17 July 2017 Business

The runners and riders in online printing

A look at the main players in the online printing sector, what they do and how they do it.

Flyeralarm

Keith Hanson was appointed UK country manager for FlyerAlarm, the largest of Germany’s online print businesses at the start of the year.

His task has been increasing the profile of the business and growing the number of UK customers among printers and other resellers. “We are not targeting the B2C market,” he says. “It’s about producing promotional material, advertising collateral, stationery and a growing amount of wide format. It is not about personalised printing.”

In Germany the impact of online printers has been a decimation of smaller print businesses, those that had been struggling to re-equip. Instead FlyerAlarm has acted as the production muscle behind the front office where the business owner can concentrate on looking after customers.

“Not every printer wants to reinvest in technology,” says Hanson. “Using FlyerAlarm, they can outsource the printing and pay less because we can achieve the volumes needed to achieve a competitive price.”

The focus is on resellers working in the hotel and restaurant trade and agencies working for independent businesses. “Larger corporates tend to go to print management companies,” says Hanson, whose own background included print buying for marketing businesses.

Incoming work is directed to the FlyerAlarm factory in Würzburg where the company is equipped with a huge array of presses, including eight-unit perfecting Heidelberg XL162s. It generates sales of €330 million, behind only Cimpress in Europe.

The company has a strong focus on innovation and has the size to trial different products and attract the attention of suppliers wanting someone to test their technology. This has included 3D printing and Heidelberg’s Omnifire for printing on the outside of footballs.

Currently this is outside the scope of mainstream products that Hanson wants to offer to the UK. He has started to recruit account managers and handlers to provide a first line of support in this country. They will also be able to advise clients on how to improve the effectiveness of a design through choice of paper and print. “If as a result someone comes up with a better pizza leaflet that doubles sales, the little extra that they pay will not matter. And if the customer service is right, cost is less of an issue,” he says.

“We get a lot of people approaching us to ask ‘Can you print this?’, pointing to a bespoke job with different finishes needed. Most competitors will turn the job down. We will always quote it. We would expect this to become more frequent in future.”

FlyerAlarm has nevertheless been using price to gain its toehold in this country, offering discounts to new customers and by volume of business.

Clearly this will not continue forever. “The price of print has fallen in recent years and cannot go lower. Instead service will increase through faster delivery speed and led by developments like Amazon Prime. We do not have next day delivery yet, but that might change. We will charge a premium, though people will generally opt for a lower price.”

Grafenia

Grafenia can claim to be the original online print business, being owner of Printing.com. That used shops to collect and direct orders to the production hub in Manchester.

The model still exists, but as chief executive Peter Gunning points out, “print is too far down the pecking order in the value chain”. He wants to be engaged with the buyers well before this, supplying website and print design through the Nettl brand or working with resellers via Marqetspace. Or perhaps bringing end customers in to a Nettl business store, refreshing them with coffee and inspiring them with a selection of printed materials including large fabric displays.

The first Nettl business store in Birmingham is proving a hit he says. And the nascent network of sign and display printers that the company wants to build via retirement sales, will provide further walk-in shops.

“Retail is all about the experience,” says Gunning. “We can show samples, provide creative services and advice.” The print orders will continue to be fired up to Manchester via the internet. “Not everyone wants to buy online,” he adds. “We are using online systems to hit all the touch points the chain has from order placed, proofing to delivery. Every order has some online interaction.”

The focus has shifted from dealing with individuals and micro businesses. The maturity of this sector means that cost of acquisition via Adwords has swung wildly. What used to be £4 earned for every £1 click fee, has reached the point that it is impossible to earn a profit on the first order, says Gunning.

And the micro businesses that use online print are infrequent purchasers of print, driven by cost not loyalty. Consequently Grafenia's focus has shifted from printing.com to Marqetspace and Nettl.

The former is trade only, working with resellers who themselves have a number of clients. “The cost of acquisition for a customer is higher, but so is the volume of orders,” says Gunning. However, resellers are fickle, comparing prices across multiple sites in search of the cheapest or fastest.

