Industry Speed Round with Pat McGrew

Author, speaker, evangelist and a relentless customer advocate, we all know that Pat knows print.

Hear what she has to say about the current state of the industry, where she thinks customers and vendors should focus in 2021, and a few fun facts you didn’t know about her in the Ricoh Industry Speed round!



Q: Offset or Digital?
A: Hybrid.

I love both technologies, but when you merge them, you can do some really amazing projects. Digital continues to impress me as there are more color and enhancement options that are available and in progress, but I’m sticking with hybrid. 


Q: Web-to-Print—Homegrown or Vendor?

Please stop building your own web-to-print systems. When you build it yourself, you take on the burden of maintaining it, burning through resources and potentially missing out on key solution options. If you buy, please research your vendor and then make someone in your business accountable for keeping that solution current so that you get the biggest bang for your buck! 


Q: Fulfillment—in-house or outsource?
A: Depends.

In-house fulfillment can be an excellent solution if you have the room, the infrastructure and if it is part of your overall business model. However, it carries a burden that might not be worth it. In general, I’m an outsource fan. Let people do what they do best, including you.


Q: Marketing Service Provider—Still a thing?
A: Kind of.

I have to admit that I don’t love the term. There are some print shops that have built the IT infrastructure and know how to be a full-service print and digital agency, but they are rare.  


Q: Who is the one to watch?
A: Every web-to-print offering.

Pay attention to what is out there and how vendors are innovating. There are some innovative, automated options out there and you don’t want to miss them which may happen if you’re having to use your own resources to build and maintain your own. 


Q: Lights out workflow – fact or fiction?
A: How much money do you have?

It can and does work, but there is a CAPEX to make it work. For me, ‘lights out’ makes it harder to add the next new product or options. I like automation, but not to an extreme.


Q: What is the one segment you would bet on?

Big, little, folding carton, corrugated, primary, secondary! 


Q: What is your favorite substrate?
A: Anything from Crown van Gelder. 


Q: In-plant—Still important?
A: Yes! Yes! Yes!  


Q: Inline or nearline?
A: Nearline for flexibility. 


Q: Print or digital books?
A: Print. I love the smell of paper books. I always have one in progress, along with a few digital titles. 


Q: One word to describe print in 2021?
A: Enhanced. Be ready for it!


And….just for fun:

Q: Zeppelin or Stones?
A: The Monkees


Q: Chips or Chocolate?
A: Popcorn. 


Q: Half full or half empty?
A: Half full and always refilling.

Meet the Author

Always promoting best practices for the print business, Pat leverages decades of industry experience as an owner, executive, marketer, analyst, evangelist and consultant to enable your hardware, software and services business growth. Always an advocate for the customer, particularly in workflow and bizflow effectiveness, business management and portfolio messaging, Pat’s vast experience spans all customer communication channels and segments in order to assist you in your strategic goals. An experienced professional speaker, analyst, podcaster and host of #PrintSampleTV, Pat is well recognized and awarded for her contribution to the industry, and sought out globally to perform triage on your business needs. Pat is certified as a Master Electronic Document Professional by Xplor, as a Color Management Professional (CMP), CMP Digital, and BrandQ Professional by IDEAlliance.

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