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Workflow of the Management in Printing Production in Condition of Print on-Demand

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International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 2, Issue 10, September 2016, Pages 25-36

Workflow of the Management in Printing Production in Condition of Print on-Demand

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.210.1003
URL: dx.doi.org/10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.210.1003

Roman Sip

Faculty of Business Management, University of Economics in Bratislava, Dolnozemská cesta 1 852 35 Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: Print-on-demand technology allows printing single book up to 200 copies. Correct use of digital printing and binding equipment effectively addresses the economics of this process as well. A process of storing the books is ignored as the number of printed copies is directly related to the number of orders. Publishing house owning the printed version of PDF publication chooses the file from the database and sends it to the printing company with the on-demand printer. This process is highly efficient for printing companies and also for bookstores as well. Bookstores should be no exception in being Print-on-demand printer owners. printing process workflow

Keywords: Management, Organizational structures, Future, Company, Team, Trend, Technology Print-on-demand, Storage and distribution.

Workflow of the Management in Printing Production in Condition of Print on-Demand

1. Introduction

Current markets are experiencing a rapid decline of the material form of printed products in favour of the digital media. Market slump caused an excess of production capabilities and therefore pressure on prices. Because of this market situation, even technologically advanced competitors fight for the contracts, which they would previously reject, especially if the contracts are unprofitable. Nowadays, producers aim to employ all available production capacities disregarding the costs.

2. Analysis of Current State of Print Medias

The number of journals sold is constantly decreasing. The forecasts assume that printed form of journals will slowly fade away until 2020. Daily news as an information sharing will not disappear, but it will transit into a digital form (Roman Sip, Appendix 1). This is based on the fact that today’s reports are available on the Internet for minimal fees and the number of phone and tablet readers is increasing. This trend is irreversible. The reason behind decreasing number of readers of printed products is caused by a change in demography as well as new generation searching for information only in the context of the market offered technologies. printing process workflow

New technologies have changed the habits of television viewers and their way of watching television. The free of charge access to information is growing rapidly. The availability of non-free information is stagnating, which is associated with a poor purchasing power of the population and unwillingness to pay for intellectual property. printing process workflow

Considering the economic development and minimal investments, there is no growth forecast for media. The polygraph institute has never been a strong interest of investments, and therefore high profit generated was never a priority in this sector. printing process workflow

The largest amount of investments into digital media comes from commercials, such as advertisement of motor vehicles, banking services, telecommunications, pharmaceutical industry and electronics (NMS Market Research). Advertisers concentrate mainly on television, which has an upward trend, and least focus goes towards the press, which has a decreasing trend. Growing share of investments is directed towards the Internet. printing process workflow

The future of the polygraph industry, based on the current conditions, is going to evolve as following:

  • Majority of customers of printed publications are going to be seniors;
  • Print is going to remain as a part of multichannel communication;
  • Young generation is going to use smart devices such as smartphones and tablets to receive information;
  • Demand for low-cost publications and Print-on-demand technology will keep rising

Publishers will have to be more efficient in usage of modern technology applications. Newspapers are the first target, as they cannot compete with the Internet, which provides wider content and online reports. The printed copy of newspapers is heading towards the future, where the number of copies drops dramatically and leads to extinction. Printing industry agrees that price reductions will not cause an increase in demand of orders. printing process workflow

(Kavecký, F., 2015). The individual customer requirements, personification, and logistics will be the key areas. Publishers will have to step aside from mass production and a large volume of stocks and rather concentrate on buyers’ requirements. The classical printing process has lost dominant position and without co-operation with the digital printing process, it cannot face future digital challenges. printing process workflow

Digital technologies are capable of printing full-colour publications of larger scale in single copies. Production processes are becoming automated; deadlines are shorter and logistics adapt to the requirements of the customer. These technological changes create a more competitive environment, process and quality controls and job cuts in publishing companies.

Positive assumptions about the use of the press are:

  • General economic growth,
  • Classical offset printing provides high-quality output.
  • Press allows targeting of the older generation

Negative assumptions about the use of the press are:

  • Information and communication technology penetrated entire society,
  • Instant access to information via smartphones and tablets,

Powerful effects of using ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in the upcoming generation.