Here Grafenia plans to use its Nettl network. Many partners are already printers signing up to add value through website development. It wants to convert Marqetspace clients to Nettl outlets. It wants to capture clients well ahead of any decision on what to print or how much to print.

And while overall print volumes might be slipping, Gunning believes that online print is increasing. He was invited to tell the Grafenia story at the Online Print Symposium in Munich earlier this year.

“It was clear there that 20% of print for the German speaking market is now purchased through online sites and is predicted to double over the next four to five years. The UK market is currently at 15% at most and will grow to 25-30% over the next five years with the largest growth coming from closed shop sites where print is integrated into the supply chain for a business,” he says.

Helloprint

Helloprint is the online print platform that has been making inroads in the UK market. “It is our fastest growing market,” says Sebastiaan Ram, country manager. “Holland is the largest market by revenue, where the market is dominated by ourselves and Vistaprint. The UK is very fragmented and open so we are growing as fast as possible.

“We want to be the No1 print platform in Europe to make ordering print easier for everyone, anywhere.”

The company operates from a four-floor building which is rapidly filling up with 100 staff at the most recent count. It has no production facilities of its own, instead has a network of 200 partner producers, 25 of these in the UK. These are ranked for quality, on time and quality of delivery. Test jobs, customer feedback and a team of Helloprint assessors form the ranking which is fed to the algorithm which matches the ideal supplier to each incoming job.

“The majority of the work for UK customers is produced in the UK,” says Ram, helped by a key characteristic of the market here: “UK customers are focused on fast delivery, next day delivery and same day dispatch.” Helloprint aims to fill gaps in its service offering to enable it to offer this level of service across the more than 2,000 products featured on the website.

The choice of which product to highlight is another aspect of technology. The company mines its own database, tracks orders, watches the web for fluctuations in search terms and tries to adjust as a result.

Ram explains that if it sees a growth in people searching for flags, it will highlight different styles of flag; if people are buying booklets in quantity, it will add to the range and styles of booklet that are available.

It does not want to offer a static range of business cards. It does not really want to offer business cards at all, because, as Ram explains, these are not the gateway to open a new client, but are a product where customers are extremely fickle, moving from supplier to supplier on cost alone.

Instead it wants to offer the sorts of product that may not have been offered online previously, provided the market is large enough. If not, says Ram “we let someone else develop the market”.

The data analytics team is working on ways to predict shifts in the market for the next 18 months and what it is that influences customers, including changes in the weather which can stimulate demand for outdoor products and flags. It runs cohort analysis routines across groups of customers in order to pitch offers more accurately.

At the same time, it wants to build the network so that it can scale production quickly. The role of the assessors is to help partners improve so that they can take on a greater volume of work and improve the feedback received from customers and be in place as more and more print is bought online.

“Even with business cards and flyers, just 25% are bought online at the moment,” says Ram. “We see that becoming 75% in the next two or three years. There will always be a need to sell print face to face, but printers doing this are going to be under increasing pressure.”

Onlineprinters group

This has to be a group following Onlineprinters’ purchase of Solopress, detailed in last month’s issue.

The company is one of the German giants of online printing, founded in 2004, located in southern Germany and investing to keep pace with demand. It now has more than 100 B1 Heidelberg print units across Neustadt and der Aisch, its home city. To this can be added the Solopress line up of B2 Heidelberg presses.

The company is backed by private equity, on its second round of external investment made the Bregal Unternehmehrkapital venture fund owned by the C&A retail empire, the dominant shareholder. Project A is a lesser shareholder with interests in ecommerce, including a stake in Lostmyname personalised children’s books.

Onlineprinters has maintained the full spread of print products, finding growing demand for brochures and booklets on the one hand and larger format promotional items on the other. It opened a dedicated factory for large format promotional items about 15 months ago with a mix of Durst and HP Latex printers. The company has more than 42,000m2 of production space across different locations in its home town.

