Today, most publishers don’t want to be as involved in production, but instead, want to focus on acquiring, editing, and prepping the book content. This presents a great opportunity for you to offer new services and develop never-before-possible partnerships with your customers. Learn how the integration of digital print solutions can enable you to create a true print-on-demand infrastructure.
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Thomson-Shore: Putting Its Best Book Forward
Helping customers put their “best book forward,” expert book manufacturer Thomson-Shore (Dexter, MI) is making significant investments in technology and integration to grow in this rapidly changing industry. Serving a diverse group of trade and professional publishers, university and religious presses, and self-publishers, Thomson-Shore’s integration of digital technology into its portfolio of book services began with a desire to create a true print-on-demand (POD) infrastructure.
Started by Ned Thomson and Harry Shore 40 years ago, the employee-owned company realized it needed to make seismic changes to its business and decided to retool its entire operations. Thomson-Shore’s first priority was to create a scalable and completely efficient digital environment for its business. In recalling this integration process, Business Development Director Regan Parker notes, “We shook up our whole infrastructure and wanted to create a new model for business. Our technologies were disconnected and our resources were siloed.”
In the past five years, Thomson-Shore tackled an impressive $12 million of capital improvements into its infrastructure. Part of the integration included a new $2 million digital print center in 2010. This investment was a direct response to shifting client needs in a rapidly changing publishing industry, and the desire to meet customer demand for a wide range of run quantities, all under the same roof.
“We’ve taken a traditional cost center and transformed it
into a profit center for our customers.”REGAN PARKER
Business Development Director, Thomson-Shore
Parker continues, “We hired a workflow consultant who found gaps in our processes and helped us map out a new workflow so that we could be more efficient.” In addition to a scalable new MIS system that was more productive for the company as a whole, Thomson-Shore invested in new offset presses, color digital devices, new Océ black & white devices, new finishing equipment, and web-to-print technologies.
For Parker, the ability to offer digital printing capabilities to customers is exciting. “We’ve taken a traditional cost center and transformed it into a profit center for our customers.” Thomson-Shore can produce publications in exact quantities, when, where, and how they are needed, significantly reducing time to market and providing greater control and more up-to-date, accurate publications.
According to Thomson-Shore Chief Executive Officer Kevin Spall, “Our new digital print center keeps us invested in current customer needs as well as our future as a leader in book manufacturing. More than simply acquiring equipment, we’re investing in the technologies to manufacture books with faster turnaround times. The digital print center and other recent investments deliver quality, convenience, and value.”
New equipment and programs were purchased with careful thought and research. Spall explains, “Times of uncertainty and change are the best times to make investments in our company. The digital print center enables Thomson-Shore to produce high-quality output while still adhering to the strict run size and speed standards that our customers demand.”
“Today, most publishers don’t want to be as involved in production,” Parker states. “Instead, they want to focus on acquiring, editing, and prepping the book content. Resources are tight, so they don’t want to worry about things like processes, logistics, and distribution.”
Like never before, Thomson-Shore has an opportunity to take books from the publisher to the reader in the most efficient and profitable way possible. The company’s investments have fostered a leaner, faster printing platform that is flexible enough to meet a shifting market demand. Thomson-Shore has refocused its efforts from just-in-case (inventory) to just-in-time production, from print volume to print value, and most importantly from sourcing print to sourcing solutions.