The Printer's Promise: We've Changed
Davidson: Yes, most definitely.
How have you adjusted your suite of services to meet these new demands?
Davidson: The Sheridan Group, our parent company, has initiated a significant technical solutions development tank, which we introduced earlier this year as the Sheridan Technology Lab. Even in advance of this concerted effort, we've introduced new technologies (both publisher-centric and reader-centric) almost exclusively over the last two years. Some of these technologies include Sheridan Dynamic Editions, Sheridan Mobile Editions, Sheridan Print-to-Mobile QR Codes, Sheridan Custom Publishing, Sheridan Mobile ePrints, ad management software and magazine layout software.
O'Donley: We now offer digital editions called OMags to our publishers.
What effect has digital printing had on your business model? How is the role of offset changing, if at all?
Davidson: Print runs have been shrinking for several years as a result of publishers' developing an online presence for their publications. We anticipated this trend in our businesses and have built a state-of-the-art digital print facility within the Sheridan companies to accommodate print-on-demand and digital print runs. Our Sheridan production facilities are able to go from print-on-demand; sheetfed, and web, depending on the need of the publication.
Roberts: The role of digital print in our particular business model is limited to ink-jetting addresses, maps and text-based offers for now, but digital web technology is coming to our marketplace soon. The trend in offset is continuing in the direction of lower runs, with more individual editions. This mandates that we do more set-ups and makereadies in the course of any given day. This impacts speed and throughput on every job. Shorter runs and more versioning will play a bigger role in our world in the very near future.
How do you expect instability in the coated paper market to affect you?
Roberts: The opportunity to convert a coated publication into a cold-web production is happening more often. The ability to offer true one-stop shopping where we can print and bind a publication while simultaneously creating the Internet version and the mobile versions in less than a day makes a lot of publishers stand up and take notice of Bartash.