It also invested in a first production line for roll to roll labels with an inkjet press and laser cutting able to supply small batches of designs using 20 formats and two materials.

An increasing demand for short run and fast turnaround products has led to investment in an HP Indigo 12000. One of the gains from the acquisition of Solopress will be an understanding of how to manage fast turnaround orders as the Southend company has specialised in overnight delivery.

Along with this kind of growth Onlineprinters is beginning to explore the specification and purchase of higher value print via the portal. This has started with letterpress produced business cards and continues with a choice of tactile papers produced by Gmund. “these are going to be marketed as Art Classics,” says Patrick Piecha, head of marketing. “We want to make these art papers more available and will start with stationery and business cards.”

The move into letterpress business cards is also the first time that the company has formed a partnership with a third party supplier rather than produce everything under its own copious roofs.

“We are seeing a greater demand for premium products, and because we have the scale we can add to the Fedrigoni and Gmund papers that have always been part of the range and can supply papers that are exclusive to us.”

At Solopress, Onlineprinters will be using its financial clout to secure better deals for consumables and machinery and will be sharing best practice on customer service and workflow. It may not be the last acquisition.

Pixartprinting

Pixartprinting is the original Italian online print company. It is now one of the key production sites in Europe for Cimpress with the largest line up of sheetfed Komori’s in Europe, a large park of HP Indigos and large format latex printers matched by Durst machines.

It employs 600 at a plant close to Venice reaching 250,000 customers from resellers, printers, design and marketing agencies and, especially in the UK, print brokers. “All know how to specify print and create a usable file,” says chief executive Paolla Roatta. This is not the place to come for business cards or photo products (others in the Cimpress group are better placed for that) but for more value add products.

Pixart is for people that appreciate quality,” he says. “It is not about quick and dirty print. It is about delivering the best value print: 97% of our customers buy again.”

The company’s marketing is unashamedly flattering to these customer groups, highlighting design, typography and flair. This also drives Pixart's own innovations. It continues to build expertise in fabric printing and can offer backlit frames bought online. It has expanded online labels into the third largest product range it has and has pulled together Scodix and other technology into Catalyst, what Roatta calls the most advanced packaging print line in Europe.

“Until Catalyst people simply could not buy just 25 boxes, they had to order a minimum of 500 or 1,000 units. Now this is possible. We had one customer who wanted to position a canned drink as a premium product, and used Catalyst to design a carton to test the concept, selling the drink for €4. That could not happen before.”

It has also just installed a Tecnau bookline to deliver book of one if necessary, but twice the number of books in an hour than was possible before, without increasing costs. Customers will share in the productivity improvement he continues. “And these are not just A4 books, they can be any size as we want to give freedom to the designers.”

This is possible because of an ethos which seeks to standardise the processes used to deliver products, and then to optimise these processes. “And we transfer the benefit to the customer,” he adds. “We know that our customers are operating in competitive markets, so we are getting behind resellers in offering the service and how we innovate how products are produced.”

As the range of products expands, Pixartprinting can draw in an increasing number of customers that can then be offered additional products from it range or through the Cimpress Mass Customisation Platform. “Today 80% of print is bought in the traditional way, which means that online is the Blue Ocean where there is less competition. We find that once customers have tasted online they are unlikely to go back. We are putting our technology at the service of our customers.

“We think there are decades of growth to come still.”

Route 1

Route 1 is the success story of online printing in the UK. It has grown rapidly from early days above a garage in Newcastle where Adam Carnell and James Kinsella printed, finished and packed business cards and trim only products.

That evolved into business to consumer site Instantprint, joined now in a new factory in Rotherham by Route 1, the trade print service that offers litho, digital and large format products.

It has both B1 and B2 litho printing, flatbed large format inkjet and an HP Indigo 10000 B2 digital press linked to the UK’s first Horizon SmartStacker. A year ago it installed a Heidelberg Cylinder for cutting and creasing as a first step into added value products.

This year it has installed a Fujifilm Jetpress 720, Rollem Jet finisher for cutting and slicing business cards into neat stacks after extra embellishment on a Scodix or an Autobond laminator.

