R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (NYSE: RRD) today announced that its proposal to acquire substantially all of the assets and assume certain liabilities of Quebecor World has expired.
In the current economy, the book manufacturing industry appears to be caught square between the proverbial rock and a hard place: on the one side, a publishing business suffering from decreased consumer demand and on the other, suppliers destabilized by the credit crunch. The industry, however, is showing surprising resiliency, having been thrust into difficult times with eyes wide open. Printers are determined to meet the challenge of a new marketplace defined by multiplatform delivery systems, environmental awareness and niche distribution models in the hopes that the post-“great recession” economy will find a book manufacturing industry emerging leaner, “greener” and more focused on the place of books in a digital age.
Regarding the book manufacturing industry’s commitment to “green” principles, it could be said that a page has truly turned. Over the past decade, consideration of climate impacts and paper sourcing has become central to the industry’s approach, and, along the way, many manufacturers have discovered ways to balance the need to economize, invest in infrastructure and reduce environmental impacts—often through innovative policies and practices that manage to do all three.
Speak to just about any book manufacturer these days about his or her business, and you’re likely to hear a laundry list of concerns: an economy teetering on the edge of a recession, paper’s rising costs and tighter supply, the need to respond to publishers’ and environmental groups’ “green” demands, and mounting pressure to improve turn times and to upgrade technology, among others. And yet, for an industry so seemingly wrought with challenges, a look at Book Business’ annual list of North America’s Top 30 Book Manufacturers (on pages 16-17) appears to tell a different story. Just seven of the 30 printers who appear
Ten years ago, digital, ondemand book printing officially burst upon the scene at Book-Expo America. With IBM’s roll-fed and Xerox’s sheet-fed equipment producing books on the show fl oor in Chicago, Ingram (then Lightning Print) and Bertelsmann (through OPM) invited the industry to get on board while the train was at the station. Since then, Lighting Print has transformed into Lightning Source, a subsidiary of Ingram Industries and the nation’s largest 24/7 book-at-a-time printer. Book and journal manufacturer Edwards Brothers, which had also been operating a one-off DocuTech service for some years before 1998, has expanded its reach and now has seven satellite digital
The 20th year of the Gold Ink Awards—the industry’s most prestigious print competition—featured some of the storied awards’ most impressive and highest-quality submissions to date. A talented team of judges poured through more than 1,400 entries in this milestone year, awarding Gold, Silver, Bronze and Pewter honors in 46 categories spanning a wide variety of printed products. Printers and publishers submitted their finest pieces, and more than a dozen judges rolled up their sleeves to scrutinize and examine the entries’ each and every detail over four days in May at the Philadelphia headquarters of North American Publishing Co.—parent company of Book Business and Publishing
If 2007 goes down as “The Year of RR Donnelley,” it will do so as a result of a 65-day span at the turn of the year during which the conglomerate announced it would acquire three industry stalwarts: Perry Judd’s, Von Hoffman and Banta Corp. But the past year has been about more than consolidation and leveraged buyouts. North American printers continue to grapple with the mounting menace that is offshore manufacturing, fluctuating paper prices amid a series of mill shutdowns, and the ever-evolving technological demands of their customers. And yet, despite these challenges, there are also a number of opportunities facing the market.
If distribution means getting books into the hands of sellers, circulators or readers, then a true profile of the distribution business would cast a wide net, beginning at the binding line and continuing through to the ‘long tail’ of online portals, used bookstores and curbside pushcarts. However, if distribution, from the publisher’s view, means getting books to generate sales revenue, we can overlook all of the aftermarket, recirculation and reselling channels and focus solely on reaching stores, libraries, online and catalog warehouses and—increasingly, thanks to the Internet—direct marketing from the publisher to the consumer. In the article “Deconstructing Distribution,” in Book Business’
In Part I of this series, I described how supply chain thinking can be applied to business and career decisions. Correctly identifying your “value proposition” is the key to being able to diagram where in the chain of buying and selling relationships you can be most effective. Building on your core competencies, and recognizing that you need to manage your supply chain relationships becomes the business proposition. Chances are that when you first examine your supply chain, you will find that you have been a slave to it, rather than a master of it. I also noted that by rethinking and realistically recasting your
Whether it’s an example of survival of the fittest for printers or merely another entry in a long line of acquisitions, RR Donnelley & Sons put the publishing industry on notice as it completed its “trilogy of transactions” this week, a course of action the industry’s top commercial printer says will help offer its customers greater capacity and flexibility. The Chicago-based printer announced it would make an all-cash purchase of educational-book printer Von Hoffmann from Visant Corp., in a deal valued at $412.5 million, RR Donnelley officials said Wednesday. “In concert with our fully integrated international production platform, the addition of Von Hoffmann’s facilities will offer