Top 30 Book Manufacturers
Marc Reisch: The most significant change we have seen in our book markets has been the increase in customization—ranging from the significant increase in state-specific textbooks to highly personalized school yearbooks. We are responding to these changes by taking advantage of the entire Visant book platform, which is helping significantly as shorter run lengths are making the seasonal production peaks even more severe. We are also investing in the right technology including wide web, large-format sheetfed and digital presses along with more efficient and flexible bindery assets.
Peter Tobin: The biggest change has been that there has not been enough four-color capacity in the book manufacturing market. Last year was a really challenging year, because it was such a big growth year in education publishing, both el-high and higher-ed, which is largely a four-color game.
The next three years project to be the same growth scenario in the market. So for Courier, we added another high-output, four-color Man Roland Lithoman press in December 2005, that came online just five months ago. That is a match to one we brought online in April 2004, so that is a lot of four-color capacity that we have added in the last couple years. Because of continuing demand, we ordered a third, identical Man Roland Lithoman, which will be online this December. So the big demand is for four-color capacity, and we’re ready ….
The other thing that continues to become more important each year is publishers needing to manage cost and keep their inventories down, working with deadlines and tight staffing. We and some other manufacturers, as well as publishers, have collaborated on adopting XBITS (XML Book Industry Transaction Standards), which are saving time and resources by implementing online transactions like invoicing, purchase orders and managing paper inventories.