Figure 1: Comparison of printing offerings based on their strengths (The creative pen, 2009) 

The effectiveness of the classical printing cannot reach the population as well as ICT. Based on this, printing is considered as a support instrument in multi-channel communications. The classic print is seen as a mean for customers who need to have a paper form of printing rather than digital. However, the effect of virtual media can be increased through the press. Area of digital printing can increase success within online marketing and provision of web-to-print services.

A phenomenon of available information, via Internet, opens the question of copyright ownership. The deficit of legal knowledge does not justify its free distribution over the Internet. The model of the workflow broken down into simpler works and ties describes a way of the delivery between all participants in the industry. This model usually describes the technology of the process. Workflow is a software-predefined system of programmed processes, which should do specific actions regarding the whole process. The software controls the actions of partial tasks and the process of reconciliation.

  • Rules that regulate processes,
  • Transmission of information,
  • Methodsand instruments of measurement.

Dealer registers potential customer in the system. Basic registration could be extended by adding personal characteristics (the ability of communication and to honour code of ethics). The Cost Clerk suggests calculation technologist, which with regards to local technology suggests the process. The suggested technology does not have any impact on the final price. The output is a technological list by which the entire production is organized. The warehouseman gets the specification of the purchase and checks material availability. Orientation in MIS (Management Information System) is quick and easy. If the system is connected to barcode readers, it can quickly process intake and outtake of materials in the loading bay (Author’s experience of working in the printing industry for 17 years). printing process workflow

Production management is performed via production schedule, where the controller operatively controls the flow of orders, their progress, machine status and cooperation through MIS. The system can be supplemented with a sensor monitoring the current state of individual machines. It is a collection of data from the system and provides automatic evaluation (currently executed a contract in the printing and binding machines, the speed of printing, folding, and tolerance of stitching, production of book covers). The warehouseman expedites finished order according to the date and overlooks completion of production, output quality and prints out a delivery note and pallet labels. Through barcode scanner, he inserts data about a delivery of finished order into the MIS. Based on delivery notes accountant provides an invoiceto MIS when price offering was made. As far as MIS software is connected with the accounting program of the printer, the order is recognized in the financial system. printing process workflow

3. Print-On-Demand

(Tupec, L., 2014). The classical technology needs to provide: printing process workflow

  • Editorial processing;
  • Graphic design;
  • Preparation of printing forms;
  • Preparation of printing machines;
  • Printing;

In contrast, Print on Demand offers the convenience of success by printing the very first book placed on the shelves of the bookstore. The digitalization and archiving of the created files have brought the simplicity into all technological process. Using them, it is possible to print one piece of copyright in the editorial staff. Thanks to this technology the publishing house is able to respond operatively to market requirements. Publisher’s coverage requirements are to printed editions to the amount of customer orders. Thanks to this technology there is no need to print a large amount of high-risk publications and eventually cover storage capacities, where estimated horizon of sales projected to two years cannot be implemented. The high costs of the printing process and transport are reduced. The return is spread over the entire period of merchantability. printing process workflow


Figure 2: Logistical processes of publishers (Authors work)

The process of publishing books in the publishing house (Fig. 2) by Print-on-demand technology enables competitiveness to 200 specimens. (Harris, A., 2014) The correct use of digital printing and the bookbinding machine for the paperback is an effective solution for an economic part of the process. The storage of publications is in the end, as the number of printed pieces depends on the amount of orders. The publishing house owning the printing version of pdf of publications chooses a file from the database and delivers it for processing. The owner of the print-on-demand technology can be publishing house, but bookstore is not an exception. printing process workflow

The order lifecycle starts with Internet portal where the customer orders selected title. Afterward, the operator of the digital printing chooses selected book title from the database. Publication is printed, book-bended and ready for the distribution. This is followed by a personal pick up by the customer or by distribution through e-shop. Distribution channels ensure transport of the order right to the doors of the customer. printing process workflow

The connection between the publishing house, printer and distribution is done through Internet sales – e-shop. Customer provides orders, process sheets for the press operator, invoices, shipping labels for delivery through the web application and sales software is activated. stores administration costs, process orders, production, and distribution. The system is controlled through the web application and offers a list of orders, payments, and manufacturing costs.

