Standard Finishing
4Over

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Of Piggly Wiggly, CHILI Publish and the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution

Collapse
Canon
X
Collapse

  • Of Piggly Wiggly, CHILI Publish and the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution

    by Sean O’Leary
    CTO, PrintPlanet

    It is not every day that one has the privilege of attending an event that kicks off with a discussion of how the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution traces back to the 1916 self-service grocery innovations of PigglyWiggly. Nevertheless, that was how CHILI CEO Kevin Goeminne opened his talk at the Spicy Talk ‘18 Chicago Workplace on February 15. CHILI, of course, is the creator of a surging browser-based document editing platform that allows users to create documents and generate a print-ready PDF.

    Goeminne was providing an overview and update of CHILI Publish for a roomful of commercial printers from around the Chicago region. The event also marked a semi-official launch for the company’s new North American headquarters, which opened about six months ago. CHILI’s Global headquarters are in Aalst, Belgium, with a third regional hub in Singapore. As Goeminne noted, CHILI has been on something of a roll, with 30% average growth over the past eight years and more than 70 customers in the US alone.

    kevin.jpg

    Self Service Takes Over the World

    Goeminne expanded his remarks by extrapolating the Piggly Wiggly concept out to 2018 in the form of Amazon Go, a prototype convenience store with no lines and no checkout. His point was that self-service as a cultural and economic driver is evolving exponentially; self-service has now reached a tipping point at which it is extensible into every area of human commerce. In fact, in Goeminne’s opinion, self-service as a business concept has evolved from innovation into necessity.

    “B to B is disappearing,” said Goeminne. “B to C is disappearing.”

    Certainly when effectively executed, online self-service editing platforms have demonstrable benefits, most obviously the opening up of document design and preparation to an ever-broadening user base. But while empowering Joe Consumer to compose decent looking flyers and door hangers is mostly a good thing, it is also just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, the emerging print communications world is already demanding more comprehensive, data driven approaches to implementing printing jobs that go far beyond web-to-print applications. That is the space CHILI Publish occupies.

    In the supercharged environment of the evolving future, the real paradigm shift for commercial printing is the extension of self-service into data driven personalization and customization for virtually any print media, including packaging and non-graphics applications such as labeling and couponing (the “izations” according to Goeminne’s nomenclature). Properly deployed, increasingly sophisticated template-driven editing tools enable brands and organizations to democratize design and pre-press production while managing format, corporate identity and other protocols. Non-professional employees have access to professional images and design elements but are precluded from working outside the elusive quality standards box.

    But in Goeminne’s eyes, the real excitement lies at the locus where big data technology meets up with browser-based design and output management. When an online editor is integrated with variable data, a user with minimum training can confidently generate on-demand printed output in compliance with such intractable parameters as legal protocols, regulatory standards, local market expectation and multi-language challenges. That end, CHILI Publish is able to link up with external data from digital asset management or XML feeds as well as conventional spreadsheets.

    Maximum Adaptability As A Leveling Force

    After spending a few hours at the Spicy Talks workshop, it occurred to me that a fundamental aspect of the CHILI platform may not be completely clear to a segment of the PrintPlanet audience. While CHILI Publish provides the infrastructure for online editing tools, the user interface is not built into the platform. It is not intended to be an out-of-the box, plug and play web-to-print solution. Rather, CHILI from the beginning has focused on developing a data driven framework and leaving the customer-facing workspace component to its customers.

    And therein lie any number of advantages, not the least of which is the flexibility to exist in an incredibly wide range of business spaces. As an open API, CHILI Publish can be integrated with web-to-print platforms such as magazine publishing, packaging, brand management, document creation, yearbook applications, and photobooks, but also with more esoteric applications such as digital asset management, e-commerce, language translation utilities and so on.

    So for commercial printers, the highly technical nature of the CHILI platform could seem daunting, more suitable for large corporations with large IT departments. But according to Goeminne, the opposite is true. It is the inherent flexibility of CHILI Publish that makes it a match for any type of enterprise with the moxy and vision to glue something great on top of it and deploy it creatively. Not only are there third-party developers available within the CHILI ecosystem, but many smaller players have had success using their own in-house talent to create custom workspaces for whatever the particular vision might be. In fact, the potential to create custom templates for any market is key for leveraging this technology. Part of CHILI’s claim to fame is a suite of creative tools that makes integration into existing web portals relatively seamless.

