Binding for Digital Short-Run Book Projects
The need for speed
A digitized printing/binding process enables publishers to meet the ever-growing need for speed. Leading book manufacturers are integrating digital printing/binding into their business models in different ways. Companies such as Xyan.com and Edwards Brothers Book Manufacturing are employing the latest in digital printing/binding technology to provide a complete, closed-loop service, wherein manufacturing is only part of the business process.
Augustine explains: "When a Web order for a book is placed, it's processed from the publisher to Xyan.com manufacturing. We make the book and ship it directly to the consumer. Then we notify the publisher what item has been manufactured and to whom it was shipped, and we include the shipping tracking number; so, it's a closed-loop process.
"Not long ago," Augustine continues, "when we were printing/binding books and shipping them to inventory, the manufacturing processes were more critical. But today, it's also critical to have an efficient business process. As more business is being conducted on the Web, manufacturing the book is becoming only part of the process: Fulfillment and notification to the publisher are now other critical elements of the business. And that's the service we provide to our clients."
Edwards Brothers Book Manufacturing, Ann Arbor, Mich., recently stepped even, closer to a customer to provide complete, closed-loop service. It installed an on-site print-on-demand (POD) facility in the distribution center of Rowan & Littlefield, a U.S. publishing and distribution firm.
"We've compressed the supply chain by installing a digital printing/binding line in a customer's warehouse," declares John Edwards, president, Edwards Brothers. "We installed a few print engines, a binder, a scanning station and the necessary operators to fulfill Rowan & Littlefield's inventory needs. We've given the publisher its own print-on-demand, short-run operation.
"Think about the cost of processing every short-run job. Just for a few copies, you have to get a purchase order, enter the job, manufacture the product and ship it. The publisher, in turn, stocks the product in the warehouse and pays the bill," Edwards says. "Now we're doing all of that in-house. Since, we still do work for the customer in our other plants, too, this is just a piece of what we do for them."