dg in

Re­tool­ing done, press ven­dors

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Of all the seg­ments of the North Amer­i­can news­pa­per busi­ness slammed by the Great Re­ces­sion and the in­dus­try’s sub­se­quent con­trac­tion, few were hit harder than press sup­pli­ers.

The in­dus­try’s mantra to cut costs left a par­tic­u­larly large swath across the press ven­dor land­scape. As a re­sult, press sup­pli­ers were forced to re­tool their own op­er­a­tions to bet­ter meet the new mar­ket­place.

That re­assess­ment wasn’t pain­less. Some were forced to file for bank­ruptcy and then re­or­ga­nized un­der new own­ers. Many shut­tered fa­cil­i­ties and laid off em­ploy­ees. Al­most all fo­cused on emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies to com­ple­ment their legacy busi­nesses.

But as 2013 be­gins, the messy work of re­align­ing op­er­a­tions to the new mar­ket­place has largely con­cluded. To­day, the news­pa­per in­dus­try’s press ven­dors might be smaller, but they are more nim­ble, much bet­ter cap­i­tal­ized and more rigidly fo­cused on serv­ing the needs of their cus­tomers as part­ners and not ven­dors.

To get a sense of how press ven­dors view the chal­lenges fac­ing them, and their plans to of­fer ser­vices and tech­nolo­gies aimed at help­ing their print­ing cus­tomers be­come more ef­fi­cient in an era where eco­nom­ics reign like never be­fore, News & Tech polled sup­pli­ers’ top mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives.

Their com­ments il­lu­mi­nate the re­al­ity in which their com­pa­nies are op­er­at­ing to­day, but they also are cloaked with an­tic­i­pa­tion of where they will be to­mor­row, even as the news­pa­per in­dus­try makes its trans­for­ma­tion from big iron to big data.

Com­ments, which were edited by News & Tech, are in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der.

Tom Loesch, pres­i­dent of Im­pres­sions World­wide

Q: What is your prin­ci­pal pri­or­ity as we en­ter 2013?

A: Our pri­or­i­ties have not changed. We are fo­cused on build­ing our rep­u­ta­tion by pro­vid­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices that will lead to success for our cus­tomers.

Q: What are the tech­nolo­gies and ser­vices you are count­ing on to grow your busi­ness?

A: We are count­ing on the power of print and the con­tin­ued growth of sin­glewide prin­ters [and the ser­vices they can of­fer].

Q: What role should press ven­dors be play­ing to help news­pa­pers pro­mote print?

A: We are al­ways work­ing be­hind the scenes to help our cus­tomers to pro­duce more color pages and higher-qual­ity print. We sup­port them so they can hit their dead­lines.

Q: In light of all the spec­u­la­tion about the in­dus­try’s press ven­dors, are you still op­ti­mistic about your com­pany’s fu­ture?

A: The pes­simism re­gard­ing the fu­ture of print is non­sense. Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a printed news­pa­per. Each year has been our best — for the last four years. Most ev­ery­body I know pre­dicted I would be out of a job years ago. In­stead the mar­ket has mi­grated from all an­gles to­ward the sin­glewide prod­ucts and ser­vices that we build and re­man­u­fac­ture. The global and U.S. mar­kets are boom­ing for us. While the com­pe­ti­tion has all moved overseas, we have opened an­other fa­cil­ity in the United States [in Tupelo, Miss.] and re­main solely owned and op­er­ated here in the United States. Claus Bolza-Schüne­mann, CEO, Koenig & Bauer agAG

Q: What is your prin­ci­pal pri­or­ity as we en­ter 2013?

A: In view of the cur­rent global eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, sta­bi­liz­ing our busi­ness on print mar­kets un­der pres­sure is a cen­tral tar­get for 2013. Clear goals for the new year are a mod­er­ate growth in sales and again a pre-tax profit (pos­i­tive EBT) in the fifth con­sec­u­tive year, which is not the rule for ma­jor press sup­pli­ers to­day.

Q: What are the tech­nolo­gies and ser­vices you are count­ing on to grow your busi­ness?

