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Stepping it Up: Are you getting the most from your large format printer?

It is often said that fortune favors the brave. From a business perspective, this would suggest that a sense of optimism and general willingness to explore new things and try an approach different to the norm, can improve prosperity.

I tend to agree, and often see this evidenced among SAi’s customers, in particular with large format print providers and sign shops who have ventured beyond one or two mainstay application areas, to offer their customers much more. Granted, when the going is good, and your business is doing just fine from offering a unique service or application, you might be tempted to stick with what you know.
SAi is partner to some of the industry’s foremost large format print manufacturers and, with our efficiency-enhancing software representing the ‘brains’, I’m constantly amazed at the increasing functionality of these devices and the ever-expanding gamut of graphic arts applications achievable.
That said, I suspect that a good majority of large format print providers and sign shops, who are invariably also our own customers, are only harnessing a limited level of capability from their large format devices. Maybe you are one such customer, nodding in agreement?
The fact is, if you really push the envelope and explore new print substrates, techniques and applications that may currently fall outside your area of focus, then you stand a far greater chance of securing repeat business from existing customers, while attracting new ones.
If you’re ready to take your operations to the next level, going from roll-fed into flatbed production (or vice versa) is a sound move that won’t take you too far into the unknown. If you’re not ready for that, ask yourself if you can get more out of your existing device(s)?
For example, if you already have that flatbed, it’s worth experimenting with more ‘unusual’ substrates like wood, metal or glass (and even not so unusual substrates like textiles) to access new opportunities. More ‘off the wall’ applications could lead to more lucrative business, especially if you develop a ‘niche’ offering to customers.
Indeed, when it comes to your own customers – some of whom might be brand or marketing managers – it’s logical that they will be seeking to maximize the value of their promotional budgets. Who wouldn’t want to liven up the visual appeal of their campaigns with creative, eye-catching results that better grab the attention of their audiences?
Just as with life, isn’t business about seizing new opportunities? Sharpening your competitive edge and injecting a level of versatility into your customer offering that ensures a more extensive and attractive proposition to both existing and would-be customers?
As they say, fortune favors the brave.

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By Michelle Johnson, Marketing Manager at SAi can be reached at