Graph Expo 2011 Edition
· 11
Leveraging new technology
for big-time growth
LaserTryk has always had a knack for
finding success by turning conventional
printing-industry wisdom on its ear.
While many experts advise digital print
providers to develop marketing services
for more profitable growth, LaserTryk
offers no marketing services, has never
employed a sales force—and has
achieved double-digit annual growth
even in the economic downturn.
This unorthodox path to business
growth continued when the LaserTryk
leadership team headed to drupa
in search of any opportunities that
would supplement and align with their
existing offerings. It wasn’t long before
a particular piece of technology caught
their eye.
We saw this new source of technology
called a
which was developed
for transactional printing, but we saw an
opportunity in book printing,” explains
Kabell. “It uses a UV flash toner, which
means that only the toner is subjected
to the heat, not the paper. This is
essential in creating a nice flat book.”
Recognizing an opportunity, Kabell
called on Denmark’s major publishers
with book samples and a plan to lower
their costs. “I told the publishers to think
of an alternate way of managing their
stock,” he said. “When they run out of a
title, they should see what else is low. If
they order multiple titles using the same
paper and format, I can give them a
lower price.”
LaserTryk has dubbed this innovative
approach to short-run book printing
series production.” Most of the
publishers they approached signed on,
and it has proven to be yet another solid
move for their growing business.
The success of series production relies
on maximum efficiency. A highly
automated workflow now drives
cost efficiencies. And job files are
only checked once to ensure the file
matches the order and are not touched
again until book blocks are loaded for
hardcover or softcover binding. Critical
automation is delivered by Xerox
FreeFlow Process Manager
automates pre-press functions and
delivers print-ready files to the right print
queues. Lasermax Roll Systems unwinder
and cut-and-stacker solutions automate
much post-processing. Color covers are
printed on offset presses or one of the
firm’s two
LaserTryk soon found its sweet spot.
At fewer than 200 copies, sheet-fed
competes,” Kabell said. “At more than
offset competes. But between
and 800, no one competes—not in
Eastern Europe, not in China. No one.”
With publishers happy,
business continues to grow
Books can be ordered easily on
LaserTryk’s Web site, but Kabell also
offers personal support. His customers
are thrilled. One even brought
champagne and chocolates after the
first few runs. “She said we basically
saved her business, because our solution
gave her pricing that allowed her to
make a profit from small sales volumes,”
Kabell said.
Larger publishers have also benefited.
Most contracts require that publishers
keep an author’s titles in stock in order
to retain the rights to reprint it in the
future. That requirement is made
much more practical with LaserTryk’s
series production, limiting costly
warehouse storage.
The short run business model has also
been great for LaserTryk because it
has given them greater freedom to
focus on growth. In fact, LaserTryk
has already expanded the book
business into Norway and Sweden,
and has plans to enter Finland, Great
Britain and Germany. Even growth in
electronic books bodes well for the
business, Kabell said. “In Denmark, the
average run length is 1,200 copies. Sell
more electronic books and the lower
number of printed books will move
publishers into our business. We started
on the notion that the number of
copies of printed books is going down.
That’s my gamble.”
So far, the gamble is paying off—
and LaserTryk continues to grow.
LaserTryk Book Production
Lasse Mortensen
displays books produced on
the Xerox
Feed Printer at LaserTryk.