Enter Design Thinking in the Printing Industry

Forbes explains design thinking as “a process—applicable to all walks of life—of creating new and innovative ideas and solving problems. It is not limited to a specific industry or area of expertise.”

Design thinking in business uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match

1.   people’s needs with what is

2.   technologically feasible within a

3.   viable business strategy – 

all of which converts into customer value and thus a market opportunity.

The core of design thinking is ideating (brainstorming) how to solve customers’ problems discovered through an empathetic investigative process. This is followed by prototyping and testing the solutions. You might look at design thinking as +brainstorming+.

The Need for Design Thinking in the Printing Industry

Design thinking is already used effectively to cope with the rapid rate of disruption caused by digitization in communications, education, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and many other industries. However, its use in the printing industry is sparse.

The printing industry is traditionally manufacturing driven – not customer or solution driven. The digital world has changed that.

Many printers have recognized the importance of positioning themselves as marketing services providers by incorporating capabilities that meet the expanded needs of their customers beyond print, bind and ship. Database management, list maintenance, variable data, PURLs, mobile apps, web development, social media management, marketing campaign management, web-to-print and much more are all required to properly service today’s customers. This requires digitally driven equipment, digital workflows, and the people to operate them. It also requires the ability to develop solutions that satisfy the customers’ needs with what is technically feasible within a viable business strategy (profitability). Enter design thinking. 

Implementing Design Thinking in the Printing Industry

Much of design thinking is common sense, and many good sales reps, and sales and marketing managers use aspects of the concept day in and day out. Its great potential is when it is all put together as a process that will result in more sales, higher profits, and more satisfied customers.

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