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Status quo

At what stage of its development is my company at?
How do I optimize my processes?
How do I generate new business ideas?
Which business segments should I serve in the future?

These are questions that we as consultants always get asked during the course of our day-to-day work. The issue of How can I position my business to ensure it is fit to face the future?” occupies the minds of many entrepreneurs in the print and media industry in particular. Every day we discuss with our clients which levers need to be activated, in order to  enable new business segments to be identified and tapped – or how a media company makes proper use of its (often long unexploited) potential and returns to profitability.

The initial basis for any entrepreneurial action is extensive mapping and analysis of the status quo. As part of a “due diligence” audit, a thoroughly neutral analysis of which problem areas exist is provided, which then enables an appropriate strategy to solve these problems to be formulated.
Our focus is on e-business print, web-to-print, SaaS, automation, remote publishing and quality management. We see major opportunities particularly in new sales channels, especially when these dovetail with the client’s business.

zipcon consulting’s guiding maxims:

  • Increase productivity
  • Optimize costs in ways that make sense
  • Employ resources more efficiently
  • Identify and develop markets
  • Implement expert knowledge

Our due diligence concept covers six core segments

Prepress

Prepress includes tackling topics, such as automation, standardization and in-time production. zipcon consulting ascertains the status quo and devises corporate optimization proposals.

Target audience: print and media service providers, production agencies.

Topic: automation, standardization and in-time production – these are current prepress issues. Media-neutral data storage, database/layout linkage as well as thoroughly topical issues like remote publishing, workflow architectures, color and quality management, augmented reality, cross media et al are increasing the pressure on modern companies to perform.

Objective:  zipcon consulting paints a picture of the status quo during its on-site analysis and drafts a series of optimization proposals to extensively automate and standardize production. Workflow systems as well as color and quality management can be included in the analysis and action recommendations as an option.

Production

Production focuses on analog-to-digital transformation and the development of hybrid production facilities (offset and digital print). zipcon ascertains what the status quo is and highlights changes.

Target audience: print service providers, in-house printers, digital print providers.

Topic: analog-to-digital transformation in the industry is causing one or two problems. Even the development of hybrid production facilities (offset and digital print) requires new workflows, new materials route planning and sophisticated logistics. If you add color and quality management and gearing up for PSO- and ISO-conform production, this means that many companies are confronted by massive challenges.

Objective: the zipcon team conducts an on-site status quo analysis, highlighting the tasks/changes that need to be performed/made and drafts an implementation plan that details how and when each step needs to be taken. Workflow systems as well as color and quality management can be included in the analysis and action recommendations as an option.

Publishing

Publishing includes a large number of topics and challenges, which need to be tackled by publishers. zipcon consulting provides support in the form of briefings on various solutions and action recommendations.

Target audience: publishers, publishing companies, editorial teams, media service providers.

Topic: cross-media, multichannel production, iPad and iPhone apps, web-to-print, remote publishing – digital approval workflows – the wealth of topics that publishers have to deal with currently is inexhaustible. If you consider these issues in conjunction with online technologies and modern automation workflows, many publishers are confronted with requirements that they can hardly cope with.

Objective: the clear objective of the zipcon consultants on site is on the one hand to brief clients on the various solution options available, and on the other to verify what a company can action on its own or what further steps need to be taken to ensure that it can do so on its own. Analysis is followed by action recommendations and “hands-on” instruction/guidance.

Print/ MIS

Management Information Systems (MIS) and JDF make significant demands on print companies. zipcon consulting analyzes JDF suitability and provides assistance in selecting the appropriate MIS.

Target audience: print service providers, in-house printers, digital print providers.

Topic: management information systems (MIS) and JDF roll-out make significant demands on print companies not only during the roll-out process, but further back during preliminary checks and preparations and when selecting the right system. The exact description of processes and defining what is to be automated in particular often overwhelms both print company practitioners and management.

Objective: “helping companies to help themselves” – that is the credo behind this offering. The zipcon team maps the most important processes together with the company’s project team, analyzes the “JDF suitability” of the entire company and provides assistance with selecting the appropriate MIS. Optional on-site coaching is provided during MIS project planning and roll-out phases.

E-Business Print

E-Business Print includes topics like online print stores, remote publishing, online customer portals, web-to-print, which are causing a stir right now. zipcon consulting analyzes potential, ascertains the effort and expense involved and makes recommendations.

Target audience: print & media service providers, publishers, online providers.

Topic: online print stores, remote publishing, online customer portals, web-to-print – all these issues are creating a major stir. People often only realize that launching a store involves a great deal more than renting an existing online offering and that the path to commercial success forces them to rethink once their first project has failed. Even researching into the right market niches and appropriate products is drastically underestimated.

Objective: zipcon consulting ascertains which online offering is best suited to the company’s existing customer base and analyzes which potential new customers can be gained with what offering/effort and expense. A call-to-action document and a specific recommendation for a suitable offering are produced once the analysis (company and market) has been completed.

Vision + Strategy

Entrepreneurs often need to give thought to the right strategy and the future of their company and make decisions. Together with the company’s senior management team, Bernd Zipper maps its status quo and defines change management processes.

Target audience: print & media service providers, publishers, online providers.

