Technology and digital advancements within the print industry are continuously evolving, creating a competitive culture – but also a cause for concern. A recent article in Print Week by Rhys Handley has put the spotlight back on the digital skills divide within the print industry.
As new applications are developed, they also require the infrastructure, workflows and skills to support them. A recent study by the Open University called ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ states as many as nine in 10 organisations across Great Britain currently lack the necessary digital skills, which range from cyber security and the cloud, to data management and social media.
As they widen, skills gaps can impact productivity heavily, with 56% of businesses saying this has already happened and half expecting profitability to be impacted within five years if the situation is not rectified. Research suggests that digital transformation can make every business in every sector more productive, and most businesses can’t afford to miss out.
With this in mind, it can become overwhelming to deal with these issues on top of your day-to-day running of a printing company. This is where strong links with suppliers of training, education and software become key in overcoming any barriers a printing company may face.
Label converters have been shifting their attention to software applications ranging from pre-press automation workflows, project management, online label ordering and business management systems.
So what can you do to identify and address the digital skills gap in your business?
- What is your digital strategy? Define a plan of implementation with clear milestones.
- Do you have buy-in from senior management?
- Do you need additional people with new skills or is it a matter of introducing new skills to existing employees? Focusing on existing employees is a much lower-cost option – they know your business and they are already committed to your brand.
- Try to look long-term rather than focusing on short-term gains.
- Find out what training and support your software and other digital suppliers can offer.
- Digital training should be continuously evaluate and consistent.
- Does your organisation have a learning mindset?
- Don’t be afraid to speak to your customers to see how you can support them on their journey.
Contact Label Traxx if you would like to discuss giving your customers online access to order their labels, prepress automation or workflow optimisation through management software. We’d be happy to help. Visit www.labeltraxx.com or come to see our experts at Labelexpo, Brussels on stand 9A10 during September 24th-27th.