A: Mainly print­ing tech­nolo­gies for growth mar­kets like pack­ag­ing print­ing or dig­i­tal print­ing with our new KBA Ro­taJet. In ad­di­tion we see still growth po­ten­tial in some of our niche mar­kets, e.g. in metal dec­o­rat­ing, in­dus­trial cod­ing and flex­i­ble pack­ag­ing. In me­di­are­lated and ad­ver­tis­ing-ori­ented mar­ket sec­tors, such as news­pa­per and com­mer­cial web print­ing, we don’t ex­pect much growth in the coming year.

Q: What role should press ven­dors be play­ing to help news­pa­pers pro­mote print?

A: Print can se­cure ad­di­tional brand ad­ver­tis­ing with cre­ativ­ity. The news­pa­per in­dus­try is look­ing for new, eye-catch­ing ad­ver­tis­ing for­mats for brand own­ers and trade com­pa­nies. So KBA con­tin­u­ally launches new tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tive pro­cesses into the mar­ket to strengthen the printed news­pa­per’s role as a brand car­rier for ad­di­tional on­line ac­tiv­i­ties, to make it more at­trac­tive to read­ers and ad­ver­tis­ers and to open up new sales op­por­tu­ni­ties to me­dia en­ter­prises for print­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary sup­ple­ments and semi­com­mer­cial prod­ucts. To­day, KBA de­liv­ers more and more news­pa­per presses with mod­ules for stitch­ing, glu­ing, half cov­ers, four-page cen­ter spreads plus Zip’n’Buy per­fo­ra­tion, ho­tair dry­ers in­clud­ing quar­ter­fold ca­pa­bil­i­ties for semi­com­mer­cials and hy­brid pro­duc­tion in cold­set/ heat­set.

Q: In light of all the spec­u­la­tion about the in­dus­try’s press ven­dors, are you still op­ti­mistic about your com­pany’s fu­ture?

A: KBA has the widest prod­uct range of all ma­jor ven­dors and ad­dresses very dif­fer­ent mar­ket seg­ments. KBA ex­panded very early into less cycli­cal, less me­di­ade­pen­dent and more prof­itable print mar­kets, such as se­cu­rity or pack­ag­ing print­ing. In a cou­ple of th­ese sec­tors KBA now holds the pole po­si­tion and can build on a sub­stan­tial global cus­tomer base. This guar­an­tees a more sta­ble busi­ness base, the cash flow and the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity you need in th­ese times. To­day, web presses con­trib­ute only 15 per­cent to 17 per­cent to our turnover. How­ever, we still re­gard the news­pa­per in­dus­try as one of our core tar­get groups and do ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary to get along with the mar­ket devel­op­ment. Peter Kuisle, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of sales, ser­vice and mar­ket­ing and mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive board, man­roland web sys­tems

Q: What is your prin­ci­pal pri­or­ity as we en­ter 2013?

A: To pro­vide to­tal cus­tomer care by re­main­ing one step ahead of tech­nol­ogy trends and de­vel­op­ments.

We now of­fer the youngest and broad­est ar­ray of prod­ucts and with this, we can of­fer our cus­tomers the most at­trac­tive so­lu­tions for their needs both to­day, and with our pres­sup­date pro­gram, for the fu­ture.

We be­lieve our Col­or­man e:line press devel­op­ment sets a new bench­mark for the in­dus­try. Our R&D fo­cuses on help­ing our cus­tomers earn money [through their print­ing plat­forms].

This re­quires analy­ses of all pro­duc­tion-re­lated costs as well as the high­est flex­i­bil­ity and qual­ity to ful­fill cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments.

We are also fo­cus­ing on our new Con­trolCen­ter con­trol plat­form and our print­net­work work­flow sys­tem; we are trans­form­ing the press op­er­a­tor into a highly so­phis­ti­cated qual­i­ty­con­trol per­son.

Our au­to­print func­tions, mean­time, have au­to­mated pro­duc­tion with such features as au­to­matic plate change, robotic sys­tems and fully au­to­matic lo­gis­tics aimed at min­i­miz­ing pro­duc­tion and changeover.

Fi­nally, we are de­vel­op­ing so­lu­tions that al­low our

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.