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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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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Successful renewal or innovation only succeeds by action. What makes the printing industry tick? A new press, a modern, cooperative corporate culture, sustainable production or a completely new print product? Being innovative is a matter of point of view and is based on the actual purpose of the company. Innovative can be the artistic letterpress printer as well as the fully automated online printer. In the printing industry, innovation can be seen from many sides.

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The Australian design platform Canva has achieved something that only a few companies manage: less than ten years after its founding, it is – as of today – in use with a good 60 million users in more than 190 countries around the world, making it a real heavyweight in the design market.

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As previously announced, the Online Print Symposium 2022 will take place on 28 and 29 April 2022. This means that the industry flagship event will be the kick-off event for the online printing industry next year.  A new venue has also been found, which can be used perfectly both under pandemic conditions and during regular periods.

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In the past we have observed the path of Cimpress and have had intensive discussions with Robert Keane about the industry and his company. At the Online Print Symposium, Robert Keane gave a much-noticed lecture. He has experienced and moved a lot and acts like a metronome in the online print world.

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I had hoped right up until the end that there would be something in store for the German summer – but somehow it has really let us down this year. Nevertheless, we have earned a little break. We will make the best of it (even when it rains) and recharge our batteries, even if Corona continues to interfere with our (international) travel plans. Personally, I’m drawn to Germany’s north – I’m ready for the island.

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Cimpress recently presented its latest quarterly figures. In the accompanying letter, Robert Keane, the CEO of the online print market leader, was extremely confident about the future of his company. However, a close look at the figures shows that perhaps the overly euphoric sentiment may not be entirely appropriate. As the market leader, Cimpress is broadly positioned and covers various customer groups and business models with its subsidiaries.

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