    At the Chicago workshop, exhibit A for this assertion was Jason Frueh, President of My Creative Shop. Founded in 2009, his consumer-centric editing platform has evolved into a major player in the template-based consumer niche with over 5.5 million projects created. The thing about My Creative Shop is this: it is a two person operation in which neither partner had a background in printing or software development. The key to the CHILI relationship is that My Creative Shop focuses on their business and relies on CHILI to keep improving the plumbing.

    “Every iteration of our Chili editor moves us forward, even if it’s only a little bit,” said Freuh. “We know our customers and the pain points. Chili keeps coming up with new releases with new features.”

    The message from Freuh to the printers in the audience was clear: “If we can do it, you can do it.”

    In the course of his presentation, Freuh emphasized the dictum that seems to also drive Goeminne: the fundamentals of success in this emerging self-service world are the passion to find your own vision, and an ongoing commitment to improving your product. In the Fourth Wave, creating a product and resting on your laurels is not going to be enough.

    “It’s like a poker player: if you stop studying, the other players will get better and you will start losing,” said Goeminne. “It’s a non-stop fight.”

    As the Fourth Wave crashes down upon the industry, small-to-mid-sized printing operation might well want to consider how they plan to meet self-service demand for their own customer base.



      Posting comments is disabled.

    Categories

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • SGIA and NAPCO Media Engineer an Inclusive Trade Event for an Evolving Market
      MyWildIrishProse
      Sean O’Leary




      In October 2019, the Specialty Graphics & Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media will launch Printing United, a trade show and conference envisioned to reflect the dynamics of a convergent printing industry. The move is the most recent development in a process, first announced in February, that began with a split between Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies...
      05-10-2018, 07:55 AM
    • You've Been Hacked!
      noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor @Large

      Well, maybe you haven’t been hacked (that you know of), but chances are one or more of your customers has, whether or not they are willing to admit it.

      I was getting a glass of wine at the One Canon event a few weeks back when Carlos Fernandes the head of Agile Cybersecurity Solutions came up and introduced himself. He asked how familiar I was with the issue of cyber security. I said that to be honest, I’d thought of data security as something...
      05-02-2018, 03:48 PM
    • The Light Stuff:
      MyWildIrishProse
      GTI’s Illuminating thoughts on ISO 3664.:2009 and color viewing environments

      Sean O’Leary

      As printing technology gallops like a runaway stagecoach along the digital trajectory, one critical production facet persists as decidedly analog and human: the dream of universal color viewing environments. Especially for higher value creative projects, the standardization of color evaluation supply chains is essential across the creative/production continuum. Designers, brand...
      03-22-2018, 11:37 AM
    • Why Inkjet?
      noelward
      By Noel Ward

      When the first high speed inkjet machines, all roll-to-roll devices, began reaching the market there was a lot of skepticism. Even some of the journalists and analysts with whom I swap perspectives weren’t sure inkjet was going to be a real player. Some thought (or maybe hoped) electrophotographic (EP) systems would go on forever. EP was, after all, their comfort zone. Many remained skeptical about inkjet.

      Why would anyone want cutsheet inkjet?
      A couple...
      03-12-2018, 12:22 PM
    • Of Piggly Wiggly, CHILI Publish and the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution
      MyWildIrishProse
      by Sean O’Leary
      CTO, PrintPlanet

      It is not every day that one has the privilege of attending an event that kicks off with a discussion of how the Fourth Wave of the Industrial Revolution traces back to the 1916 self-service grocery innovations of PigglyWiggly. Nevertheless, that was how CHILI CEO Kevin Goeminne opened his talk at the Spicy Talk ‘18 Chicago Workplace on February 15. CHILI, of course, is the creator of a surging browser-based document editing platform that allows...
      03-01-2018, 12:25 PM
    • Wtp
      noelward
      by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      What do you do when things go sideways? What does your team do? Who decides? And how do people feel when it’s all over? Successful? Or maybe like everyone just dodged a bullet?

      When things don’t go according to plan, there are usually a few people in any organization who fall apart, operating under a policy that goes something like, “when wracked by fear, or deep in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” Meanwhile, cooler heads usually...
      02-11-2018, 02:32 PM
    Working...
    X