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Digital printing has and continues to, redefine the entire book supply chain by mitigating the inherent risks of mass production and offering advantages such as faster time-to-market, reduced waste and lower fixed costs.

And while limitations on quality, speed, flexibility, and affordability have traditionally slowed widespread adoption, high-speed production inkjet systems are changing that. This has had the single largest impact on the book supply chain, positioning digital print platforms as essential to the success of printers and publishers alike.

Bracing for a New Supply Chain. Book publishers and retailers can optimize print management with a distributed global print network. With distributed production, print partners and wholesalers globally will be able to fulfil direct orders at optimized quantities for local demand. This will help to shorten time to market and lower shipping costs.

Eliminating Warehousing and Mitigating Risk. For publishers, profitability depends on the ability to accurately predict book demand. Mistakes can result in costly book returns and big capital expenses. In many segments, zero inventory is achievable because of the economics enabled by production inkjet solutions.

Looking Beyond Unit Costs. To keep costs down, publishers become fixated on unit costs. Getting publishers to buy in on digital production models requires they analyse their entire supply chain (including printing, distribution, warehousing, obsolescence and returns), rather than simply looking at how to achieve the lowest cost per book.