Digital Paper Pitfalls
Cascades Fine Paper Group, a division of Cascades Inc., is taking a similar approach. The company decided 18 months ago to engineer its digital paper product, Rolland Hi-Tech, to be appropriate for both offset and digital markets.
Indeed, to some extent, Cascades doesn't differentiate between offset and digital with Rolland Hi-Tech, preferring instead to offer its versatile paper for any job where the content is going direct to press, with no plates involved.
Perhaps this is partly why Cascades saw sales of its digital papers jump 10% in 2003. "As we progress on [Rolland Hi-Tech], we will move away from other products not as profitable, and not driven by new [digital printing] trends,' says Robert Boivin, marketing director at Cascades, in Kingsey Falls, Quebec.
Kirby Best, president and CEO of Lightning Source Inc., in LaVergne, Tenn., one of the first and largest on-demand book publishers, agrees with Glatfelter's Pitts and Cascades' Boivin: switching paper costs money, standardizing saves money.
So Lightning Source attacked the high cost of switching paper by standardizing; in their case, on a high quality 60-lb. grade.
"We don't like switching paper back and forth, so we made a conscious decision to go with the best paper possible," says Best.
A well-known IBM shop, Lightning Source sells the fact that it uses 'the best digital paper' for BOD projects. Executives there waste little time pointing out that some of their books end up in the U.S. Library of Congress.
"We lose the odd job [due to cost], but people get acid free paper, good paper, with good recyclable content," Best says. "They usually come back to us."
'They' includes such prestigious imprints as Random House, now doing BOD via Lightning Source's IBM Infoprint 4100 web-fed monochrome digital presses.