reliable solution for bigger brands, as well as those specializing in shorter runs.
Dscoop conferences–of which there are three in 2018–plus a new website and local events will be used to interact with brands. In addition, PrintOS Marketplace is coming this summer. The goal of PrintOS Marketplace will be to leverage the power of the cloud while creating variable data campaigns and more. Bar-Shany said that he hopes this is the backbone of the industry when drupe 2020 rolls around. HP is also trying to market print to the next generation of printers with initiatives like the Academia Inclusion Program, which will utilize Dscoop for a younger generation. This includes the designers and printers of tomorrow, explaining why print is exciting.
HP will also look to reinvent customer support by making it easier to access and track. By using web-based services tools, such as Print Care, HP users will have access to a dedicated service center and best in class solutions. “We can and we must get much better,” Bar-Shany said. “The sharing of knowledge is critical. Customers are only using a small range of HP capabilities, and we need to get much better at that. We have to leverage our technology a lot more.”
In the immediate future, HP will display its new HP Indigo 6900 digital press at Labelexpo Americas, with several beta sites scheduled for the summer, as well. Bar-Shany added that new HP Indigo ElectroInks can be differentiator, and HP hopes to educate users on the benefits of a new labels and packaging DFE and PrintOS. In addition, there are business opportunities with HP Indigo 20000 and Pack Ready.