Print is now a process and not just an industry

Print is now a process and not just an industry

What is print-on-demand? A process not an industry. Here’s why.

When I meet people, they often ask,  “So, what does your business do?” I tell them I run a print-on-demand workflow automation company called ZenSmart. Then the next question is usually, “What do your customers print?” Most people think print-on-demand means putting ink on paper.

It does and it doesn’t.

The term “print” has expanded dramatically in recent times to encompass a wide range of industries and applications. 

It now covers everything including:

  • Printing designs on t-shirts, blankets and creating fast fashion 
  • Producing labels and packaging 
  • Crafting wall art and point-of-sale displays
  • Printing teeth straighteners, shoes and medical implants
  • And much more.

Yes, we’re printing – but not just in ink. Substrates include ink, UV inks, plastisols, thread,  nylon filament, exotic polymers and metal with laser sintering. 

In fact, “print on demand” is no longer just an industry. It has become a process.

Anyone can now engage in print-on-demand. It can be seamlessly integrated into existing logistics or manufacturing operations or could become the primary focus of an entire factory. 

The sector is experiencing substantial growth, with an annual increase of over 9%. This year, when viewed from this perspective, the global print-on-demand industry is set to reach an impressive $120 billion in revenue.

Print on demand is now a key competence, a unique capability and as an industry the pace of innovation is breathtaking….. and that’s worth celebrating.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is the CEO of ZenSmart, a leading workflow automation platform that streamlines manufacturing in On Demand plants across the world.



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