Top Book Manufacturers: Printers Adapt by Following the Market
"We are living in a global economy, so excess print capacity will not simply disappear," Wurster says. "Bookmasters continues to evolve by offering value-added services in an effort to truly partner with publisher-clients. As we perform additional services for a client, our threshold for printing-price pain is lowered."
Offering New Services
Finding new services to offer publishers has constituted an important strategy for many printers in the post-recession recovery period. Bookmasters' file creation, conversion and distribution services have proved to be a successful complement to its printing operation during the past few years. Thomson-Shore has invested in color offset printing, book creation (design and layout services) and "green" printing options, while CJK is planning targeted investment in digital to meet the evolving needs of clients. Transcontinental has expanded or is planning to expand into many areas, from marketing to permission-based e-mail systems to custom publishing.
"We listen to our customers, determine what their needs are and where the market is going," Jensen says. "We recognize that we need to be a total solutions provider and look at the value chain from beginning to end to [serve] our customers."
Jensen says economic pressures have not dissuaded publishers from pursuing "green" initiatives; as a result, Transcontinental has increased its purchasing of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified and recycled fiber, and recently opened its first LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design]-certified plant in Northern California.
Spall says the same of his client base, noting that, for some, "no matter what happens in the marketplace, they want [paper with] high post-consumer content and FSC certification." There are revenue and growth opportunities among the 60 percent or so of his clients not currently purchasing "green" products, Spall says, through "helping them to understand what is available to them and what the cost differential is, and [that] in some cases there is no cost differential."