Customers, Polestar, technology, production, business, printing, market, magazines, CTP, employees, images, printers, competition, enables, mail order.
Today we live in a digital world in which information can be communicated rapidly and efficiently, and in which images, sound and text are far clearer and better defined ('cleaner') than ever before.
Polestar is Europe's leading independent printing company and is Number 1 in the UK.
Polestar serves the publishing, retail, travel and direct marketing sectors through the production of catalogues, brochures, magazines, newspapers, packaging and direct mail.
Polestar is a B2B (Business to Business) company.
Today, printers operate in a highly competitive market in which their B2B customers have a clear idea of what they want, can shop around, and are looking for high quality production at competitive prices.
Market leaders in the catalogue and mail order businesses (Argos, Christies) and in retailing (Tesco) rely on Polestar's innovation and resources to produce outstanding printed material that helps them to achieve their own business goals.
The Group operates a series of Digital Hubs, where pages in the form of digital files, (usually PDF) are received electronically from customers.
Any hub site can send files to any production site in the group; this makes both distributed production and work-sharing a reality and enables rapid response to any production problems.
For Polestar's business customers to lead their own fields they require excellence from their suppliers in every aspect of their business, including the most attractive images in magazines and brochures, produced as quickly as possible.
As a firm's market grows, it can take increased advantage of specialisation.
Training is the process of building up the skills, knowledge and capabilities of employees so that they can better help the organisation to achieve its objectives.
As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:
- know that many businesses have other businesses as their customers (B2B)
- explain the importance of marketing orientation, particularly in relation to the printing industry
- show how Polestar's B2B customers are involved in the production process
- explain why Research and Development is important to leading edge companies
- outline the main characteristics of Computer to Plate (CTP) technology
- describe some benefits of CTP to the customer
- describe some benefits of CTP to the producer
- outline the advantages of using specialist machinery and equipment when producing for a large, sophisticated market
- explain why training and development are essential if new technologies are to be successfully introduced
- understand why business success depends on a willingness to embrace new technology.