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Positioning in the Printing Industry: Differentiation in Terms of Price, Lead Time, Print Quality and Flexibility
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Media (closed 20111231).
STFI-Packforsk.
2007 (English)In: Advances in Printing and Media Technology, ISSN 0892-2284, E-ISSN 1942-597X, Vol. 34, 327-336 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Differentiation and adding value to the printed product is regarded as important in the low margin, highlycompetitive commercial printing industry of today. However, there exists a trade-off between the service leveland the price the customer has to pay. This quantitative survey study of 136 commercial printing houses setsout to investigate how they are positioning themselves and how they perceive the demand from the customerswith respect to price, lead time, print quality and flexibility.In summary the results presented in this paper propose that the commercial printing houses perceived a demandfrom customers to provide a commodity product with only small differences between price, lead time, qualityand flexibility. However, the results also indicate that the printing houses want to sell a more differentiatedand customer centric product with focus on flexibility and quality. Although positioning seemed to beindependent of printing technology, it was possible to notice that digital printing houses perceived a lower pricepressure from the market. These results suggest that using digital printing to enhance customer value wassuccessful since the digital printing houses felt that their customers did not have as high demands for low pricesas customers to conventional printing houses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 34, 327-336 p.
Keyword [en]
strategy, differentiation, flexibility, commercial printing
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9401ISI: 000267333500038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9401DiVA: diva2:113850
Note

QC 20100826

Available from: 2008-10-30 Created: 2008-10-30 Last updated: 2016-12-15Bibliographically 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

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