Essay on Rr Donnelley & Sons: the Digital Division

5472 Words Apr 9th, 2013 22 Pages
RR Donnelley & Sons: The Digital Division
I. Traditional vs. On-Demand Digital Printing

How do the characteristics of Donnelley's traditional printing business compare with the characteristics of on-demand digital printing?

R.R. Donnelley and Sons traditional printing business pricing varied depending on the number of pages in the print job. The prices per page decreased as the number of pages increased. The traditional print business consisted of high fixed costs and low variable costs. Offset presses cost approximately $12 million using film and plates with runs of 25,000 to 500,000. The gravure print was more expensive and used etched copper cylinders and would run 500,000 or more. The digital presses were more
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Donnelley’s Vice President, Rory Cowan’s vision was to lead the effort of imploring digital presses. In order for Cowan and the digital press to succeed there needed to be buy-in from all areas of the organization. It needed to be a top-down initiative and infused within the strategic direction of each unit of the organization. The digital press division needed to meet the new demands of customers and the sales division having the knowledge to educate the customer on these new services. Cowan was afraid digital presses would get lost in the plants if he were to infuse them throughout the organization. Instead he created a cross-functional team to evaluate the use, cost, and return on investment of the digital press. He slow pulled other department heads into the mix and re-structure the Information Services Group. He educated his sales staff and customers on the benefits of using the digital press.

II. Stages in New Business Creation

What were the critical challenges and tasks that faced the Digital Division in each period: prior to April 1994, between April 1994 and January 1995 and between January and July 1995?
RR Donnelley & Sons had many challenges as they were trying to come to grips with a changing technological world where the print medium was moving toward digital printing on personal computers and with it the pricing, scales of economy, and old business strategy of print by the page. In the early 1990s, Rory

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