The way we get our information has rapidly changed in the last ten years. From online news sources and blogs, to 24-hour news channels and Twitter, the public is hit with information, digitally, day and night.
As a result, the way we share information has also evolved. Late last month, Kodak announced the retirement of Kodachrome, its oldest film stock, citing the decline in customer demand in the digital age. Over the past decade or so, mailing grandma and grandpa pictures from the family summer vacation has become more infrequent due to the introduction of photo-sharing sites, such as Shutterfly and Kodak’s own Kodak Gallery.
Leading up to and after Y2K, the public became increasingly comfortable with the electronic exchange of information. As e-mail usage continued to grow, PDFs became more widely used, allowing for smaller file sizes, making them more portable and thus easier to distribute.
Furthermore, interest in digital color prints exploded during this time, due in part to advanced technology—software became easier to use, and was graphically based and colorful. At the same time, the cost of color came down dramatically. Tens years ago, a color print cost upwards of five times what it costs today.
All of this led to consumers’ growing appetite for color prints, and businesses found a way to profit. For example, computer companies, such as Dell, often include a free inkjet color printer with a computer purchase, knowing that the customer will need to continually purchase refill color cartridges. At an average cost of 60 cents per page, inkjet printers are good for low-volume jobs; however, for larger volume jobs, it is more cost effective to leave the printing to the professionals.
The digital age also paved the way to greater personalization of news and information. Businesses now realize that they don’t need to produce 100,000 general brochures, but rather can print smaller jobs, tailoring the information to various targeted audiences.
Digital printing enables this … and at a lower cost.
Digital printing allows individuals to print what they need, when they need it, and in the quantity they need—a model that can help individuals and businesses save money. As opposed to offset printing, the cost of digital printing is fairly flat. With offset printing, the more you print, the lower the cost, since a bulk of the cost is in the pre-press and not the actual printing.
As a byproduct, digital printing is also less impactful on the environment. It is a cleaner, greener solution, because there isn’t as much waste; offset printing can burn through large amounts of paper just to get the job ready to run.
According to Quick Printing magazine, by 2010, 45 percent of all print will be purchased online, and, as a result, retail business service centers, such as The UPS Store, are making that transition alongside their customers.
The UPS Store, a franchise network of more than 4,300 locations nationwide, recently introduced an online printing solution, providing around-the-clock access for uploading documents for print services from the convenience of a customer’s home or office. The platform is a secure, easy-to-use site, which walks users through the process, step-by-step. Payment is taken online, making pick up at the center quick and easy.
“As our customers transition to the online world, we need to make that transition as well to help make their lives easier,” said Blair McDougall, The UPS Store franchisee in Powder Springs. “Our online printing solution gives our customers control over when and how they print. And, as with all of our products and services, I can assure the highest level of customer service.”
For more information on The UPS Store online printing solution, visit www.theupsstore.com/print.
About the Author: Blair and Mary McDougal own and operate two West Cobb area UPS stores. Blair is very active in the community including being the founding President of the West Cobb Business Association and he is currently President of the Brookstone III Home Owners Association. Their UP S store locations are
UPS Store (2300) across from the Avenues on Dallas Highway at 3600 DALLAS HWY, MARIETTA, GA 30064-1685 , Phone: (770)423-9712, Fax: (770)423-9713, E-mail The UPS Store #2300
UPS Store (Store 1630) in the Lost Mountain Center by Publix at 5200 DALLAS HWY, POWDER SPRINGS, GA 30127 , Phone: (770)419-1343, Fax: (770)419-2501. E-mail The UPS Store #1630