Abstract

Today's printing industry is in a state of transition. It has become an industry that no longer solely relies on print for sustainability. Thus, printers as well as print service providers are incorporating different strategies into their business models to provide the types of services that customers now require in order to achieve their own business goals (Cummings and Chhita, 2004). This research was conducted in an effort to better understand the impact of these emerging trends. The primary objectives were: 1) to clearly understand the changing business dynamics in the printing industry, 2) to determine whether there is a positive correlation between the number of value-added services being offered and company size, 3) to determine the degree to which fulfillment is offered as a value-added service, and 4) to add to the current base of research on this very important topic. The research sample consisted of databases from the Finishing Resources Inc. and the Binding Industries of America (BIA) databases. Finishing Resources Inc. has 980 members, which are comprised of commercial printers (74.5%) and trade finishers (25.5%). BIA has 115 members, of which 50% are trade finishers and 50% are equipment suppliers. The survey, which was administered via the Internet, consisted of five sections: 1) demographic profile, 2) industry business trends in finishing and distribution, 3) value-added services, 4) fulfillment services, and 5) comments. This thesis is concerned with sections one (demographic profile), three (value-added services) and five (comments). Analysis of the research data revealed key findings, summarized as follows: - Most conventional commercial companies also offer digital printing. - There is no positive correlation between the size of the company in terms of the number of employees and the number of value-added services offered. - E-commerce and fulfillment appear to be the most frequent value-added services offered among conventional commercial printers and digital commercial printers. - The majority companies offered fulfillment in-house as a value-added service. Significant opportunities still remain for future research within various aspects of this research. Two specific areas include adopted profit models as well as a more in-depth study of value-added services probability related to current distribution workflow processes.

Publication Date

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Student Type

Graduate

Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)

Advisor

Twyla Cummings

Advisor/Committee Member

Franziska Frey

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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