The company has continued to work on ways to make production more efficient, making changes even though it moved into the vast factory space little more that a year ago. The appointment of efficiency expert James Quinn 18 months ago. He has since become a director of the business.

“He has driven through a lot of changes, adjusting the factory layout to reduce throughput times,” says Carnell. “It means we can cut turnaround times.”

Turnaround times have become an important battleground for online print in this country, and one that favours UK suppliers over their German counterparts. “This is something that customers have been pushing for,” says Carnell. “German companies have had to focus on price.”

They are also pushing for more sophisticated products. This comes in two ways: simple standardised products that undergo an additional production process, say foiling, spot varnish or lamination to increase the margin for the printer.

Second, multi-page products are growing in popularity he adds. “A booklet is significantly more complicated than a business card to make sure that the quality is right, checking colour across spreads for example.

“It represents a higher order value and that requires trust which in turn drives confidence to specify complex products. This in turn demands a higher level of technical support. People don’t just ask simple questions. They want to understand the embellishments that are possible on a job. It is a higher level of service which demand a heavier management resource.”

The task is to standardise production as much as possible to keep costs under control and then add a further process on top to create the sought after added value.

“This brings a new level of complexity to producing business cards,” says Carnell. “It has changed our business.”

Saxoprint

Philip Foster likes to take visitors to the Saxoprint plant in Dresden. “We can show people that we do have the kit, that there is real substance to the business,” says the UK country manager. It works. The scope, the sheer organisation needed to manage 25,000 jobs in the factory at any one time, cannot fail to impress.

The invitations are extended to trade buyers and resellers able to supply a steady flow of jobs to the business, earning discounts as they do. These are the buyers that can supply a proper print ready PDF and understand the process.

“It’s much more than business cards,” he says. “It used to be that online printing was cheaper but that quality was not as good. Now some of our work is right up there and we are producing catalogues for watch companies or fashion magazines.

“Flyers are still a massive part of what we do, but not all. We have the largest range of printed products on paper of all the businesses.”

This is backed by all the certificates that a buyer could wish for, including Climate Partner endorsement for sustainable printing. The range is constantly increasing. Easy box is the latest as an attempt to sell packaging online. It is starting to gain traction and even if visitors to the site are not buying cartons today, there are plenty of other products to look at.

“We do not do direct mail, but will produce awareness raising collateral,” says Foster. Almost all is printed in the German plant with five-day turnaround.

As a company Saxoprint will receive 5,000 separate orders a day. However, the UK’s taste for fast turnaround means it has partnered with Pureprint over the last 18 months to offer a 48-hour turnaround to buyers here. “We have been testing this for 18 months,” he says.

“There is a definite requirement for faster turnaround which is growing. So far we have pitched prices to control demand, but now everything has bedded in, prices will fall. It is important for us that the whole of the UK should get the same level of service.

“The UK is about speed, which is not the case in Spain or Italy, other markets which are growing.”

Customers are also gaining confidence with online printing. An £80 order may be followed by one priced at ten times as much. They are looking for more complex and sophisticated products, sometimes asking for bespoke printing. “They come on and ask ‘Can you do this?’ asking for GF Smith papers or rounded corners.

“It shows that people have the confidence to ask for something out of the ordinary, but it has to go through the workflow.”

When something does not work, there is a properly staffed support desk, not a form to fill in on an obscure part of the website. “I have 30 years’ experience in the industry and I know things will occasionally go wrong and that if treated correctly people understand this.

“We do not want to be the cheapest, though we will be competitive. People will pay a little more for quality and service.”

Tangent

Tangent Communications has secured one of the key web destinations in Printed.com, one that has not yet grown to the size of some of the German providers but which is growing nicely, according to chief executive Nick Green.

“Two-and-a-half years ago we launched the wedding collection and it has seen enormous growth to become 20% of our turnover with 17 different products and a wide range of stocks,” he says. The company can offer the normal range of flyers, business cards and leaflets that are the staple products of any online print businesses, but Green is thinking vertically.

