I work for a company who's core competency is (was?) printing or reprographics for the AEC (Architecture Engineering and Construction) community. Since joining up with them I've realized that every reprographer is feeling the crunch on printing. The market is shifting and our partners have recognized this and are continually adapting their business models. We no longer want to be just the printer. We want to be the solutions provider and experts in document management technologies. Many partners are still struggling to adopt this philosophy from their Marketing and Sales perspectives. They continue to offer the technology as simply complementary to the printing when it should be the other way around.
Recently I attended a conference with hundreds of other reprographers. The underlying theme was this shift from printers to solutions provider. A concept that to me seemed like a basic necessity for our businesses to survive and continue to be a value added service in the AEC community. The presentations were great and the information was valuable, however I believe these concepts were not understood by some in the group. Why? Denial? Fear of technology? I don't know, but document management technology and Facilities management is the future for reprographics from where I'm sitting. Why not adapt your business? Is it too soon? When is the right time? Will your reprographics facility be ready? Why is everyone saying technology is the future when it is the present?
These are the things I think about while I'm doing my work. I hole-heartedly believe that we are ready for the technology shift. Information solutions and facilities management are going to be in the forefront of our business (if they aren't already) and we must be ready. I've heard enough preaching at the conference. I want to hear more success stories! Now is the time for change and we're going to make it happen at my company. Technology is the present!