Supply Chain Changes: New Publishing Paradigm
The publishers' other area of focus is cost reduction. Some of this has already been affected by the dissolution of titles and the reduction of pages. Further reductions occurred through consolidation of production departments, increased automation and overall belt tightening. However, many publishers have also been looking for ways to shed some of their internal systems and processes, and outsource much of the tablet and mobile production.
This has led to new opportunities for print service providers. Publishers are looking for partners to take over many of their production processes. There has been an increase in offshore outsourcing. Labor-intensive, non-creative, lower skilled production tasks can be handled in Asia and, with the help of the Internet and the time difference, without missing a day of production. Still, many of them feel that the more skilled roles need to be handled by local partners that are easier to communicate with and manage.
A New Ecosystem
While each publisher may have different business needs, there are business and process transformations that will occur for all of them to some extent. In the first diagram (on the next page) you can see how these new dynamics are affecting the roles and responsibilities in the publishing supply chain ecosystem. These are the before and after business model views of some of the many publishers and publication printers with whom I have recently spoke. In the before view, these publication printers were able to incrementally excel at their role, but were limited to their growth potential because of the distractions beyond content monetization. It also shows the limited role of the print service provider.
In the second diagram you can see how print service providers are now transforming their roles and businesses by expanding their preferred positions in the publishing supply chain ecosystem. They are doing this by taking on roles from the publisher client that will allow publishers to focus on content creation, aggregation and monetization—their core business.