Instead of facing a vast array of seemingly unstructured products, Printed.com is arranging its offering into products suited to a particular market and arranging these as collections. The retail collection would not include menus, but a hospitality collection might, and conversely hospitality may not include the wrapping paper that is integral to retail.

“We think this is a really comprehensive way to buy print online. The exhibitions range for example has everything that is needed for an event and this builds into a collection for us,” Green explains.

The company is also trying to add value to standard products that people already have confidence in buying online, inspired perhaps by how Moo has reinvigorated the humble business card by using different materials. “They can be papers from Fedrigoni or GF Smith to create a new demand for a standard product,” he says.

For Printed.com, this means printing with white ink on its Indigos for wedding stationery and broader range of stocks. It might also be delivering products that are out of the scope of its own facilities in Cramlington. Printed.com wants to build a network of printers specialised in an area that can offer a better product or a cheaper way of delivering it than Tangent itself can.

A team of six has been charged with identifying potential partners from printers up and down the country and bringing them onboard. “We will also continue to invest in our own facilities,” says Tangent Communications. Under the Ravensworth banner it has one of the first online businesses, providing all manner of print for estate agency outlets using templated designs for property particulars. This continues as the company evolves.

“We want to work with other printers via a network where our partners are perhaps better than us, with better technology or better pricing than we can achieve,” he says.

It is about working smarter, recognising that others have shown they are able to gang up a large number of jobs on a sheet for leaflets and flyers and that Printed.com cannot compete on the same terms.

These businesses have however given buyers the confidence to specify print online and place higher value jobs. “The sector is growing between 15-30% a year and I don’t think it will slow down,” says Tangent Communications. “There are millions of SME businesses, freelance creatives and home business out there. I am super excited about the growth prospects that exist.”

Tradeprint

Tradeprint is one of the Cimpress production hubs for Europe and the only one based in the UK. Over the last year it has worked more and more closely with Exaprint, originally a French company working through a network partners.

Both work only through trade customers, white label for other printers or for resellers. It is a competitive section of the online print market. The aim is to make resellers into loyal customers that return time and again. The time honoured way to do this is through volume discounts, the greater the volume, the greater the percentage discount.

The supplier can also try to offer more than its competitors. “We have a massive focus on product innovations that are coming over the next year,” says sales director Simon Cooper. “E-commerce is relatively limited in the printing industry. That is going to change massively over the next year as we introduce new products.

“This is customer led: they are asking us for products that have not been available on the website and that drives us to think about what we should put on line.”

Whatever ends up online, and packaging is a clear favourite subject, the challenge will be to make the product easy to understand and to order without limiting choice. Tradeprint will lead with label products.

“It’s a really interesting area,” says Cooper. Exaprint, he says, has access to HP Indigo WS6800 printing and through the Cimpress Mass Customisation Platform, so too do Tradeprint's customers.

“These innovations bring in new customers and offer something new to existing customers. It is something unique that we can do,” he explains. Discovery is equally important to the business. Describing business cards, even with rounded corners, or flyers is relatively straightforward. Finding a way to describe the variations possible with booklets and brochures is a challenge of a different order. “We need a new taxonomy for printed products,” says Tradeprint.

As the business is introducing perfect bound products, the way that customers navigate through the increasing population of printed products needs to become intuitive. “Overall user experience is a big focus for us,” he adds.

This now means going to meet those customers through face to face events that the business is stating to run. The first attracted more than 50 to an event in Scotland. Others have not been as packed, but it remains early days. Exactly what is delivered in a session will evolve over time Cooper says making the content stronger. “It’s about us giving our customers the tools to help them become successful,” he says.

The emphasis will continue to be on working with resellers, though some business will shift to direct for larger companies that do not want to work through middlemen. “We support middlemen because we think that they add value. We want to help them bring in more work.”

