The general ways in which we as a society communicate is rapidly changing these days. The internet has had a profound impact on this matter, not only as a new media for publishing but also as a tool for handling the underlying data to be published in a whole new way. This evolution has given room for new players in the field of the graphic business, and it has increased the pressure on the European printing industry. Furthermore decreasing margins of profit and a demand for intensive investments in new technology simply threatens the existence of many of the smaller and middle-sized enterprises of the industry. Net-Print Europe aims to demonstrate that through a dynamic network based on calibrated production and web technology. SMEs can reach the economy of scale and competitive advantages of large enterprises, and thereby act efficient upon the present situation. The main focus will be on the process of analysing, planning, matching requirements for-and implementing the necessary tools to be a member of the resulting "Virtual Corporation". The final outcome of Net-Print Europe will be a packaged business case ready for further dissemination in the printing industry of the EU.
The overall objective of Net-print Europe is, by means of best practice, to create the technical and administrative platform for a graphic virtual corporation based on the key areas: distributed production, cross-media publishing and unified on-line customer entrance.
Strategic business and technological objectives of Net-print Europe:
a) Improve the competitiveness of the SMEs, notably more cost-efficient production, decreased investment on off-set printing equipment and increased return on investment.
b) Identify and implement optimal solutions in: Workflow and colour management, Media asset management, E-business and production management, based on a common WAN-network. Technology implementation will be followed up by adequate organisational changes and training.
The project has 4 phases:
.Analytical phase will identify specific user requirements reflecting SMEs' future business processes enabling them to operate in a virtual corporation. Evaluation of available adequate systems to match these will be carried out. Analysis will include technology from the market as well as R&D results from EU project.
.Planning phase will elaborate accurate implementation plans for each SME assuring that their strategic business needs are met by selected systems. Final training plans will be produced for all levels in the SMEs.
Implementation phase will cover actual deployment, evaluation and refinement of the technical solutions and the practices associated with them. These include adequate changes in management and production procedures as well as redesigned business processes.
.Evaluation and dissemination and use phase where increased awareness of the project will be ensured through presentation of the results to the European graphic industry via:
publication in specialised press and on web-sites,
meetings and targeted workshops,
participation in international events, all in collaboration with relevant Scandinavian and international trade organisations, training institutions and networks.
The Consortium consists of nine SMEs and three catalyst organisations, of whom one also assumes the role of project co-ordinator. The SMEs have 15-35 employees and differing profiles in terms of company technological status and business practices. They represent a sufficient critical mass to obtain measurable results. The three catalysts are national network organisations of graphic industries in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Their main role is to ensure that the technical solutions are implemented according to best practice and to assist the SMEs in the transition phase into a virtual corporation.
M1: SME requirements completed and evaluated.L%M2: SME implementation plan approved.
M3: User acceptance report.
M4: Implementation and networking model review.
M5: Packaged Business Case.
M6: Final review including validation of best practice results.
Technical solutions will enable SMEs to:
a) Reduce investments in offset machinery 10%.L%b) Decrease spending on external IT-consultancy services 10%.
c) Increase average return on investments 5%.
Further results: establish 3 cross border client-relations, e-business based customer-relations.
Funding SchemeACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures
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