LiftERP White Paper - Enterprise Resource Management and the Print Industry
Monday, August 19, 2019
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
Enterprise Resource Management and the Print Industry
ERP stands for information technology and management systems which knit together and integrate functionality within enterprises under a single application, and achieve efficiencies in time and cost throughout all enterprise processes from business origination through final delivery and everything in-between. ERP is a very large industry at about $45B globally with companies leading the industry like NetSuite, Oracle, SAP, Epicor, Sage, Microsoft, just to name a few.
ERP Has had great success in its ability to customize and handle complexity within an overarching unified system and it has done it in manufacturing and service industries alike. However, its application to the Print Industry has been an afterthought in a way that shouldn’t be so with global printed product enduser revenues still close to $1Tr. But on the other hand most print sectors are fragmented and local in the extreme. That is the glory of the print industry in being close to users, but it is the bane of efficiency as we enter a digital print age.
So let us look at the state of ERP in the US commercial print industry today as a kind of emblematic case study, and explain why there is such a strong case for a new print ERP initiative in the commercial, and all other print sectors including packaging, publishing and industrial.
The statistics graphed above show that in terms of sites (which in their individuality and localism determine the differentiation of workflow structures and formats) the print industry remains overwhelmingly local and small-scale even as ownership patterns show much more market concentration. This locality and fragmentation continue to stamp their identity on the US print industry however ownership may scale. The result in terms of workflow architecture, formats and implementation is a mish-mash of mostly locally-sourced and -created solutions whose full integration across processes is patchy at best. As can be seen from the following graphic quantifying varying approaches to workflow systems implementation, the share of 3rd-party non-locally-sourced integration product gets to 29% among companies under $100M revenue, and 53% among larger companies, but even then, only respectively 12% and 15% of companies are estimated to have system-wide fully-integrated implementations.