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In its latest research, I.T. Strategies sought to answer important questions regarding the in-house market for wide-format inkjets: who and what. The Hanover, MA-based consulting firm says that wide-format inkjet printers are found in many different types of businesses, organizations, and establishments, and that the market can be loosely segmented into two basic division: print-for-pay and in-house. The print-for-pay sector comprises ten or more different types of professional printers, including photo labs, repro houses, and digital print shops. While these shops may represent different groups, a commonality is that they transform materials into new products and they do not own the data that are printed on the materials.

The in-house sector is a little more challenging to define. In its research, I.T. Strategies surveyed more than 550 in-house users of wide-format printers and found that the largest group is found in the professional/technical-services category. This category includes service-related companies such as design and advertising agencies, marketing/public relations agencies, and product-design firms. The smallest group is hospitality, which includes restaurants and finance/insurance companies.

According to research findings, the main applications produced with wide-format inkjet printers are general posters and signs, followed by informational graphics, such as maps and directional signage. The other category includes applications such as banners, book covers, sample packaging, and visual aids for teachers.

“This is the first survey I know of that looks at who the in-house users of wide-format inkjet printers are and what they are doing with their printers,” says Patti Williams, consulting partner at I.T. “Not surprisingly, much of what they do in house is similar to what print-for-pay shops do: signage and trade-show graphics. And in fact, almost 20% of the respondents said they bought their wide-format inkjet printers because it was less expensive than outsourcing.”

For more information about the research project, contact I.T. Strategies, Inc., 51 Mill St., Ste. 2, Hanover, MA 02339, 781-826-0200, fax: 781-826-0151, Web:

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