There is a certain amount of ‘us too’ when establishing a new product or services baseline. If you’re competing in a particular segment, there are certain requirements needed to fulfill customer expectations that a vendor needs to provide to be an industry player.
Just be careful not to confuse table stakes with innovation.
Case and point examples:
Nobody wants a smartphone that doesn’t have internet connectivity, and I can’t imagine anybody purchasing a digital camera without a memory card. Those are table stakes – the basic functions required in a product or service. To truly make a difference and capture a majority share of wallet (SOW) vendors need to offer more.
Innovation is about adding value by leveraging your collective brain trust in order to create and introduce something new and forward thinking. It isn’t about developing a novelty or something just for the sake of it, but about developing a cutting-edge solution that forces change and disruption to avoid future extinction while solving a current or upcoming problem.
Innovation is all about leadership, not followship.
The challenge is that in our fast-paced environments few companies allow time for their teams to brainstorm and strategize based on their experience and skill sets. Most are just trying to survive by putting out daily fires and fulfilling promises, not thinking about becoming early adoptive leaders.
Print service providers can’t rely on the same services they’ve built their business on to sustain them into the future without any regard for trends and market changes. That’s the fast track to extinction.
Steps to take to avoid imitation and innovate successfully:
- Shake up your ‘we’ve always done it this way’ processes to expand your capabilities, and document the pain points to understand where future cracks may form
- Set aside time to brainstorm new ideas and reward your teams for developing them
- Spend time doing your due diligence when looking for partners who innovate and who can provide the necessary infrastructure to deliver your strategic plan
No Print Service Provider (PSP) can afford to partner with a print management solution vendor who fails to provide the minimum requirements to manage critical business functions such as print estimating and data processing. Smart PSPs will select a vendor who offers more and who has a track record of success. A management workflow system (MWS) is the heart of a PSP’s business and provides a baseline for their products and services.
printIQ understands that stagnation is the gateway to irrelevance and Innovation is the gateway to thriving. We’d love to speak with you about your plans.