Dscoop Edge Rockies: Automation and packaging take center stage

The Customer’s Canvas team recently enjoyed some majestic Rocky Mountain views at the Dscoop Edge conference in Denver, Colorado.

This long-awaited meeting with colleagues across the printing industry provided an opportunity for us to discuss news, insights, and current printing trends in person. The hot topics and lively discussions kept the cold from the blizzard at bay. We want to share some of the key points on automation and packaging that were raised during the Dscoop presentations.  

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The latest on automation

Printers use automation as a strategy to improve margins, hire less experienced people, increase customer satisfaction, and expand their businesses.

Automation has also helped the industry cope with labor shortages. Over 50% of attendees noted that they were influenced by “The Great Resignation” during the pandemic. Automation reduces the amount of routine work and helps mitigate problems with employee retention. For example, preflight integration helps automate job onboarding by allowing file checks without prepress involvement.

Another strong point in favor of automation is recruitment. Print service providers with automated processes are more appealing to younger job applicants. Many attendees also mentioned the positive impact of automation on increasing business capacity. About 75% of the conference audience used automation in some way.

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The state of the packaging industry

Supply chain problems

Many printers have faced supply chain hiccups as a result of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, brands focused on sustainability. During the pandemic, they shifted their focus to managing supply chain issues.

As many clients recover from the pandemic, they pay more attention to creating stand-out packaging. However, the cost is still an issue since packaging is pricier due to supply issues and inflation. Some supplies and substrates are on backorder for as long as 18 months.

Despite these challenges, packaging is still on the rise. Several packaging companies host webinars to teach brands about packaging and printing technologies. The pandemic has also accelerated the rise of digital printing, which allows businesses to receive more print-on-demand orders.

Co-creation in packaging

Co-creation is a new trend in packaging where you create a website with which the client interacts. Then, the client-generated content is used to personalize printing products.

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Packvertising and direct mail growth

Online marketing has been one of the most effective marketing channels in recent years. During the pandemic, “packvertising” promoted products more effectively than online marketing. Packvertising is placing promotions directly on the product packaging that encourages a purchase.

Direct mail is another way to promote products. More brands are using direct mail as a marketing channel. That’s why many printing companies working with brands specialize in both packaging and direct mail.

Increased usage of QR codes

The increased attention on packaging has led to significant strides in QR code development. Many brands place QR codes and barcodes on packaging. This trend was up 100% in 2021.

In a nutshell

Despite supply chain problems, The Great Resignation, and other challenges, the participants at Dscoop presented ample evidence that the printing industry is recovering after the pandemic. According to experts, the focus on automation and business diversification will help printing companies expand their businesses.

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We would like to thank Dscoop and all the participants for the great meeting and engaging conversations. We hope to have even more opportunities to meet face to face in the future!

Dscoop is a community of HP Graphic Technology owners and their sales, marketing, and production teams.