figurabFigure 3: Lifecycle of publication ordered online using Print-on-demand process (Authors work)

Without the introduction of printing on demand (Print-on-Demand) issuing educational books for e-shopping would not be possible. Inventory maintenance, warehouse space has become too expensive, while inventory turnaround is too small. Print on demand reduces costs and eliminates the need for space to store unsold copies. printing process workflow

4. Distribution in the Concept of Internet Sales

to bookbinding, but it is not part of it. The packaging of the goods in the printing industry ensures its protection during distribution. The wrong choice of packing materials can cause irreversible damage to the goods. Because of this, the packaging is resolved from the start of the ordering process. If printing house takes care of the transport of the orders, these orders are covered with the stretch film, which exhibits optimum protection. Subsequently, the goods covered with the stretch film are placed on a pallet, where corners are protected with cardboard, and the whole pallet is once again strengthened with stretch foil (Kačeňák, I., 2011). printing process workflow

Organisation of the company’s warehouse is managed through software and system that organizes technological processes. Sales department takes care of pallet labels indicating the product, amount of printed copies in the package, the number of packages in a row, the number of rows and finally the total quantity of copies. Requirements of the customer could be the packaging of the goods into cartons from corrugated cardboard. For this purpose, there are standard sizes of boxes, for instance, ones supplied by the Slovak Post, or it is required from customer to enter specific parameters of packaging. The process of books production with Print-on-demand approach introduced changes to packaging and distribution of the publications. printing process workflow

Orders from the e-shop are processed locally on the publisher’s server. Publisher prints books one by one, individually, depending on the orders. The total number of printed copies is directly linked to the market demand. Digitally stored data on the server about the print are automatically prepared for the Print on Demand requirements. Data about orders are automatically sent to the department for distribution and web interface aids customer with an overview of the current state of the order (date of shipment, the state of the packaging, distribution delivery by courier, invoice). Ordered goods will be automatically provided with printed order information, invoices, delivery notes, coverslips and address label. Publishing educational books for e-shopping would not be possible without an introduction of printing-on-demand. printing process workflow

5. Global European Market and the Development of Logistics


Figure 4: Lifecycle of purchase and distribution of goods throughout the Internet shopping (Authors work)

Multinational logistics companies play a major role in global trade as they carry out services at the international level. Their advantage is a multinational collaboration with international sales network. Local providers will be responsible for management of logistics services in the urban agglomeration. Their competitive advantage is knowledge of the local environment in the context of increasingly frequent traffic problems and location of the recipient.

The increased growth in volume of online shopping marketing will be related to:

  • Transformation of the physical stores,
  • Increase in orders over the Internet,
  • Special requirements for logistics services,
  • Delivery boxes,
  • Operative control of the location of goods,
  • Reducing the timeframe between order and delivery.

The future of logistics, together with a change in production technology, will play a key role in publishers’ business process. Delivery of goods in 24 hours since the order was made, will become an industry standard. Over the coming years, these kinds of customer demands will cause a change in publishing technologies. Since this is about satisfying individual requirements of customers, control management of publishing will have to change as well. printing process workflow

Distribution logistics of the publishing house ensure a summary of logical strategies, which are related to the flow of goods to a customer. Strategy concentrates on efficient distribution of time, reduction of the costs and increase in quality. Wider goal is meeting customer requirements and overall satisfaction. The traditional meaning of logistics, oriented on the transport, warehousing, procurement activities, materials management and handling of operations changes into customer service through external logistics processes. printing process workflow

6. Online Store with Publications

The crucial step is to optimize Internet sales with browser search algorithms. Using SEO settings, administrators can effectively influence the search engine results (How SEO helps search). However, seller needs to adjust keywords so that they reflect what potential customers are looking for. The range of goods offered via the Internet grows with a number of buyers. Online shopping was first implemented in the US. Internet sales boom came in the 21st century. Nowadays an Internet sale is becoming a superior competitor to traditional shopping. Customers have access to a wider choice of goods, lower prices and fast time of delivery. All these options lead to an ever-increasing volume of sales on the website. Survey of customers discloses some further differences in online shopping:

  • The quality of services and customer offered depends on the seller,
  • A smaller range of goods in classical shops,
  • Delivery is in many cases more comfortable than going to shops.

