Print suppliers are
to meet evolving
BY TERI TAN
It has come to this: fast turnaround, great pricing, and best quality—the proposi- tions defining the modern print manufacturing industry—are no longer enough to attract publishers. In fact, suppliers offering just those basics are considered average, run-of-the-mill players. To stand out in a crowded seller market, savvy print manufacturers are taking their cues from the book-plus items and novelty titles that they assembled,
which invariably demand higher prices and receive more attention (and appreciation).
In other words, suppliers are adding bells and whistles to the basic fast-cheap-quality
print proposition. Thinking outside the box in addition to getting ink onto paper (as
well as glue to the spine) is the game plan.
Value addition, deeper supply-chain service, and unique solutions are the buzzwords. Offering warehousing, fulfillment, and logistics services to publishers makes
perfect sense. So is getting involved in the client’s product development process at the
earliest possible stage to provide ideas and circumvent potential manufacturing issues.
The same goes for managing and auto-replenishing inventory levels to keep everything
on track for the client, becoming the liaison to keep licensors on the straight and
narrow on IP protection and image-branding for overseas licensees, and providing
track-and-trace and anti-counterfeiting capabilities while linking the printed content
to the publisher’s LMS.
Performance pressures from clients aside, various external forces and ever-evolving
market dynamics are also pushing suppliers to further conform, reform, and transform
their operations. There is, for example, no getting away from regulatory compliance
on safety, social welfare, and the environment.
Toeing the Many Lines
In China, enforcement of these regulatory compliances has become even stricter in the
past year, says Matthew Yum, executive chairman of Hung Hing, adding that adherence has been tough going for many industries. “Chinese paper companies have to be
audited for clean energy even before they are allowed to be certified for operation,”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ; AUGUST 28, 2017 78
KONG & CHINA