I recently had the honor of being invited to be a guest speaker at Canon’s annual sales meeting. Presenting at the enormous MGM Grand in Las Vegas was quite an experience. My topic was the growth of color digital printing in the direct mail space with a specific focus on how our customers are using the technology and why IWCO Direct chose Canon.
I took the opportunity to explain, from a customer perspective, the advantages and disadvantages of Canon’s equipment, as well as areas that need improvement. My presentation was followed by a spirited Q&A session. It was a great opportunity for IWCO Direct to provide Canon with customer insight on their products.
Digital Explosion Continues
The biggest takeaway from this year’s sales meeting was how quickly the adoption of color digital printing technology has accelerated in the past 18 months. As well as direct mail, book printing and packaging are also leaping into digital printing. This technology is evolving so rapidly that supporting disciplines, such as consumables (ink and paper) and workflow (software tools), are scrambling to keep pace and support the process. That’s why IWCO Direct works collaboratively with all our vendors supporting the digital print process to ensure they stay in sync with our changing needs and with each other.
Support for Our Troops
My favorite part of the meeting was participating in Canon’s team building exercise. We not only assembled 500 care packages (consisting of toiletries and personal care items) for our troops stationed abroad, we also listened to servicemen and women speak about receiving care packages and what it means to receive support from back home. There was also a Marine Color Guard, which opened the activity with the Pledge of Allegiance. It was an outstanding event.
TPAC Committee Update
In December I completed my term on Canon’s inaugural Transactional Print Advisory Council (TPAC) committee. It was an excellent experience. Not only did the TPAC team make an impact on Canon’s approach to the design and functionality of the ColorStream equipment line, it also shaped their approach to color digital printing as a whole.
I have also been asked to join a newly-formed customer steering team, which will provide input to Canon on a variety of issues. This team will allow IWCO Direct the opportunity to interact with Canon senior management, engineering and marketing to express our ideas and recommendations on all areas of our partnership and business relationship. Canon has demonstrated they take our input seriously, which has made our participation very rewarding.
Our first big event is a soon-to-be-formed customer user conference. This conference will provide Canon customers a wide variety of opportunities for input and education. Our first meeting will be in April. Stay tuned for more information.
Overall we had a great time in Las Vegas. We’re excited about the direction of our partnership with Canon and the efforts being made by the TPAC committee to shape the future of digital printing. It’s also encouraging that Canon is so eager to listen to its customers and make changes based on their feedback.
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