Partnership in the printing sector
The European printing industry is suffering from structural overcapacity. Mergers and acquisitions and closures are halting this trend, but risk creating unemployment within the sector. Generating opportunities for cooperation may be one way of countering the effects.
Examples of opportunities for cooperation at national level, presented by Intergraf:
The "BPIF Virtual Factory" is run by the BPIF (British Printing Industry Federation) in cooperation with the print management company Webmart. The web tool is used for public procurement tenders, and BPIF members can register and upload their quotes for free. This allows printers to co-operate for larger tenders and the additional administrative costs are limited to 2-3%.
The French Printers' Federation (UNIC) prompted their members to create alliances in the north of France. 14 printers thus set up "Face Nord", these companies combining a multitude of printing processes and services. Its establishment was partly financed by the companies themselves, although government and regional funding played a part. The organisation employs a full-time sales manager who takes care of common sales and marketing activities aimed at large clients, demonstrating the group's collective capacity and services. Together they have set up a list of potential customers. The group allows printers to compete for contracts not only on price but also speed, capacity and specialisation.