Navigating the Future: Key Trends in Production Workflow Software for 2024
AI, automation, and beyond will rule the headlines
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Keypoint Intelligence has just released its 2024 predictions for the print production software market report for subscribers. Let’s explore why the printing industry stands on the cusp of a significant transformation, largely driven by advancements in production workflow software.
Aging Workflows and Labor Dynamics
We are starting to feel the impact of aging workflows in the printing industry. With retirements on the rise, labor is becoming a critical issue. This trend is not confined to one region—rather, it’s a global phenomenon with varying implications across different markets. In Europe, ongoing energy challenges and geopolitical conflicts continue to disrupt the market, while the United States faces its own set of challenges with election-driven direct mail volumes and investment uncertainties.
Technological Innovations and Disruptions
This year is poised to be one of technological disruptions and excitement. Generative AI, a topic that has gradually become less of a novelty and more of an expectation in software products, is set to continue its influence across various domains. We’re moving from marveling at the presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in a product to focusing on what it can achieve.
A particularly intriguing development is the advent of humanoid robotics in the printing industry. While this initially might sound like science fiction, it’s rapidly becoming a feasible engineering reality. These robots, capable of performing tasks from simple labor to more complex operations, are expected to start appearing in printing facilities—marking the beginning of a significant shift in how we perceive and utilize automation in our industry.
Looking beyond 2024, humanoid robotics, though in its infancy, is set to revolutionize the printing industry. From simple tasks like moving boxes to more advanced operations like loading media and inventory management, these robots will bring a new dimension to labor and process efficiency in printing facilities.
Shift in Automation and E-Commerce
Speaking of automation, there’s a notable shift from piecemeal solutions to more integrated, “black box” end-to-end solutions. These solutions, often AI-powered, promise to streamline the workflow—offering a more adaptable and intuitive approach to managing unique job requirements.
E-commerce4Print, while not evolving as rapidly as anticipated, is still seeing gradual adoption. The integration of generative AI into design software within these e-commerce platforms is expected to ease the design and layout process, potentially boosting adoption rates.
MIS/ERP Systems and Predictive Analytics
The adoption of MIS/ERP systems continues to rise, albeit slowly. The implementation of these systems remains a significant barrier often due to the complexities involved in aligning them with existing business processes. However, AI has the potential to simplify these processes, making the systems more accessible and easier to integrate.
Dashboards and analytics are growing in popularity and are expected to become a mainstay in the industry. With AI incorporation, these tools will evolve beyond mere monitoring to providing actionable insights and recommendations, greatly enhancing decision-making processes and operational efficiency.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
As we navigate through 2024, the production workflow software landscape in the printing industry is brimming with potential and exciting developments. From AI-driven automation to the advent of humanoid robotics, these advancements are not just shaping the future of printing but also redefining the way we approach and solve traditional industry challenges. The printing industry is poised for a transformative year, and it’s thrilling to be part of this journey.
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