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Printing Industy Blog

Ingram Will Merge Print and Digital Operations

By David Dodd
Published: May 27, 2009

Today's edition of The Tennessean is reporting that Ingram Industries will merge its print and digital publishing operations into a single business entity.

The article states in part:  "Ingram Industries will consolidate its print and digital publishing services into one company called Ingram Content Group Inc., a move the company said would make it easier for customers in the publishing industry to find what they need. . . . The restructuring includes Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source Inc. and Ingram Digital. . .Ingram, which serves publishers struggling to define the future of the book in a digital world, has invested heavily in digital technology, including its print on-demand services and electronic book distribution."

Other than the reference to making things "easier" for customers, the article does not discuss the reasoning behind Ingram's move.  However, given the recent announcement by Bowker regarding the explosive increase in the number of on-demand and short-run books published in 2008, it seems fair to say that the boundary between "traditional" book publishing/distribution and "on-demand/short-run" book publishing/distribution may be blurring.


Editor's Note: WhatTheyThink has published an interview with Lightning Source President David Taylor on the Ingram reorganization

G. David Dodd is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us here.

G. David Dodd is a principal of Point Balance, LLC ( www.pointbalance.com ), an executive education and management consulting firm. Point Balance provides cutting-edge management education programs designed for printing and publishing executives. The firm also provides management consulting services involving business strategy development, strategic marketing, cost management (including activity-based costing), business process management, and balanced scorecard performance management systems. Dodd is a co-author of Activity-Based Costing for Printers: An Implementation Guide, the authoritative resource relating to the use of activity-based costing by printing and publishing firms. Dodd also co-authored Making Value Added Services Work, a comprehensive reference tool for printing company managers who are just beginning to consider diversification or who have already added new services and are not receiving the benefits they expected.

David Dodd can be reached at ddodd@pointbalance.com,931-707-5105.

 

Discussion

By Michael J on May 28, 2009

Great find. I think we are seeing a business organization turning itself from a fulfillment company that turned into a printing company turning into a publisher's service supplier.

It might be a useful way to think about business organization in the rest of the printing world.
It focuses the business organization on the customer instead of the product.

There are many other stories of a fulfillment house that started doing their own printing and then have a focus on one vertical.Or printers that started doing mailings. Or prep houses that started doing marketing, bought a printer, etc.

The model might be: "Vertical" Services Supplier as in Gaming Services Supplier,Insurance Services Supplier,Non-profit Organization Services Supplier.

 

By Karl Evans on May 28, 2009

I really hope this is a good move. I have been looking for a way to handle my very small print/publish needs economically. However, everyone seems to want to either focus on a very small portion of my load, or force me to pay for a lot of stuff I do not need or want. Please, someone, make your house economically variable. If you want my business in these tough times, keep the costs way down to my level.

 

By Keith Ashfield on Jun 18, 2009

This move by Ingram is key to where publishing professional and academic work is headed. It addresses the concerns expressed by several of our clients. Publishers require delivery capabilities across print and digital formats that are integrated with metadata and search and discovery.
Several publishers' distributors offer such services. In Ingram's case they seem to have pulled their various capabilities together and reorganized them around the needs of the market. This is an interesting development for medium sized companies.

 

By Joy Sanderson on Jun 24, 2009

I also think that they are taking a step in the direction that the industry is going. I think that things are definitely moving towards a consolidating and joining of print and digital, especially with a greater reliance on digital printing.

 

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