New business models, new opportunities
At Canon we identify three key business models enabled by digital production technology:
- Short-run printing
- Book lifecycle management (BLM)
- On-demand production
It’s possible for publishers and printers to advance from one model to the next as the market evolves, and in doing so, build a firm foundation for the multi-platform future of the ‘smart book’.
The starting point is to anticipate or respond to falling run lengths and increased order frequencies by complementing offset printing with digital production for shorter runs. The degree of process integration required is low, and printers can do this independent of their publishing clients. It’s essentially a question of adding digital capability to an offset printing operation.
However, it’s a good time for printers to talk to publishers to reinforce the advantages of this digital investment to them – shorter delivery times, faster time to market, cost savings in warehousing and distribution. This conversation will have wider benefits, helping the printer to assess how far publishing clients see production volumes reducing, and in what timeframes.
The dialogue will be a strong indicator of escalating demand for short run services. This can be a helpful guide for the printer’s investment planning, perhaps signalling a need for further automation such as online ordering. Ultimately, this dialogue might reveal the need to consider stepping onto the next rung of the business model ladder, to book lifecycle management.