Author: Bernd Zipper

Founder and CEO of zipcon consulting GmbH, one of the leading consulting companies for the print and media industry in Central Europe. The technology and strategy consultant and his team actively support practical implementation in a wide variety of customer projects. His work involves developing visions, concepts and strategies for the players active in the print production process across a wide range of industries. His areas of expertise include online print, mass customization, strategy and technological assessment for print, and the development of new strategies in the print and media environment. Bernd Zipper is the creator and chairman of Initiative Online Print e.V. and, in addition to his consulting activities, is an author, lecturer and sought-after speaker, orator and moderator. His visionary lectures are regarded worldwide as trend-setting management recommendations for the print and media industry. (Profiles also in Xing, LinkedIn).

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What do reimagined, customised textile production, individual drinks and AI in logistics have in common? These – and three other topics – will be the focus of the Insight Pitches at the Online Print Symposium on 28 and 29 April 2022 in Munich. The winning start-ups that will present their innovative business ideas as part of the new programme on the first day of the event have already been selected. However, for the time being, the names of the winners remain a secret.

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The share value of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has risen by almost 250 percent in recent months. This means that the company has not only returned to the SDAX but, as boerse-online.de reports, is now already one of the “share price leaders” of the year. Heidelberg’s business with charging stations for electric vehicles in particular is listed as an important driver of the positive development.

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“Christmas is when the best gifts are at the table, not under the tree.” In this spirit, we wish you a reflective Christmas, happy holidays with your loved ones and a happy new year. Yes, 2021 was much like a roller coaster ride: with many “downs” but also numerous “ups”; economic slumps but also filled order books; insolvencies but also success stories.

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Complaining is not my thing – and surrendering to one’s fate without resistance is even less so. What is my thing is the printing industry and the question of how it will continue to develop. I’d like to explain to you how we at zipcon see the future of the printing industry. But I must warn you in advance: this article contains not only bitter realizations, but also numerous facts and forecasts that genuinely hurt.

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This takeover has the potential to cause a “big bang” in the printing industry: Following the recent discussions surrounding the Canva design platform and its “dealings” with the major online printers, Cimpress has just taken over Crello and Depositphotos, an equally powerful design tool and an internationally renowned brand for stock photos and videos. And so, the battle for design supremacy in web-to-print has begun.

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The classic printed job advertisement in the business section of national newspapers has been dead for a long time – at least in some professions. While online job portals such as Monster and Indeed initially made life difficult for them, career networks such as Xing and LinkedIn are now also being used in personnel marketing – and increasingly also classic social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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There have been personnel changes in the management team at Onlineprinters. Christian Würst, who was previously the Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) responsible for marketing and sales, has left the company after four years to pursue new opportunities. “We would like to thank Christian Würst for his successful work. Together with his team, he has done important development work in the company.”

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At first, paper “only” became more expensive, now in some places it is even in short supply. As if the pandemic and the reintroduction of the obligation to file for insolvency hadn’t already hurt the printing industry and its companies enough. Now there’s the paper shortage. The quarterly Zipcon Online print Price Index (ZOPI) shows whether and to what extent the battle for paper has affected the pricing of online print shops.

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In March 2020, with the onset of the pandemic in Germany, Apenberg & Partner had predicted an increased number of insolvencies for 2020 compared to 2019. In 2019, 91 insolvencies were recorded in the print and media industry; for 2020, 118 insolvencies were expected, but only 84 were actually filed. Now 104 insolvencies are expected for 2021.

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The topic of paper shortages, an issue that has been on the agenda since raw material prices on the world market began to rise, continues to preoccupy the industry. Even though, thus far, not all printing houses are facing bottlenecks, there is growing concern that they will no longer be able to meet demand.

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