RR Donnelley -- Giant Transformation
Going forward, he feels the biggest task his customers face is knowing the right balance to follow in the multi-channel marketing approach. "The greatest challenge is understanding the optimal mix of media in which to improve the return on investment," he says. "Our catalog customers need to be able to balance catalogs, the brick-and-mortar store and the Internet in order to achieve the greatest return. That's why we've invested in our marketing expertise, to be able to bring that market research data to our clients to help them make better informed decisions."
Perhaps no one business segment underwent the facelift that Pre-media has experienced. When Mary Lee Schneider took over as president, there were six operations—pretty much prepress houses—and only one of them was located on-site with a customer.
"It became obvious to us back then that prepress, as a business, ultimately goes away," Schneider says. "Since digital photography comes on board and people are multi-channel publishing, prepress becomes a limited set of capabilities. So, number one, we realized we needed a new set of capabilities and, two, we needed to be in locations that mattered to customers."
Thus, Premedia was born, complete with photographic and color management services and digital asset management, among other things. There are now 33 operations, 18 of which are located on customer sites. Donnelley Premedia now finds itself in China, Poland and Latin America, completing the proverbial paradigm shift.
"While we focused on providing a lot of those capabilities upstream to customers, we've also focused those same skill sets and talents downstream to make the printing process more efficient and to improve quality," she says.
Digital solutions centers are sprouting up at a healthy pace. The Pontiac (IL) center was created last year by merging four preflighting operations. That facility has a 50,000 digital ad repository for the short run, B2B magazine niche.