Despite these concerns, buyers prefer online store compared to traditional shop in the mall. Low quality of service, unhelpful staff and poor customer care are all contributing to negative customer experience, which is not often met when shopping through established e-shop. Other, by customers, negatively perceived aspects of classic shops are small price competitiveness and unequally distributed network of shopping centres.printing process workflow

New technologies create new shopping behaviours among the customers. According to a survey (Roman Sip, Appendix 2) on Internet shopping, customers use a whole range of technologies such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. These devices with Internet access provide immediate purchase. Purchasing behaviour of the population varies with the offerings. Travel, flight tickets, consumer goods, meals and healthy lifestyle belong to highest purchased offerings online. Traditional shops still have customers mainly interested in textiles, sporting goods, and food.

Despite many positives of online shopping, malls remain an alternative and still have something to offer. Shoppers can observe goods in real life and quickly view all other goods displayed. Europeans still prefer one place for shopping and spending their free time. Therefore, most of the goods still get to the consumer via the classic sales. Loyalty cards and promotions force customers to shop at specific stores. printing process workflow

7. Future Technical Solutions

Questions regarding future of the press are uncertain. Classic offset and digital printing are fully exploited known technologies. Smartphones and tablets are relatively new devices on the market, and their potential is still not fully Other options and provisions for streamlining and innovation is an area of communication. In connection with an increase in sales volume and an emphasis on automated online processing, it is necessary to innovate the business model of the entire publishing-printing complex. This is a fundamental change that monitors a level of satisfaction of customers Figure 4. Information technologies play a decisive role in this process.


Figure 5: Information transfer in publishing-printing complex (Roman Sip)

The finding (Roman Sip, Appendix 3) is most at risk. Electronic publication platform is threatened because of ignoring licensing terms that only decrease in aging population.

Publishing-printing complex is aware that the transition to digital printing and subsequently to electronic publishing is happening right now. Customers will place emphasis on speed and print quality of low volume of publications, as well as the time of their delivery. Requirements will increasingly move towards: printing process workflow

  • Immediate delivery date on request with the possibility of providing additional services;

Successful completion of electronic order must be finalized by the delivery of goods to the end customer. Only then the terms of web-to-print e-business system will be filled. To satisfy requirements of publishing-printing complex, e-commerce must provide following:

  • Fast goods delivery, provision of an accelerated process of delivery.
  • Implementation of production without warehouse with the intention to immediately ship supplies.
  • Organisation of goods delivery.


Figure 6: Alternative processes of publishing (Authors work)

Publishing-printing complex is aware that the transition to digital printing and subsequently to electronic publishing is happening right now. Customers will place emphasis on speed and print quality of low volume of publications, as well as the time of their delivery. Requirements will increasingly move towards: printing process workflow

  • Immediate delivery date on request with the possibility of providing additional services;
  • Effective delivery of publications for a limited term through e-commerce.

Successful completion of electronic order must be finalized by the delivery of goods to the end customer. Only then the terms of web-to-print e-business system will be filled. To satisfy requirements of publishing-printing complex, e-commerce must provide following:

  • Fast goods delivery, provision of an accelerated process of delivery.
  • Implementation of production without warehouse with the intention to immediately ship supplies.
  • Organisation of goods delivery.

In this sense, the future of newspapers is not considered. Newspapers in a tangible form are not priority information medium anymore. They are considered possible support tool, while the Internet is the place of instant information availability. Unilaterally oriented printing companies will face existential problems in the future. The volume of paper consumed in newspaper printers in the past decade decreases year on year. Hence the conclusion for printing companies is negative unless they refocused to digital technologies. printing process workflow

The young generation uses all forms of technology to gather information and communicate, starting with the fulfillment of individual requirements, from production to delivery. Publishers should build their programs on a technology platform to attract future generations. Research has shown that warehouses and physical stores are on the decline as a focus is on operational performance of real customer requirements. printing process workflow



printing process workflow

printing process workflow

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