Supply Chain Management Practices in Printing Industry


Author

G.V.R.K. Acharyulu
University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500046, India


Content

The Indian Printing Industry is well established and presently growing at 12% per annum. According to NPES/PRIMIR (2006) report, there are more than 8000 daily newspapers published in India, besides a large number of weekly and fortnightly periodicals published in all Indian languages. The Indian Printing Industry today comprises more than 250,000 big, small and medium printers. Business models and technology strategies of SCM need to be monitored very closely to adopt changes in the print supply chain environment. This paper is to examine supply chain management practices, issues, role of information technology in printing industry. A convenient sample of 70 companies/individuals from operations department was selected with a questionnaire for conducting survey. This sample ranges across printing companies, publishers, material suppliers like paper, ink, etc., from the population of around 2500 companies in around Hyderabad. In addition to data collection through a questionnaire, interactions carried out with material suppliers and the customers or the print-buyers to find out how they operate, and seek their opinion on the practices being followed and to know their expectations in efficiently managing the operations of print supply chain. The paper is to make a small attempt to understand the advantage of adopting information technology solutions in printing industry for a seamless information flow across entire value chain, so as to operate efficiently by reducing cost.

Keywords: print supply chain, information technology, logistics, suppliers, inventory

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The Indian Printing Industry is well established and presently growing at 12% per annum. According to NPES/PRIMIR (2006) report, India is the world’s fastest growing printing market with a 73% rate of growth from 2006-2011. India’s printing market is about $ 12.1 billion and is forecast to grow to US $ 20.9 billion in a year’s time. There are more than 8000 daily newspapers published in India, besides a large number of weekly and fortnightly periodicals published in all Indian languages. The Indian Printing Industry today comprises more than 250,000 big, small and medium printers according to The All India Printing Ink Manufacturers Association (2002).

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The study is explorative in nature and aims to identify supply chain management practices in printing industry. A convenient sample of 70 individuals from Operations department of printing companies was approached with a questionnaire to collect the primary data. This sample ranges across 18 printing production executives, 25 publishers, 27 material suppliers like paper, ink, etc., from the population of around 2500 companies (All India Federation of Master Printers AIFMP, Workforce Survey, 2001) in around Hyderabad. The publishers include books, magazines, newspapers and graphic designers.

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As Zailani et al. (2008) argue the sharing of information among firms in a supply chain reflects the importance of SCM. Also, development and improvement of IT infrastructures should be given high priority in the printing industry. Various SCM authors and scholars have emphasized on the important role of IT in the coordination of supply chain (Chatzoudes & Chatzoglou, 2011). Business models and technology strategies of SCM need to be monitored very closely to adopt changes in the print supply chain environment

India is becoming one of the major print producer and manufacturer of printed paper products for the world markets. The printing industry’s quality standards have improved dramatically with immense production capacities. Today the progressive printers are equipped with the latest computer controlled printing machines and flow lines for binding, while the state of the art digital technologies are being used in pre-press. Leading printing companies have optimized the use of information technology in each and every area of the printing business. The growth of the printing industry will be driven by external factors such as liberalization, competition, rising capital cost and spiraling costs of reaching vast markets and by internal factors like streamlining processes, increasing visibility using ERP, IT and plain old communication among people. The results of this paper indicate that operating policies, proper usage of information technology systems, strategic alliance, better communication across inbound and outbound activities of the supply chain, performance measures, supplier relationships are the most important SCM practices of printing industry. As the printing industry is highly fragmented, there is a need to integrate internal and external operations with the usage of information technology for a seamless information flow across entire value chain, so as to operate efficiently by reducing cost. Existing players are continuously evolving and encourage customers aggressively with their attractive value offers.

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About Author

G.V.R.K.Acharyulu is Associate Professor in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Coordinator – MBA (Healthcare & Hospital Management) at the School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad. He is the visiting professor at School of Engineering and Technology, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok. He is currently the Vice President, ISDSI- Conferences & Programs Indian Sub-continent. He has 14 years of teaching in management subjects like Operations and Quantitatives, Supply Chain Management, Information Systems, Healthcare Management, Theory of Constraints, Technology Management and 10 years of industry experience in Operations and Materials divisions. He has published 20 research papers in National and 10 in International Journals in the area of Operations, Supply Chain and Healthcare Management. He has presented various research papers at International Conferences held in USA, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Dubai. He has published 9 books on “Research Methodology & Statistical Tools, Marketing Research, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Strategic Quality Management (edited) through Excel Publications, New Delhi and Pharmacy Administration, IKON publishers, New Delhi, Emerging Trends in Healthcare Management (edited) from Paramount publications, Supply Chain Management in Healthcare Industry, Lambert Publications, Germany. His current research areas include Quantitative Techniques, Operations Research, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Modeling and Healthcare Management.