New skills for DAM and variable data printing services: Is the printing industry prepared?

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Title: New skills for DAM and variable data printing services: Is the printing industry prepared?
Author: Frey, Franziska; Christensen, Henrik
Abstract: This study is designed to identify the skill sets needed by printing companies, and training possibilities offered to existing employees , in the areas of Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Variable Data Printing (VDP). This was accomplished through a survey of the network of printing companies currently engaged in RIT’s Printing Industry Center research activities. In order to understand the characteristics of the digital printing market segment in the U.S. in 2005, a demographic study of the respondent group was also conducted. The respondent companies firmly believe in an increasing future demand for DAM and VDP. When hiring specifically for DAM and VDP, companies are looking for employees with skill sets that the companies previously did not have. On average, companies that did hire DAM, VDP, and IT administration employees were larger than companies that did not hire in these areas. The same companies also experienced a higher revenue growth. Most companies that have deployed DAM and VDP show a preference for educating their own employees for these areas. Most often companies use in-house training. However, the level of education they require and the training topics they offer do not lend themselves to a full deployment of these technologies. Operation of DAM and VDP are possible with the types of skill sets that are currently trained in-house, but most likely the set-up and system integration skills needed to initiate these technologies are not covered in such training programs.Another finding supporting this general trend is the reported lack of professional networks outside the printing industry. To learn about VDP and DAM, the employees of responding firms predominantly read materials such as trade magazines, targeted directly to the printing industry. There is a strong belief, fostered by these types of magazines, that adding new technology will create opportunities for increased revenues. However, printers will have a hard time developing strategic competitive advantages if their own employees do not have the skill sets to move beyond the choices offered by the manufacturers.A deeper quantitative analysis will be conducted to see whether certain aspects of company culture can be defined for companies that have successfully hired employees with new skill sets for the areas of DAM and VDP.
Description: A Research Monograph of the Printing Industry Center at RIT
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Date: 2006-06

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  • Printing Industry Center Research (CIAS)
    Dedicated to the study of major business environment influences on the printing industry, precipitated by new technologies and societal changes. With the support of RIT, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and our Industry Partners, it is our mission to continue to develop and articulate the knowledge necessary for the long-term economic health of the printing industry.

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