More than 40 South African commercial and graphic art printers attended the two-day HP Capture education seminar, hosted in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, by local representative, Kemtek Print Solutions and Kim Rehbock, IPG Indigo sales specialist. Launched in 2008, the HP Capture initiative aims to foster the business success of HP Indigo and HP large format digital press customers and it’s the first time that South African customers have experienced the face-to-face exclusive training programme.  

It’s a clear indication of HP’s and Kemtek’s commitment to the growing local market, where more than 68 HP digital presses currently operate nationwide. HP Capture is a comprehensive training programme consisting of four core segments: Education, Business Tools, Community Networks and Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative). Presenter and facilitator of the course, which was entitled ‘Building your Digital Business and Digital Selling Skills’, was Richard Finan, director of Improve consultancy and training, who immediately put attendees at ease with his easy-going charm, witty anecdotes and numerous pearls of wisdom.

Delegates at the Johannesburg event included sales and production personnel from Hirt & Carter, Shereno Printers, Impress Print, Q Photo, Castle Graphics, Printing & Publishing Company Botswana (PPCB), SE Color, and more, who were taken out of their comfort zones and encouraged to identify new digital opportunities, create credible sales propositions to prospective customers and develop a greater understanding of the HP Indigo technology and tools. Active participation in group tasks and one-on-one role-plays resulted in several real-life sales and marketing scenarios being thrashed out and enthusiastically discussed. Despite its tough and comprehensive content, delegates were overwhelmingly positive about the HP Capture course and enjoyed Finan’s hands-on, practical teaching style.

‘We’ve now realised that we haven’t been using our HP Indigo press to its full potential,’ said Vanessa Richardson, operations manager at Q Photo, Pretoria. ‘Having a dedicated HP Indigo sales representative is now our plan if we want to get the best ROI,’ she confirmed.

Having recently purchased his second HP Indigo machine, Yunnus Mussa, owner of PPCB, was also impressed with the course content and Finan’s wealth of knowledge. ‘The HP Indigo technology is still relatively new to us, so the workshop has definitely given me more confidence to understand and market its immense capabilities,’ said Mussa. ‘The exercises and role-plays were certainly challenging but very enjoyable.’

Finan was confident that future HP Capture courses would be wholeheartedly supported by the local graphic art and commercial printing sector. ‘Hopefully delegates will have taken away a much deeper understanding of HP Indigo and how they can gain a better ROI on their investment by adopting a more focused sales and marketing approach,’ he said. ‘Some customers will probably revisit the course to refresh their skills, but I hope local printers will send more employees on the programme, which will give them with specific skills to successfully market their products to the right target audience.’

Guest speaker at the Johannesburg training programme was Clement Zvikonyo, sales consultant at Papersmith & Son, who explained the importance of using the right substrate for the best digital print results. Clement also presented a range of Papersmith’s specialised digital print papers suitable for the HP Indigo technology. 

Advanced classroom-based educational courses have now also been included in the HP Capture programme. Customers can now learn more about ‘Building a Strategic Marketing Plan’, ‘Building a Variable Data Business’, ‘Vertical Markets – Targeting for Growth’ and ‘Web-to-Print Planning for Success’.

The Tools section has been updated to include HP SmartPlanner 3.5, the newly enhanced job estimator and planning tool, designed for both HP Indigo commercial PSPs and label and packaging converters. It can estimate and compare job costs for both digital and conventional presses, in terms of time, cost of production and profit margins. SmartPlanner 3.5 is automatically updated to ensure that the results are based on current technology, allowing users to make informed decisions when choosing how to produce a job. Other updated tools include customer case studies; how-to-guides, market reports; vertical market guides; self-promotion marketing templates and the direct marketing tool kit.

The HP Media Solutions Locator tool, which contains a library of over 3 500 media selections, has been improved for intuitive navigation. The media list is now segmented by country, so users can discover who to talk to and where to buy substrates through links to local sellers. Application-based solutions are now listed by segment, such as general commercial printing, photo and direct mail. For greater accuracy and more refined answers, the search selection has been widened to include a ‘free text’ search and an increased choice of fields including press, segment, media type, grade and supplier.

The HP Capture portal will be continually updated with new programmes, educational aids, tools and communities to ensure that customers have access to the latest information.

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