Canon India launches Clicktrace

Print shop management software for copy shops

L-R: Puneet Datta, senior director, Canon India, MN Pandey of Avantika Printers and Kazutada Kobayashi, president and chief executive officer of Canon India at the launch of Clicktrace. Photo IPP

Over the years, digital printing has made various advances to cater to the evolving needs of customers. To keep pace with the changing times, Canon India recently launched Clicktrace, a print shop management software. The software has exclusively been built for digital production printers. It is designed to optimize order processing and pricing, exactly find out the print jobs done from the shop floor about clicks and media usage even when one is away. The software also allows users to adapt to the increasing demand for fast and safe information access through an easy-to-manage software solution.

Clicktrace offers an intuitive interface and an in-built instructional system to ensure a short learning curve for the existing as well as new users for better productivity. With growing media types and changes in customer demand, Clicktrace grants an overview of purchase, media consumption and alerts for low stock media in time. It eventually helps in reducing the stock of media which is less or never used.

To serve the various purposes of digital printers, Clicktrace has been developed in India taking into considerations the needs of Indian printers. Canon India designed and conceptualized the product in the country. Delhi-based Avantika Printers, a long time Canon user, has often been the first buyer of new Canon products and has also been the first one to buy the Clicktrace software.

At the launch, MN Pandey of Avantika Printers ordered the software that was accepted by Kazutada Kobayashi, president and chief executive officer of Canon India. “Today’s scenario reflects less business. In such cases, the quantity of jobs reduces but the print jobs increase. Using offset, there is more wastage. For a print job of 1,000 copies, close to 1,200 sheets are wasted that harm the environment. So, my tagline is to not control cost but to control waste. Digital helps to reduce the wastage incurred. This wastage is difficult to monitor and control without appropriate software,” says Pandey.

So far, we’ve been growing double digits, which signifies that we’re gaining market share. We’ve now become a brand to be reckoned with in the Indian market. Digital printing and adoption as we know is growing in India and we feel happy to be a part of it. So, the journey has been good barring the last few months where the economic situation has taken a turn. This puts pressure on the banks and NBFCs to provide a loan. But with the festive season ahead, we’re pretty confident about growth in the business. As far as professional printers, we’ve only seen a slowdown in terms of loans getting sanctioned for capital goods. The intent of buyers has still not changed. In phase one, we have developed and designed the software for integration with Canon production printers only. If it is a success, and there is a demand for other brands as well, we will then think about it. We’re not against it,” concludes Puneet Dutta, senior director of Canon India.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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