Dickeson--Where Does e-Commerce Fit?
To possibly get more complete information from the Internet sites of the cyberbrokers, one must register with the broker and get a secret password. Since I'm neither a prospective buyer nor seller of printing, I didn't register. Should I have registered?
No More Middlemen
Lately success in e-commerce appears to be related to disintermediation—eliminating the "middlemen" no longer necessary in cyberland. It's also called "supply chain integration." Another facet of this trend is so-called "partnering." Partnering amounts to increasing the intensity of the relationship between customers and suppliers. Customers put more of their eggs of supply in fewer baskets. Call it supply integration, or partnering, or both—it results in reduced inventories and a more focused attentiveness to customer needs. Are the Noosh, et al. entities swimming upstream—against the current of these trends?
Please understand I'm not knocking these businesses, but simply trying to understand how they fit in the scheme of commercial printing. It may be foolish to seek to force their efforts into arbitrary classification buckets of the past—if that's what I'm doing by questioning.
It may very well be that commercial printing has now achieved such a state of technical competence that the product has become more like a commodity than a service. Has it? Or it may well be that the subject matter of this brokerage activity will be limited to the shelf-type printed products with restricted need for interactive creativity. "Bid-and-asked" bargaining on these trading floors may add value by driving down print prices and, thereby, mandate increased process efficiency. If so, then gung-ho for capitalism!
It may be that the three identified Internet companies seek to fulfill the functions of both sales and customer service representatives in the print-customer relationship. In that case, would the printer be relieved of the costly activities of sales and service? The printer would be contracting those activities to a third party—a third party that also represents other printers, as well.