Production is a central element for your corporate strategy. It is fundamental for taking part in competition because it supplies the products in demand on the market, taking account of cost, quality and time. Three fundamental options secure the future sustainability of production:
Optimising: The printing company acts as an internal service provider. This requires the continuous adjustment of its own production to changing market conditions.
Re-sourcing: Production is merged with existing companies – at the company's own location or with other publishing houses.
Entrepreneurship: The printing company acts as an internal and external service provider.
This requires the acquisition and processing of profitable external orders.Kirchner + Robrecht will be pleased to support you in assessing which option for the future represents the best basis for your corporate success – a crucial decision involving very large investment sums. Systematic consideration of the various options is therefore advisable. On the one hand, future developments in the various market segments, that is, the reader market, the advertising market, the supplements market and the printing company market, must be taken into consideration. On the other hand, technological developments in the printing sector must be evaluated. In this way you will get to know the various options and be able to take the right decision for your company, on your market, under the general conditions that are relevant for you.
Kirchner + Robrecht will then also be pleased to support you in the development and above all in the implementation of your production strategy – whether as an optimising, a re-sourcing or an entrepreneurship strategy.
The re-sourcing strategy goes further than the optimising strategy: besides the insourcing and outsourcing of parts of production, cooperation agreements for the complete relocation of production may also be good policy. For example, many publishing houses do not think it is necessary to have their own printing plant, and a printing centre working for several publishing houses is very much an option. An important aspect here is that the long-term effects and consequences should be determined and examined in advance, including a realistic calculation of the business effects, taking account of all investment requirements and cost effects.
Project example: "Developing a new production strategy"
The customer's objective
In the past few decades, a media company has become market leader and today uses different output channels. The media company runs three printing plants and has as much production capacity as it had in boom times. On account of a downward trend in advertising revenues, however, the publishing house now has to reposition itself. The media company asked us for support here. The objective is to become profitable over the long term.
The road to the objective
Moritz Schwarz is helping the media company to make its printing companies future-proof. To achieve this, a strategy and a five-year roadmap were drawn up. The first stages on the way there are "Determining the current status" and "Evaluating opportunities and risks". For this purpose we visit the plants and carry out performance benchmarks and interviews in the publishing and production departments involved. Gap analyses and concepts are drawn up in workshops, and market analyses are consulted. The result: some of the printing plants are not working cost-effectively. The utilisation of the plant and equipment is often too low, and their means of operation could be improved. A detailed analysis shows that there are several options, ranging from consolidation and specialisation to diversification in various markets. The most promising future scenario for the printing companies is the entrepreneurship strategy. This requires concentration on the core business and the establishment of USPs (higher quality level, ecological printing processes). This goes hand in hand with the merging of printing locations. The remaining plants will be repositioned and will act in future as profit centres, independent of the parent publishing house, with their own managing directors, distribution and marketing departments.
Advantages for the media company
In future, the printing companies will act as independent profit centres. They can now move freely on the market, independent of the business interests of the parent publishing house. This means, for example, that rival publishing houses which previously, from a competition point of view, were out of the question as customers of the media company, are now potential customers. With its own management, the company can now act much more independently, more quickly and more professionally. For the media company, the advantages are a reduction in its fixed costs, as well as a reduction in its risk situation.
If you want to position your production as an internal service provider, you must adapt this to foreseeable future developments. Here it is important to improve processes, assuring a suitable quality level and taking the right investment decisions. However, adjustments to the value-added strategy may also be advisable. In the last few years, for example, publishing houses have outsourced individual production-relevant departments or whole company divisions – mostly to service providers or to locally available service companies. However, the opposite direction is also possible: publishing houses bring divisions that had previously been outsourced back into the company.
A further option is to expand market activities in the field of trade printing. This is a strategy which should be taken into consideration particularly in growing markets – even if changing communications strategies by advertising customers and new printing technologies can sometimes open up market potentials even in saturated markets. Here, the relevant competences and processes must be developed and improved, for example in the fields of marketing and sales. Conclusion: there is no "one best way". All possible alternatives and options can help to ensure competitiveness. We will help you to find out which way is best for you.