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 - Retailing Industry
Founded in 1939, Baker Publishing Group is one of the world's largest publishers of Christian Books. The company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is composed of six divisions, each reflecting a unique segment of Christian publishing. It distributes its products to bookstores and other retail outlets around the world.

Baker has always relied on traditional book printers to publish its thousands of titles, using conventional production methods - offset printing, long print runs, extended lead times and extensive warehousing. But with the advent of digital printing, Baker saw an opportunity to address one of its longstanding challenges: Books with slower sales volume - such as niche titles and older releases - didn't fit the traditional print production process. Too many copies had to be printed, too much warehouse space had to be set aside, too many costs were not recouped.

So Baker investigated the possibility of on-demand digital printing. The company found that:

  • Its existing print vendor base was focused on offset and web printing.
  • Digital print vendors were a long distance away from Baker headquarters and were inflexible in their processes - they wanted Baker to adapt to their methods of order management, print production, distribution and financial transaction, rather than vice-versa.
  • The quality level of some of these digital print vendors was suspect.

Enter Gilson. We'd been printing Baker promotional materials for years, so we were familiar with its business. As our digital capabilities became more sophisticated, we proactively devised an effective solution to Baker's problem with slow-sales-volume titles.

We developed an efficient and economical approach to short-run book printing. Initially, we created a unique workflow that integrated both offset printing (for book covers) and digital printing (for interior text pages). Book covers were printed in small batches, placed into Gilson's inventory and synchronized with digital book production via our MindWire technology. The quality of the finished product was indistinguishable from books printed in the conventional manner.

Baker was thrilled with the result. But we weren't content to rest on our laurels. We've since upgraded our digital cover capabilities, enabling covers to be printed on demand - eliminating inventory and establishing an even more efficient production process.

Orders are coordinated to the carton space allowed by Baker's fulfillment capacities, and finished books are delivered and integrated into their order process system. Custom bar-code labels provide consistency with other products in Baker's inventory.

Thanks to Gilson, Baker no longer has to list any title as "out of print." Thanks to Baker, Gilson has established a reputation as one of the nation's foremost on-demand book printers.
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