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Strategies for Successful Digital Printing
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Media.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Media Business Studies, ISSN 1652-2354, Vol. 3, no 1, 65-86 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Today the printing industry is fragmented and suffers from overcapacity, and printed material is regarded ascommodity products. In this article, corporate strategy owing to the introduction of digital printing technology isstudied. The focus is on companies that made digital printing investments. Differentiation is a strategicapproach that is necessary for digital printing companies to compete successfully. The results show that verticalintegration is a way to ensure appropriate supply to the digital printing unit and to add customer value to theservice. Educating customers is a way to create a market for the value-added products of digital printing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 3, no 1, 65-86 p.
Keyword [en]
digital printing, business strategy, vertical integration, differentiation, customer value
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9397OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9397DiVA: diva2:113843
Note
QC 20100826Available from: 2008-10-30 Created: 2008-10-30 Last updated: 2010-08-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Institutional arrangements and competitive posture: effects of company structures in the commercial printing industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional arrangements and competitive posture: effects of company structures in the commercial printing industry
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

 The research objective of this dissertation is to investigate the impact of institutional arrangements, with respect to vertical integration and cooperation, on competitive advantages within the commercial printing industry, with specific focus on digital printing. This dissertation comprises six research papers, based on four qualitative case studies and a quantitative survey study, all carried out in Sweden in the years 2004-2008.The results show that vertical integration is a way to achieve competitive advantages in the commercial printing industry and is a widely used strategy in Sweden. Being able to contract full service companies is appreciated by customers to printing houses, especially direct customers, due to their need for a supplier of complete solutions for printed matters. Consequently, a vertically integrated company can provide value added services which makes it possible for customers to minimize their organization regarding production and purchasing of printed matters. Other reasons for vertical integration are the need to ensure fast deliveries to customers and having a steady supply of appropriate jobs. Despite the believed strategic importance by the industry, the results show that the level of vertical integration has no significant impact on profitability. Vertical integration is strategically important for digital printing houses in order to develop their business because digital printing allows for fast deliveries, on-demand printing and variable data printing. Despite the commoditization of printed matter, the findings indicate that the industry, in general, focuses on providing a high service level even though it means having to set higher prices. Furthermore, the results point toward that this strategic positioning is beneficial for digital printing houses because they experience a lower degree of competition and a lower price pressure.Vertical integration can, however create inflexibility due to ownership and employment. The findings suggest that cooperation can be used to achieve fast access to valuable resources, such as production equipment and knowledge, and, hence, increase printing houses’ resource flexibility. Even though internal control of resources is regarded as important to be able to satisfy customers’ needs and produce customers’ orders on time, cooperation with partners can create similar strategic effects. Furthermore, cooperation can give cost and flexibility advantages compared to vertical integration by reducing internal need for production capacity and allowing access to complementary resources. Nevertheless, it is common to combine vertical integration with cooperation to create competitive advantages and make a company more flexible and dynamic toward market changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. xiii, 137 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2008:16
Keyword
business strategy, cooperation; customer value, institutional arrangements, printing industry, vertical integration
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9392 (URN)978-91-7415-148-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-11, Sydvästra galleriet, KTHB, Osquars Backe 31, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100827Available from: 2008-10-30 Created: 2008-10-30 Last updated: 2010-08-27Bibliographically approved
2. Strategies in the digital printing value system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategies in the digital printing value system
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The research objective of this thesis is to identify corporate strategies and strategic decisions in the digital printing business and to analyze how these have evolved due to the introduction of digital printing. This thesis comprises three separate studies, all based on qualitative case methodology. The first study is focused on digital printing houses and how their business strategies have changed due to their investment in digital printing production equipment. The second study concentrates on customers in the digital printing value system and how they experience the value they get from purchasing digitally printed products. In the third study, it is analyzed how a successful producer–customer relationship can create value for both parts in a dynamic and changing business environment.

The results indicate that vertical integration among digital printing houses is a valid strategy for overcoming problems related to digital printing, such as not being able to acquire orders suitable for digital printing. The main reason among customers to start using digital printing is the option of ordering short print runs which reduces stock keeping and discarded volumes. This application is the customers’ most important perceived value. The use of more complex applications, such as variable data printing, is very modest, although many respondents say that they either want to start using customization in their print production or already have received some value from simpler variable data printing applications (e.g. addressing or changing logos and names).

The competitive environment in the printing industry is becoming increasingly dynamic and the printing industry is today influenced by a heterogeneous group of competitors and it is therefore important, for printing houses, to engage in hypercompetitive-like behavior. Working with speed, surprise, superior customer satisfaction and continually trying to shift the rules of the industry in the company’s favor, is a strategy to maintain business viability and competitiveness. As a complement to the cost and quality focus, timing and know-how are becoming even more important in the industry when a company wants to satisfy customer needs.

The conclusion is that digital printing is used effectively and successfully when the main purpose is not to print. By striving towards non-printed solutions, digital printing becomes a natural output method when printed material is needed, since it is possible for the customers to order exactly what they want, when they want it, without any need for stock keeping. Vertical integration has helped digital printing houses acquire appropriate input for their printing presses. Horizontal integration into additional output channels, such as electronic publishing, is a natural development in the industry and provides support for the digital printing business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. ix, 63 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2006:18
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4165 (URN)91-7178-475-6 (ISBN)
Presentation
2006-11-17, E2, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen, Stockholm, 11:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101119Available from: 2006-11-08 Created: 2006-11-08 Last updated: 2010-11-19Bibliographically approved

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