Adapting to the dynamic print services landscape requires more than conventional approaches. Enter intelligent templating – a transformative technology reshaping the industry by automating and elevating production processes. This revolutionary shift alters how print services operate, and PSPs are at the forefront of this transformation.

This blog delves into the transformative impact of intelligent templating on print services, guided by the insights of Jürgen Krebs, a seasoned professional in the printing industry and a key figure at Ricoh.

The Need for Evolution in Print Services


PSPs find themselves at a crossroads as the digital landscape rapidly evolves. The demand for personalized, efficient, and innovative print services is greater than ever and PSPs have as many opportunities as challenges.

Clients now seek tailor-made solutions, rapid turnaround times, and cutting-edge technologies. Meeting these markets’ demands is becoming increasingly more difficult with conventional printing methods, and those that aren’t able to adapt to new technologies are at a risk of falling behind competitors.

This digital transformation of the printing industry sets the stage for the role of intelligent templating in addressing these issues.

What is Intelligent Templating?

Intelligent templating is a game-changer in print services, making things smarter and more efficient by automating and enhancing production processes. Unlike traditional methods, intelligent templating goes beyond the basics, offering a dynamic and adaptable approach.

PSPs are now adopting this technology to streamline their processes and stay ahead in the competitive print market. It allows PSPs to create templates that adapt to different requirements, making the printing process more flexible and responsive to customer demands.

So the benefits of intelligent templating are profound – it streamlines operations, boosts efficiency, and enhances the overall quality of print services. By connecting templates to internal data warehouses, intelligent templating ensures seamless data integration, enabling customization beyond standard variable data printing.

Jürgen Krebs on the Impact of Intelligent Templating 

“Intelligent templating begins with the basic stuff, like adding a name and address to a paper, known as VDP. Many customers do this, but to me, that’s not really smart. Intelligence, in my opinion, comes when you address specific customer needs by adding logic to statements or templates.”

A real-life example Jürgen provides is one of their retail customers dealing with a time-sensitive task. They needed 20 million flyers for their furniture retail stores across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with dynamic pricing matching weekly promotions. Intelligent templates came into play by linking them to the customer’s internal data warehouse.

They were feeding data and applying over a hundred rules to the template like formatting, placing logos in the right area of the template, or seeing if there is some free space or white space in the template where we can feed in automatically some additional marketing.

“We go even further by incorporating intricate details such as notes on special financing into the mix. This adds another layer of complexity and dynamic adjustments to the template, making it a perfect fit for the customer’s requirements.”

This goes beyond standard variable data printing; it’s the essence of intelligent templating, where customization reaches new heights.

Advantages for Print Service Providers 

Adopting intelligent templating offers print service providers countless advantages, spanning operational, financial, and customer service realms. Besides retail, industries like logistics are great candidates for intelligent templating.

Jürgen highlights the concept of “marketing in the box,” where after ordering a product, you not only receive a personalized delivery note but also a tailored advertisement.

“Including a generic advertisement with the product is a common practice. What sets us apart is our comprehensive approach. In logistics, we go beyond just software, incorporating process automation like robotics close to the conveyor belt. It’s not merely software; it’s an end-to-end solution. Through targeted messaging, we tailor the content based on specific buying behavior. By extracting and integrating data onto the template, we can swiftly produce customized marketing messages.”

By automating and enhancing print production processes, PSPs can streamline operations, reduce manual touchpoints, and significantly improve efficiency. Plus, this creates a major competitive edge in a market driven by customization and innovation.

Overcoming Implementation Challenges

Before embracing intelligent templating, print service providers grappled with a range of challenges, many stuck in routine operations, conducting business as usual for years. The primary obstacle was a lack of awareness regarding the potential advancements that intelligent templating could bring.

Jürgen advocates for what he refers to as “innovation workshops,” where PSPs and their clients engage in collaborative sessions and share insights not only on printing technologies but also on the potential of intelligent templating, marketing portals, and related innovations.

Once the specific needs and targets have been determined, it’s important to start shaping a successful strategy by identifying strengths, weaknesses, and unique selling points.

This is the part of transitioning to intelligent templating where a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work, so Ricoh’s support plays a crucial role in overcoming hurdles and ensuring a smooth transition.

“We train our customers to develop their own templates, starting with basic things to use a GUI. As they progress, we go further with advanced training, delving into topics such as system integration and rule development. We define their level of skills with the customer and tailor our training accordingly. Our goal is to make them independent, self-sufficient and flexible.”

For more complex templates, where customers may understand their business logic but struggle to articulate it, Ricoh provides experienced consultants who work closely with the customer.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Intelligent Templating in Print  

Looking ahead, Jürgen envisions further advancements in the integration of intelligent templating into diverse customer environments.

“For me, it’s about flexible integration into existing customer environments, with a primary focus on the printing aspect, which remains a crucial part of the marketing mix. It involves incorporating and intertwining print elements into the customer journey, offering flexibility in adapting to evolving customer landscapes. The goal is to simplify and smarten these processes, making them accessible even to those with limited technical expertise.”

In implementing intelligent templating, Ricoh’s key offering is FusionPro®, a versatile solution that scales from desktop versions for smaller print service providers to server applications and APIs for more advanced needs.

FusionPro integrates seamlessly into various applications, such as web-to-print portals or ERP systems, offering a range of functionalities, from desktop data printing to server-level template generation.

Additionally, Ricoh’s portfolio includes products like RICOH ProcessDirector™ , enhancing automation in the production process by managing workflows and reducing manual touchpoints.


Intelligent templating isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the key to unlocking efficiency, responsiveness, and innovation in the print services landscape.

As the print industry continues to evolve, intelligent templating will be necessary to meet the dynamic needs of PSPs, offering them increased flexibility and easy integration.

Take the next step with Ricoh’s innovative solutions, and elevate your print services to new heights.

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Jurgen Krebs

Meet the Author

Jurgen Krebs

Jürgen Krebs is a Sales Manager of Ricoh Graphic Communication Software at Ricoh Europe.

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