That new work will most likely be at higher value than the staples of business cards and flyers. Tradeprint watches prices from other suppliers. “In commodity products, prices are already at a point where there can be no movement down,” says Cooper. “Meanwhile we are continuing to experience rapid year on year growth in volumes and in average order values. Customers are confident enough to order more sophisticated higher value products.”

United Print

United Print's factory is a few hundred metres from KBA’s sheetfed factory near Dresden. At one time, part of its factory belonged to the press manufacturer as an R&D demonstration area, but the fast expanding printer has long since swallowed that up.

It operates both through the United Print and Print24 brands, starting in Germany and German speaking countries and expanding out. Now the UK is in its sights. “The UK market in general is very important to us,” says Ali Jason Bazooband, marketing director.

But the characteristics of the UK mean that a different approach is needed. The emphasis on fast turnaround means “our strategy must be to print inside the UK. This has to be the next step for all the European players if they want to match UK delivery times. In the UK, more than in any other country, delivery time is king.”

This means working with partners, printers that can deliver the volumes, the products and the prices that United Print needs. It spoke with Solopress two or three months before the UK company was acquired by Onlineprinters.

United is a privately owned business and cannot contemplate such a deal itself. Instead the aim is to build a network of companies willing to work with it. Already it can supply 20% of UK demand from UK producers. And it wants more, to cover expansion, to increase the product range UK buyers can get quickly.

“Three days is the standard delivery for the UK, he says. “In Germany customers pay a 20% premium for that and if they are prepared to wait, can receive a discount.”

The businesses that United are looking for will have the capacity, the right attitude and the technology to run an automated workflow. This is not as commonplace as people might think. “Many are willing, but lack the technology or can’t print at out prices which reflect the automated workflows we have,” he says.

Another requirement is the ability to print special colours. United Print stands apart in its willingness to print with special colours and in the range of value add finishes on offer. Bazooband mentions flood and spot UV varnishing, embossing, lamination. “We offer more in finishing than many of our competitors,” he says.

However, like them the bulk of work has been simple print and trim products. Business cards and flyers still account for the largest share of turnover and orders, but growth rates are slowing, around 5% a year not the 50% growth rate of large format. Digital in general is expanding at 25-30% he says.

There is also a drift towards higher value products, brochures, books and more sophisticated marketing collateral. These products are offered in incremental steps of 100 rather than several thousands for flyer products where a customer might have to choose to print 10,000 or 15,000. It is not worth the company printing intermediate volumes.

This enables some of the production efficiency needed to handle multiple jobs on the same sheet. That said, the company has recently introduced a 120gsm uncoated option for letterheads, growing the range and increasing production complexity. As more products are added to the range and more substrates, United Print must choose whether to work with partners or produce it all in-house.

“We are good at printing thousands of jobs and delivering to multiple delivery addresses. We are growing revenue and profits, think we can double digital volumes.”

Where The Trade Buys

Where The Trade Buys aims to deliver the products that professional buyers want to select. “The first online print sites were about offering what printers wanted to produce,” says Gary Peeling, managing director of Precision Printing, which owns and runs Where The Trade Buys.

“Now there is an increasing number of professional buyers using the websites and they want the same flexibility as they get when buying offline.”

This means a choice of 12 paper types and at the whole gamut of finishing from trim and fold to saddle stitching, perfect and case binding, lamination, foiling, Scodix digital embellishment and laser cutting. “It’s about making the whole experience a lot more satisfactory, and not about trying to shift 135gsm leaflets.”

He reckons that 70% of day to day print items are available online, covering cut sheet digital, produced on the flotilla of HP Indigos in the business, large format inkjet, but not as yet offset printing. With the move to new premises at Thames Gateway, offset litho is likely to be brought into the fold, especially as the numbers in each order and average order value increases.

Peeling has created the character of Jane as typical of the new generation of print buyers: where buying print is just part of her overall job, where as a digital native she prefers to communicate digitally rather than by phone, where instant gratification is crucial. “Jane doesn’t think that things take three or four days to produce and be delivered to her,” Peeling says.

This is the Amazon Effect. The online shopping giant has raised expectations about speed of service and print is part of this. The standard service for WTTB customers is next day.

