DIGITALISATION AS A CHANCE: THE ERP SYSTEM FOR PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS
Digitalisation has hit printers and publishers very hard. In the first wave, the internet brought newspapers, magazines, catalogues and brochures to the household PC. And thanks to smartphones and tablets, media content is now also available at any time and any place. The impact on print and publishing is illustrated by a report from industry research institute MMB, which shows that print volumes, company and workforce numbers, capital expenditure and revenue have all experienced a continuous decline. Industry analysts therefore conclude that printers and publishers find themselves in a fundamental structural crisis.
EFFICIENT PROCESSES AND NEW PRODUCTS WITH DIGITALISATION
While the digital transformation has led to this crisis, it also offers ways out of it: innovative technologies can be used to design printing processes to more efficient while creating novel products and services. As just one example, data can be sent straight from the computer to the printing plate or paper without an interim step. Digital printing means small print runs can be printed profitably – and personalisation can be applied right down to the level of individual printed items. This is helping the spread of web-to-print services, where commercial customers or private consumers use a web service to design brochures, photo books or calendars, for example, and just click to order ultra-short print runs.
MASTER COMPLEXITY WITH AN ERP SYSTEM
This increases complexity for print shops and publishers, who need to handle a variety of orders from pre-press to shipping while also working to ensure optimum capacity utilisation for their systems and ensuring materials management stays efficient. Well organised process flows and clearly defined interfaces are indispensable here. This is hardly possible without an end-to-end ERP system that integrates all of these processes.