The Top 25 Magazine Printers
Charles Shelley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Lane Press
What are some of the changes or trends you’ve seen in the magazine printing market over the past year?
Shelley: We have seen dramatic acceleration in downward price pressure as a result of paper and postage increases during the past year. Before jumping into draconian product modifications (e.g., trim size, page count, etc.), it’s understandable that publishers would first try to squeeze more costs out of the production process by hitting up their printers.
How have USPS price increases affected the way Lane Press is partnering with its customers?
Shelley: While the world still calls us a printer, we’ve rapidly become logistics experts. We have to know the fastest and least costly means of getting 20 advanced copies across town or moving 400,000 copies to the interior of Africa.
How has the rising cost of paper affected the way Lane Press is partnering with its customers?
Shelley: We’ve been hit with a double whammy—price increases and a revitalized “green” movement. Both of these have us spending much more time and resources on paper management for our customers. Like distribution, the complexities of paper management have increased exponentially.
How is consolidation in the market (both among printers and publishers) affecting pricing?
Shelley: Printer consolidation has limited the options for publishers, making the few remaining high-quality independent printers, like Lane Press, a very desirable alternative to the mega-printers. Publisher consolidation has reduced the number of available customers and increased the size of each account, amplifying the level of competition among printers.
What can Lane Press do to try to improve the balance of supply and demand?
Shelley: Lane Press cannot affect either supply or demand in any material way. Our solution to market challenges has always been the same: Stay our course of the past 104 years. Remain dedicated to the short-/medium-run publication market. Adopt appropriate technologies and innovations. Strive for efficiencies that allow us to be price competitive. Focus on the customer. Continuously improve quality and service. Stick to the knitting.
Related story: The State of the Printing Industry