Can the FSDU (point of sale) and print industry keep up with the demands of a digital generation?

Gone are the days when traditional printing companies and FSDU manufacturers had the luxury of several weeks to turn around their client’s print jobs, giving them time to efficiently schedule production and achieve perfect quality with traditional litho-print methods.

In today’s digital age, the typical employee with a marketing role, either within a marketing agency or a company’s marketing department, is working primarily with digital media, and they are able to produce what they need to, on screen, on demand. If they leave things to the last minute on a project or promotion, they can do a late shift and complete the whole project on their mac or PC.

However, savvy marketing personnel know the power of incorporating high-quality printed items into their mix of communication — digital marketing and communication methods are becoming less and less effective due to the ever increasing volumes of messages being thrown at the target audience — something tangible, something that can’t be ‘deleted’ or ‘swiped out the way’, and something that appeals to that little-utilised sense — the sense of touch — these have greater impact than ever before. These items are increasingly sophisticated, items such as foiled invitation cards within soft-touch laminated bespoke envelopes, or larger items such as floor standing display units (FSDUs) and point of sale material for events or product launches.

The challenge is that when the modern day marketer wants a printed item producing, they usually want it right now — after all, when they want to print something out from their computer, they just select ‘print’, and out it comes on their desktop inkjet printer — why should their printing supplier be any different? The problem is compounded by the ‘last minute’ working habits that have developed as a side-effect of digital speed and convenience — and the print part of the marketing project is often left until right near the end, as people become used to refining their designs on-screen bit-by-bit then printing off as late as possible once everything is finalised. Hence the physical items needed for the promotion tend to become a bit of a nightmare — it’s not easy to find someone to make a fully printed FSDU or soft-touch laminated spot-UV printed bespoke envelope the next day if you start looking for a supplier the day before your event!

Printers are rising to the challenge, there are now online shops offering digitally printed items at a fixed price and delivered within 48hrs or less — but this is still slow in the minds of many younger marketing personnel. Additionally, these ‘online shops’ are suited to the standard items like basic flyers — the powerful bespoke quality pieces using special materials such as GF Smith papers and bespoke special print effects can’t be ordered in this way — the traditional process of speaking to an FSDU point of sale manufacturer or bespoke envelope manufacturer, waiting for their quote, and then sending through a PO for the agreed job is still required.

Jim Davies, Production director at Envoprint has risen to the challenge in a positive manner. He says:
“In response to frequent requests for high-quality bespoke items required within days if not hours, we now stock a wide range of materials ready for immediate production, and our sales team are trained to respond to our client’s timeframe, adrenalin levels in our office run high! If an FSDU POS display stand or bespoke envelope is needed for tomorrow, we quote and respond to queries immediately, so that everything can be agreed giving time for a quality production. We’re now using same-day couriers more than ever before, speed seems to be more and more an essential requirement of the jobs we are handling.”

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