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Transformation Concept
Integrated Print Factory (IPF)

The past has shown it time and again. Veritable industry crises are not only catastrophes for the printing industry, but also always spurs for extraordinary innovations. When the internet presumed to substitute digital solutions for everything printed, printers invented online printers. In less than 20 years, this species of company has managed to generate 15 per cent of industry sales through e-commerce platforms. At the time, some printing companies certainly underestimated that online printers were also the starting signal for the industrialisation of the previously craft-based printing industry. A development that to date has forced more than 5,900 companies in the German printing industry to exit the market.

All experts agree that the consolidation of the printing industry is not yet complete. However, far too little attention is paid in the discussion to the fact that the industry is once again facing a paradigm shift.

The digital transformation is increasing competitive pressure.

Let’s be clear right away. Not every company in the printing industry will be able to profitably implement the advantages of a digital transformation for itself. Hundreds of web shops will not change this situation. That is why printing companies with fewer than 50 employees or a turnover of less than 10 million will again feel the competitive pressure. They simply lack the resources and often the IT know-how to successfully shape a fully comprehensive digital transformation process for themselves. Off-the-shelf digital transformation is and remains an illusion. This was underlined by a recent industry survey by Apenberg & Partner on the use of ERP systems in the printing industry. 75 per cent of the participants stated that they were dissatisfied with their software solution.

Only a few companies will be consolidation winners

Concentration affects all sectors of the industry. Commercial, magazine, book and packaging printers are all equally affected by this development. Today we assume that in future fewer than 1,000 companies will account for 80 per cent of the industry’s turnover. Those who think they can relax because their company is already one of the winners in the consolidation process will have to “warm up”. Because the competition among the best has only just begun.

Best Practice: Integrated Print Factory (IPF)

The concept of an “Integrated Print Factory” is based on a new, holistic strategic approach. It is based on the assumption that a lean, efficient and cost-effective factory can only be created if adjustments are made to the corporate and sales strategy in advance. What may sound too theoretical for some technicians is, according to the latest findings, one of the main reasons why ERP software implementations fail time and again. “Shit In – Shit Out”, is the apt analysis of one controller. Even if at first glance it is not obvious to everyone what influence the corporate and sales strategy has on the success of an efficient print factory, an analysis of one’s own company at the latest will prove otherwise.

The “Integrated Print Factory” maps all the processes of a company. Integrated logistics chains (material and information flows) across the entire value creation process, starting from raw material extraction through the finishing stages to the end customer, are mapped in an ERP system. The progress of the digital transformation is monitored via key figure-based production data that provide precise information day by day.

Integrated Print Factory with ERP implementation (project duration 9-12 months)

Apenberg & Partner offers a pragmatic consulting approach to support clients on their way to an “Integrated Print Factory” in all phases of the project. Project durations of less than 12 months help to achieve initial successes as quickly as possible and to keep the costs of the transformation under control.

For an initial exchange of ideas, please contact Mr Michael Apenberg or Dr Johannes Warther.

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