An accelerated service for overnight or same day delivery is available, capitalising on the company’s location close to the City and by extension the rest of London.

“There are relatively few occasions that people need same day delivery,” says Peeling. “Overnight is much more likely.” When they do, the effect that Amazon and others have had on delivery has created a much wider range of courier services that the print business can all upon.

But if people can wait a little for delivery, they will not tolerate the time it takes to return a quote. Jane, says Peeling, wants to be able to go on line with a print budget in mind and test what this will provide. There is no need to wait three hours for a quote to be returned, instead options can be tested within seconds.

Resellers will be provided with samples of print and finishing options and materials to explain to their customer what is available. Should a product not be available online, it can be added, either to the general site or as a Just for You button on the client dashboard for frequently ordered products.

It is about making the experience of buying online as smooth, as flexible and satisfactory as possible.

But however far the technology can go in this direction, Peeling believes there will still be a need for face to face interaction for the percentage of products that remain beyond the scope of a browser.

Peeling says: “Resellers will continue to have face to face meeting with their clients. They have the traction with their customers and the expertise in printing without having to carry the capital costs any longer.”

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Keith Hanson of FlyerAlarm

Keith Hanson of FlyerAlarm

The FlyerAlarm focus is on resellers working in the hotel and restaurant trade and agencies working for independent businesses.

“Larger corporates tend to go to print management companies,” says Keith Hanson, whose own background included print buying for marketing businesses.

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Peter Gunning of Grafenia

Peter Gunning of Grafenia

“Retail is all about the experience,” says Peter Gunning. “We can show samples, provide creative services and advice.” The print orders will continue to be fired up to Manchester via the internet. “Not everyone wants to buy online,” he adds. “We are using online systems to hit all the touch points the chain has from order placed, proofing to delivery. Every order has some online interaction.”

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Helloprint

Helloprint

Helloprint has teams of account handlers, software developers and data analysts, but no production capacity of its own.

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Helloprint wants to be the cheapest online and in the UK

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Pixartprinting

Pixartprinting

As the range of products expands, Pixartprinting can draw in an increasing number of customers that can then be offered additional products from it range or through the Cimpress Mass Customisation Platform.

“Today 80% of print is bought in the traditional way, which means that online is the Blue Ocean where there is less competition. We find that once customers have tasted online they are unlikely to go back. We are putting our technology at the service of our customers," says CEO Paolla Roatta.

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Adam Carnell of Route 1

Adam Carnell of Route 1

The task for Route 1 is to standardise production as much as possible to keep costs under control and then add a further process on top to create the sought after added value.

“This brings a new level of complexity to producing business cards,” says James Carnell. “It has changed our business.”

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Saxoprint

Saxoprint

Philip Foster likes to take visitors to the Saxoprint plant in Dresden. “We can show people that we do have the kit, that there is real substance to the business,” says the UK country manager.

It works. The scope, the sheer organisation needed to manage 25,000 jobs in the factory at any one time, cannot fail to impress.

The invitations are extended to trade buyers and resellers able to supply a steady flow of jobs to the business, earning discounts as they do. These are the buyers that can supply a proper print ready PDF and understand the process.

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Saxoprint moves to deliver packaging

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Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper

Tradeprint watches prices from other suppliers. “In commodity products, prices are already at a point where there can be no movement down,” says Simon Cooper.

“Meanwhile we are continuing to experience rapid year on year growth in volumes and in average order values. Customers are confident enough to order more sophisticated higher value products.”

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Cimpress acquires Tradeprint for speedy delivery

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Gary Peeling

Gary Peeling

Gary Peeling has created the character of Jane as typical of the new generation of print buyers: where buying print is just part of her overall job, where as a digital native she prefers to communicate digitally rather than by phone, where instant gratification is crucial.

“Jane doesn’t think that things take three or four days to produce and be delivered to her,” Peeling says.

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Where The Trade Buys plans to take online print fight to Europe

Story 8 of 8

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