Digital printers show positive outlook, says study
By M4G Bureau - December 24, 2020
The research conducted by Roland DG in UK among 343 digital printers across applications, showed that over a third of them were planning to scale up their production capacity
Despite the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, digital printers across a range of applications are on the whole positive about the outlook for the next three years, says a study conducted by Roland DG in UK.
During the second national UK lockdown, the study polled digital printers across a range of sectors including sign and graphics, textile and apparel, vehicle and fleet graphics, promotional items and gifts, print and copy services and interior décor. It found that the most common three-year business goal emerged to be increasing production capacity, with over a third (36%) describing it as a ‘key objective’.
A further quarter (24%) of respondents described ‘expansion’ as their key business objective over the next three years. This included expanding into new applications or markets with existing devices (9%) or into new technologies/devices such as fabric or UV printing (also 9%).
By comparison, another third (34%) of those sampled were focused on maintaining their current business. Only 3% said they were looking to reduce and rationalise their offerings, though 4% of those polled expected to close or exit the business in the next 36 months. However, just over half of the respondents (51%) indicated that they would replace or purchase at least one new printer, cutter or engraving machine in the next 12 months, with over one in eight (13%) planning to replace or purchase two or more machines.
Paul Willems, Roland DG’s EMEA director of business development and product management, commented, “We are living through one of the harshest business environments in history, and yet this data shows that digital print shop owners are determined to look forward, stay positive and seize new opportunities. If ever you needed evidence of the resilience and entrepreneurship that defines our sector, this data is it.”
One example quoted by Roland is that of Lewis Pearce of Burnely-based CMYK, which has purchased four new machines in the last 12 months, including a new Roland TrueVIS VG-540 printer cutter, and moved into bigger premises in the last few weeks. Mr Pearce explained, “At the height of the pandemic, we saw an opportunity to diversify into floor graphics. Six months later, we have printed and shipped 50,000 of them. This has enabled us to come out the other side in a strong financial position. My attitude then and now is that the best way to overcome a challenging economy is to experiment and try new things.”