Our industry is rapidly evolving to a solutions and services business model that focuses on technology and business process optimization along with hardware. The graphics communication segment of our business is no exception and is one that will receive particular attention from Konica Minolta in 2014.
As we witnessed during Print 2013, graphics communication customers are demanding increasingly sophisticated, comprehensive solutions to enhance performance and productivity, as well as to improve the competitiveness of their business. Whether in commercial print or in-plant print shops, there is a major drive to increase internal process efficiency and expand offerings into new market segments. The effect of this trend is that increasingly we are playing a consulting role with our customers to help identify opportunities to enhance their business process and generate new offerings for their end users.
Consider this recent example from the education vertical market. A large school district in western Massachusetts installed our digital print production systems to enhance the capabilities of their in-plant production facility. However, it was not the superior value that our hardware offered that closed this sale; instead it was the approach taken by the Konica Minolta team to go beyond the hardware and work with the customer to understand their need to optimize workflow and better serve their internal customers. Through this process of discovery, a strategy was developed to streamline their workflow and enhance job submission through web-to-print technology. The outcome was a new business process that simplified print submission and workflow management, reduced costs to the district, increased volume into the shop and increased customer satisfaction.
All organizations in today’s business environment must constantly work to leverage efficiencies. As seen in this example, while the hardware was important, our understanding of how to help the customer improve their business process made all the difference. Gaining customer intimacy and taking the time to understand their business is the hallmark of a value-driven, services and solutions based approach that is the future of our industry.
In 2014, we will continue on our journey to transform our business. We are fortunate to have invested in our managed IT, solutions, vertical market expertise and print production capabilities so that we have a comprehensive suite of offerings to support this value added business strategy. Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter @kpkern17 to see what happens next.
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