Virtual community proves effective during difficult times
Designed to help customers connect, learn, and grow, Prokom is a virtual platform made up of Konica Minolta’s global community. In these current times of need, it has been especially helpful in connecting and supporting small print businesses.
Running a business during this difficult time is not an easy task, let alone doing it without much support from the industry. While large corporations often have a dedicated team of marketers, market analyst, researchers and strategy professionals to advise, smaller business owners do not have such a luxury. According to the statistics provided by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up to 97% of all businesses across the APEC economies.
Unlike a trade association or chamber of commerce, Prokom is a global community of Konica Minolta customers and partners.
“Our philosophy is to help Konica Minolta’s customers to connect, learn and grow, so they can secure and establish their businesses and careers for the future ahead. With an ever-evolving landscape and the sharing of ideas and industry insight, the community will help shape print to business,” said Toshi Uemura, General Manager at Konica Minolta Inc.
Supporting smaller set ups and local print shops is proving to be more essential. Here's how Prokom is providing the support needed to ensure business continuity.
Information sharing is powerful The primary purpose of Prokom is to create a community that encourages sharing of information, trends and allows users to participate in discussions. Over the years, Konica Minolta noticed that besides just its team of experts addressing certain questions from members, the company saw likeminded business owners and partners stepping up to share their experiences and what worked for them.
In order to grow the print industry, the sharing of expertise and knowledge across the industry will spur businesses to innovate and excel. Being in a global community has the added benefit of allowing business owners from different parts of the world to share print applications that are suitable for their local market, which in turn could evolve into new opportunities for another business elsewhere.
No second guessing of decisions More often than not, business owners study the capability of the current asset in terms of hardware or manpower, but the real question lies in whether the market is ready for it. Having an idea but aren’t sure if it is feasible or would like a second opinion from our team of experts or the community? Prokom members can post an idea or question in the forum and get valuable feedback from the industry and experts. Even Konica Minolta’s marketing professionals can chip in to provide constructive feedback from a marketing standpoint.
Keeping abreast of the latest trends While there are plenty of information available online, not all may be relevant to our industry. There are also not as many blogs and forums that curate content based on the individual business needs. Prokom puts together a one-stop information portal that covers everything that is needed to know for a business; from crisis management toolkit, printing technologies, business management, sales and marketing to even digital transformation topics such as automation and how to bring a business towards web to print.
An extended virtual training arm Prokom has an e-learning feature that is designed to help print companies educate and train their staff in a variety of different topics. This ranges from technical subjects like colour management and workflow, to management subjects like hiring digital sales staff and business planning. Besides training staff, business owners can also learn from management courses. The subjects range from business planning to marketing, sales and social media. Prokom aims to be a one-stop shop for businesses to grasp the essential components for achieving success in the future.
Industry Partners Partnering industry experts for a holistic knowledge base
Prokom works with trusted industry partners and tap on their expertise to generate content for specific subject matter. Some of the industry players that the platform has on board include Antalis, Brotech Graphics Ltd, EFI, GBC, GM, KIP, Kodak, Markomi, MGI, Plockmatic Group and Vpress. Together, the companies provide a wealth of industry knowledge as subject matter experts, to help users grow their businesses together.
To find out more about the Prokom community, visit: www.prokom.org. Be part of the Konica Minolta community and partner us to grow your business to the next level.
First published in Issue 05/2020 of Print Innovation Asia.