Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More book printing for Oce + some free advice for Kodak

I can't get around the perception that Oce has the lock on the POD book market(see snippet a the end of this post). Fair enough.

So Oce in book printing. HP with consumers and a beach head in formal organizations. Xerox with a lead in digital production print in commercial print and the Big Box stores. Meanwhile, I still can't figure out where Ricoh fits, but (Infoprint -Ricoh+IBM), (Ricoh + Kodak in Europe) and Ricoh bought Ikon. Ricoh and HP are the two 800 pound gorillas prowling XORiHK.

To help understand Kodak, I found a a very helpful story by Noel Ward over at WTT. It's behind the pay wall, but here's just a couple of the many sentences that caught my eye.
Kodak, Kodak Versamark (previously Scitex Digital Printing), Nexpress (formerly the Heidelberg Digital joint venture), KPG and Creo. While the latter four have all been under the umbrella of Kodak's Graphic Communications Group these business units had separate management, sales, marketing and support organizations. The Nexpress and Versamark businesses are now aligned as a single organization called Kodak Digital Printing Solutions.
Good background to set the context.
As a continuation of its trade show strategy that started in 2007, Kodak has opted not to exhibit at this year’s AIIM/On Demand conference. Kodak will be at PMA without equipment, focusing instead on applications and business growth opportunities made possible by Kodak’s solutions. This approach to trade shows has freed up resources for road shows, bringing customers to demo centers and the like, tactics that have proven to be effective.
Very smart. But the next part is not.
Part of Kodak's plan for the wake up call is continuing to educate print providers and their customers about how digital print can be a effective strategy for succeeding in our down economy and to come out stronger and more profitable.
Take it from me. I spent 7 years "educating" designers at Parsons. And 30 years before that "educating" customers. Nobody wants to get "educated." What they want is to do next the next thing they think they have to do. Every printer thinks the next thing to do is to get customers.

So . . .use Kodak smarts to organize the Printer's customer base.
Kodak has the advantage because PSP are much less afraid that you will go directly to their customers. Unlike some of the other players in the space, as far as I know, you've never made a move in that direction. That means that at least some of the PSP's will let you analyze their customer base. Given the "deer in the headlights" syndrome on the ground, the timing might be just right.

It's not about knowing what to do, it's about having the time to do it. Your PSP's can't make the time. Kodak corporate can.

Divide the PSP customer list into 4 bins
1. Prospects - asked for an estimate
2. Customers - did one job
3. Clients - did a couple of jobs over a 3 month period
4. Inactive clients - at some point in the past did a couple of jobs over a 3 month period.

1. Figure out the lifetime value of every customer.
2. Figure out the customer acquisition cost.

And, don't educate the printer to educate the designer who will then educate the customer. The only people who get an ROI from education are colleges who get $50K a year to "educate" people who get someone to pay for it.

No doubt, it's a good business. But it's not our business.
Oce Helps Quebecor With Digital Book Printing
- Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink
"Trumbull, CT– Oce, an international leader in digital document management and delivery, announced that one of the world's largest commercial and book printers--Quebecor World, Inc.--has enhanced its book publishing infrastructure with an OceVarioStream 9210 continuous feed printing system, along with Oce PRISMAproduction software and Lasermax pre- and post-processing systems."

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