Book Printing Outlook : Rolling With the Changes
On the education front, McCree notes a shift in product mix to include multiple formats of textbooks and workbooks. RR Donnelley's networked platform and mix of offset, digital print and POD assets provides publishers with the flexibility to produce in multiple formats and quantities, achieve ordering flexibility and more closely control costs, he adds. The college segment has experienced more change with growth in e-books, book rentals and integrated learning systems. Its LibreDigital group boasts capabilities in custom publishing, digital print textbooks and e-books that enable it to capture the demand, regardless of student preference for the format of their content.
RR Donnelley has bolstered its value proposition through a number of initiatives aimed at expanding its platform and service offering. Among the highlights: a new book fulfillment center in Indianapolis, designed for high-volume distribution; the creation of a digital POD facility in Crawfordsville, IN, that specializes in ultra-short-run needs; and investments in logistics planning tools that enable Donnelley to consolidate book volumes originating from its production locations and distribution centers to end destinations.
"In addition to our fulfillment and distribution platform, we continue to invest in our proprietary ProteusJet short-run digital printing capabilities to support increased demand for four-color, digital printing," McCree says. "Our goal is to continue to efficiently and cost-effectively serve customers, whether they purchase in quantities of one or millions."
Going forward, McCree sees RR Donnelley positioning itself as a strong supply chain partner that understands the dynamics of a publisher's business and has the resources to invest in technologies that drive cost savings. "Large and small publishers come to us seeking solutions for their businesses," he notes. "Our investments in added capabilities, combined with our end-to-end services, create a winning combination."
All in all, 2013 proved to be a busy campaign for North Chelmsford, MA-based Courier Corp. Digital printing continues to be the hot area for Courier, which debuted its second digital book printing plant at its Kendallville, IN, location in addition to the Courier Digital Solutions facility at its headquarters. The Kendallville plant welcomed two HP T410 color inkjet web presses, along with an HP Indigo 10000 digital press that handles book jackets, large-format covers and other components.