Canon Middle East reveals results of most comprehensive CRD survey ever

Published October 20th, 2009 - 03:32 GMT

Outlook for Corporate Reprographics positive with almost 90% expecting to maintain or increase the volume of print produced in-plant.

Dubai, UAE, 19 October 2009: Canon, a world leader in technology and innovation, , today announced the key findings of the most comprehensive study of corporate reprographics departments (CRD), or in-plants, ever conducted.  The new Canon sponsored research has put the CRD market under the spotlight to provide relevant information to help internal print services meet the needs of their customers in a more creative and productive manner and also provide comparative benchmarks, trends for future planning, and a vision for expansion.

Under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Frank Romano, a team of print media graduates from the Rochester Institute of Technology interviewed almost 700 CRD/inplant managers, print buyers and industry observers from December 2008 to February 2009.  The result – Corporate Reprographics: Trends and Opportunities - is a comprehensive freeze-frame of the corporate reprographics market as it is today, and the researchers’ predictions based on trend analysis and computer modeling.

 “Canon is committed to providing the highest standards of support in the industry, providing market leading expertise with a customer focused approach. As such our focus for the professional print market has been on developing long-term relationships with our customers to help them grow and develop their businesses.  To date, this approach has been very beneficial both for Canon and our customers.  A key building block of that success was the first Canon Insight Report, published in June 2008, which explored the changing commercial print landscape and delivered substantial intelligence that enabled us to engage more effectively with our customers,” said Ayman Aly, Professional Print Product Manager, Canon Middle East



With this new report, Canon is demonstrating its commitment to the CRD market by replicating the significant investment it made in commercial print market research.  Corporate Reprographics: Trends and Opportunities delivers an equally insightful snapshot of the CRD market and the key issues CRDs face and, in combination with Canon’s CRD research, has helped Canon to refine its strategy to better support organisations in increasing the business performance of their CRDs.


The key findings of the Insight report include the following:

·         CRDs save their organisations an average of 15% of the cost of outside printing; some could save up to 30% if they operated more efficiently.

·         The amount of print work completed in-house by CRDs over the past decade has grown significantly by 20%, an increase largely driven by the improved capability of the digital printer, which has replaced the offset press as the primary in-plant reproduction technology.  The report predicts that, by 2012, less than 30% of CRDs will use offset printing at all.

·             Although monochrome printing dominates in-house work, volumes are declining.  Colour printing, however, has increased due to the use of charts, graphs and pictorial imagery.  The volume of full-colour pages produced by CRDs is now equal to that of monochome pages.

·             Expanding bindery options offer a major opportunity for CRDs to grow because the value of a printed product is in its finishing.

·             In-plant wide format printing is growing in use to produce posters, trade show exhibits, banners and other signage – in 1998, not a single CRD offered this; in 2008, 65.8% did.

·             CRDs need to conduct more frequent bench marking to quantify their value to their parent companies.  Nearly 50% of those surveyed do not regularly benchmark their performance, citing that this is only done as needed.  Over 15% never benchmark.

·             The growth of the Internet has had a major impact on CRD operations - over 65% of files (and growing) were submitted online in 2008, a major shift from the paper based workflow of a decade ago.  Many CRDs have implemented a Web-to-print solution to take advantage of the reduction in errors in order submission and most state that Web-to-print has either exceeded or far exceeded their expectations.  Similarly, over half of the CRDs with a Web presence reported an ‘excellent’ level of internal customer satisfaction - customers prefer the efficiency and ease of ordering print via the web.

·         CRDs are adopting digital’s ‘killer application’, variable data printing (VDP), but doing so slowly.  While 94.1% of the survey had a VDP solution, in many cases it had come as part of the package with the digital front end, and was considered as being more complicated than it needed to be.  On average, therefore, only 27% of CRDs are using VDP regularly.

·         Print schedules are becoming tighter, with an increased demand for turnaround within 24 hours or less.


Nevertheless, according to the report CRDs are optimistic about their future, with almost 90% expecting to maintain or increase the volume of print produced in-plant.  It concludes that efficiencies in automation and workflow offered by digital printing, combined with online ordering, will maximise customer satisfaction and cost savings.  However, in order to implement this strategy, it recommends that CRDs should look to train their staff, re-brand themselves as a communication facilitator to their companies, and add further value to their services by providing more finishing and wide-format printing options.

 “Despite the fact that 90% of organisations view print as ‘critical’ and allocate budgets to CRDs of over 2% of turnover, surprisingly the report comments that the CRD is often neglected in terms of management attention, the result is that senior management are not clear about the value of the CRD.  The report also tells us that, although more print is produced in-plant today than a decade ago thanks to the increase in capability of the digital printer, 50% is still being outsourced, usually because the work is too complex for the CRD or the schedule is too tight,” commented Aly.

“With the very existence of CRDs being dependent on their ongoing ability to maintain or increase their value to their customers by meeting their quality and service demands,” continues Lawn, “CRDs therefore need to up their game in two main areas – service and efficiency.  Some CRDs are missing opportunities because they haven’t moved as far as commercial printers in understanding the needs of their internal customers and responding with value-added services – the CRDs surveyed admit that over 50% of ideas for new services come from suppliers.  By fully automating their workflows, other CRDs will also be able to handle higher volumes and more complex jobs.  Through a combination of high performance digital production presses, workflow solutions and a tailored business development service, we’re quietly confident that we’re ideally positioned to address the needs of CRDs and help them to improve their business performance,” concluded Aly.

To obtain a summary copy of the full report, please contact your local Canon PR representative.

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