Tertius Van Eeden is the owner and Managing Director of Print On Demand in Cape Town, South Africa. His company ‘Print on Demand’ has invested in Inkjet, smart binding, and all are tight together using Ultimate TechnoGraphics software.
The company that has become the first PSP in South Africa capable of producing books of one.
Tertius: “I think for us it’s more about the speed to market that it has definitely resolved the bottleneck we had in the past”
“We started the company 7 years ago with the vision where we give individuals an opportunity to publish their work and push it into the market. Fast forward seven years later we’ve changed that vision where we say that we want to give customers access to global markets. So, we have partners across the world where we integrate our systems with their systems, and we can now offer South African customers opportunity to print even overseas.”
SO, CAN YOU OFFER A SERVICE FOR BOOKS TO BE PRINTED NEAR THE CUSTOMER LOCATION?
“What’s nice about this global network is that we’ve businesses set up in England, America, New Zealand, France… so all over the World. So basically, if you have a customer in England that wants a local book of a South African author they can go on to the platform of Amazon, order the book, and within a matter of two to three days the book will be delivered to them.”
AND THAT OPENS UP MORE OPPORTUNITIES?
“Yeah, if we look at the print industry, especially from a publishing point of view, I think this business model cuts out, let’s call all it all traditional hassles that one had. And one of it is how to predict how many books to print. Your shipping costs becomes an absolute nightmare and if the imprint page of a book changes, what do you do with the pulp, you need to basically throw the books away. And then ultimately also distribution is a big problem.
So, with this business model we now fix all of that for the customer.”
YOU MENTIONED AMAZON. DO YOU USE THEIR PLATFORM? HOW DOES IT WORK?
“So, we basically are Ingram’s partner within South Africa, so we are connected to their global network and as soon as a local author or publisher wants to publish their books overseas, we link up to the Ingram platform and that then gives us the international distribution rights. So, this is already something that has been coming along for three years now, trialed and tested. First, we had to source the right paper especially because Ingram has been doing already for so many years, and we are now at a point where everything within the company is set up. We linked ourselves with one the largest online retail stores in South Africa so if you order a book on that platform tonight, the book will come to us, and we will print it within 12 hours and the following day we will ship it off to the online retail store to send it to the customer.”
IS THIS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRODUCE ANY VOLUME AND NOT JUST BOOK OF ONE?
“Yeah, that’s the nice thing especially with the technology that we’ve invested within you know our first inkjet machine that we placed four years ago to the latest one that we placed this year. You know it opened the market for us where we can focus on the true book of one, but we can also deliver volume books. Our business model is set up from one book right up to 2000+.”
IS BOOK OF ONE ALSO A DEMAND FROM PUBLISHERS AND SELF PUBLISHERS?
“The challenge in South Africa is that we still need to educate the market especially to our business model. If we look at the publishers in South Africa, they are very much price driven. So, for them is that they would rather print 2000 books and have a low unit price, but we forget about the additional warehousing costs that one must pay insurance costs, the pulping. So, for us it’s again the book of one is almost like putting the publisher’s business on autopilot. So, they get their money before we print the book and I think for both of us, printer, and publisher, it works quite well.”
WHEN YOU STARTED THIS CONCEPT, WAS SOFTWARE A BIG PART OF THE EQUASION ON HOW TO MAKEIT WORK?
“You know there is always the big buzz around the fourth industrial revolution where computers and technology are taking over. So, for us it’s Yes, the book of one is one thing but it’s what’s going to happen to prepare the files and to get the files in a systematic way thru the plant to ensure we don’t have additional waste. Cause imagine you have a book of one and you print a second book of the same book you’ll have a hundred percent waste. So, for us the automation plays an extremely vital role in the whole system.”
“Impostrip basically came at the right time at the right place”
WHAT CONSIDERATIONS DID YOU HAVE BEFORE CHOOSING ANY PARTICULAR SOFTWARE VENDOR?
“To be quite honest, you know Impostrip basically came at the right time at the right place so to say, because of the vision bolding this true book of one solution we didn’t have so much time going to the market and look for what other applications are available. And the company we work with locally has given quite a lot of advice and has been very forthcoming and helping us set up exactly what we have today.”
HAVE YOU ELIMINATED THE NEED FOR MANUAL PRE-PRESS?
“I think for us it’s more about the speed to market. It has definitely resolved that bottleneck that we had in the past. In the past our pre-press department had to have 3 to 4 people constantly working at certain jobs. Now with the technology you set up certain workflows, set up certain queues and almost the system will do the thinking for you. You drop the file into a hot folder, it will then push it thru the system, it will add the barcodes on it for whichever machines technology we’re going to use, correct trim marks. And, also what’s nice it will give feedback back to the customer services and in some cases even to the customer to say: You know, there are mistakes on the files, can we process, or do we need to send it back to the design department?”
“I don’t think we would have been where we are if it was not for Impostrip and for Switch at the end of the day”
HOW IMPORTANT IS AUTOMATION AND WHAT CAN IMPOSTRIP DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
“Extremely important! The vision in one thing, but to get the connecting blocks to make this all happen, I don’t think we would have been where we are if it was not for Impostrip and for Switch at the end of the day.”
ARE ENFOCUS SWITCH AND ULTIMATE IMPOSTRIP SCALABLE SOLUTIONS?
“For us it’s important that at the end of the day the amount of work we can start pushing thru at any given time. I mean we’re busy building the biggest book library in South Africa, that’s the aim at the end of the day. So, you can imagine if there are 1000 or 2000 orders coming thru at any given time, for a person to manage that will be an absolute nightmare. But with this technology, suddenly now, you have your queue set up, the work comes thru, it manages all the imposition pre-press out of things and then it goes out to the machines, and automatically queued. “
BECAUSE YOU ALSO HAVE DIGITAL PRINT ENHANCEMENT, CAN YOU MANAGE EVERYTHING IN A SINGLE JOB FILE SCENARIO?
“What’s kind of nice about it is that it manages one file, it splits it off, it will separate the cover, puts the necessary barcodes for the Duplo machine for the enhancements on, it will then take the work ticket number that we use for our system, it will add it on the cover and on the text also to ensure that we don’t put the wrong cover on the wrong book. So, if there any splits done and then Ultimate it all comes back together in the binding process.”
CAN YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ROI AND HOW VALUABLE IT IS TO A BUSINESS LIKE YOURS?
“To be quite honest with you, I would not have ventured into what we have today if it wasn’t for the software. I think if I take the man hours, we spent in producing the actual files and getting it right and then also think about human errors, with now the actual solution is cutting all of that away. So, from an investment point of view, the monetary investment is one thing, but I get more work thru my plant by investing into the actual software. And then also an interesting stat that I saw is that Impostrip is now 30 years old already, well, over 30 years if I got my facts straight. So, it just shows by that, that the technology has also transitioned to make sure that we today are getting the best of it, and we can see that here.”
“The technology has also transitioned to make sure that we today are getting the best of it”
Watch the full testimonial on InkishTV: https://youtu.be/fLxlfC_uQUk
About PRINT ON DEMAND
Print on Demand helps publishers, self-publishers, authors, and brands transform the way they do business in the new world.
Print on Demand has spent the last several years investing in technology – hardware and software – to give our clients this edge in the market.