Topic: what potential does my company have? What’s next? How do I earn money in the future? How do I need to position my company? All these (usually unanswered) questions indicate that an entrepreneur needs to tackle the issue of strategy and vision. Yet just attending a workshop/seminar won’t do the trick, and creating a strategy and vision alone or together with your management team is often not enough to help achieve objectives.

Objective: Bernd Zipper identifies the company’s status quo together with its senior management team and evaluates markets, products and potential. Once that analysis has been completed, the necessary change management processes and tools are defined and submitted in the form of a call-to-action document. Optional on-site coaching is provided during the project planning and roll-out phases.

 

Our offer to your company

zipcon consulting has put together a special consultancy package that delivers a clearly defined service at a fixed price to help your company to help itself.

As part of our “due diligence” concept, the client is provided with a brief evaluation of the status quo of their company and the appropriate optimization and change recommendations from experienced experts within the zipcon network. A consultancy team is selected to match the specific remit, which is defined in advance either by phone or in a personal meeting, and then begins work at the company.

A corresponding offer and a deadline schedule are agreed in advance based on the terms of reference. The price of a corporate “due diligence” project depends on company size and the specific remit.

zipcon consulting terms this its Corporate Test Rig” – i.e. it puts the concepts, processes, strategies, workflows and value chains of the client company to the test and verifies not only whether they work in practice but also whether implementation can be actioned within an appropriate timeframe.

This new kind of compact analysis (maximum of five days) can be performed immediately to the benefit of the client. If the terms of reference that result from this analysis are more complex than anticipated, then a schedule of activities and an action recommendation (as to what can be achieved when and how) are provided at the very least as part of this initial analysis.

Here’s what our clients have to say

Dr. Kai Hudetz

CEO IFH Institut für Handelsforschung GmbH, Germany

Bernd Zipper is an absolute man of conviction, who exudes an enthusiasm that’s infectious. Working with him is really great fun!

Norbert Hettrich

CEO Druckhaus Weppert Schweinfurt GmbH, Germany

I have got to know Bernd Zipper as an all-rounder, who is very much at home on the stage. His visionary yet critical, yes sometimes even cynical presentations capture your imagination. He is able to articulate his e-business print, web-to-print and online print experience with clarity and precision.

Hans Scheffer

Co-Founder and CEO helloprint, The Netherlands

Bernd Zipper is an icon in the European online print industry. As one of the few, Bernd is extremely well informed about the latest trends and facts and has a clear view on the future of the online printindustry, unlike others. Therefore, i highly recommend Bernd Zipper and Zipcon as a strategic partner.

Günther Longo

CEO Longo AG, Italy

New inspiration, specific strategy recommendations, substantiated methods and implementation examples: zipcon consulting played a significant advisory and mentoring role during Longo’s repositioning process, going about its work systematically, professionally and displaying astuteness and insight. We look forward to a great working relationship in the future too.

Thomas Petermann

CEO WDS Pertermann GmbH, Germany

Bernd Zipper is always a key asset. I not only value his vigilant gaze beyond the usual horizon, but his down-to-earthness above all, which gives the insane dynamism in our industry a structure that people can get a handle on.

Wim Koning

Business Development Screen Europe, The Netherlands

Bernd Zipper has a very good view and opinion on the fact that added value applications make the difference for Print- and Marketing Service Providers. I have been evangelizing added value applications for many years and therefore had a positive click with Bernd directly after our first meeting.

Josef Prasser

CEO Styria Print GmbH, Austria

I regard Bernd Zipper as a very proficient and far-sighted online marketing go-to person. Given his experience and knowledge, his likable personality and optimism, he can point people and companies in the right business direction.

Prof. Frank Romano

Professor Emeritus RIT, USA

Bernd Zipper is a thinker. Bernd Zipper is a philosopher. Bernd Zipper is a person, who is taken technology and found the applications for. He has been an innovator, he was one of the first to see the applications of PDF. He was one of the first to see the applications of JDF. And then he was one of the first to understand and be passionate about web to print. Bernd Zipper is the person who is our guy into the future of the printing industry.

Andreas Schrägle

CEO RATHGEBER GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

We value Bernd Zipper as an accomplished partner with a distinct clarity of vision. This combined with his likable personality, high degree of e-business print know-how and large network of contacts were key factors in enabling us to achieve our objectives.

Markus Hutter

CEO HUTTER DRUCK GmbH & Co KG, Austria

We have been operating in the same business environment for more than ten years now and e-business print has been a major topic of discussion. We are convinced that you can rely on Bernd Zipper to provide substantiated insider knowledge and professional assistance in this new business segment.

Stefan Harder

CEO harder-online GmbH, Germany

In his blog articles he asks interesting questions and rubs salt into the wounds of the print industry without really mincing his words.

Ralf Schlözer

Director On Demand Printing & Publishing Services, Info Trends Ltd, United Kingdom

Few people have such a profound understanding of web-to-print and e-commerce as Bernd Zipper, and somebody, who can encapsulate their knowledge in terms that anyone can understand, is even rarer. A visit to the Online Print Symposium is highly recommended.

Stephan Bühler

Head of Online Print Sales dierotationsdrucker.de, Germany

Always a good-humored and popular guy – a networker, who is at home in the online print world, who patently feels comfortable in this environment and is held in high esteem. In his presentations, which are liberally peppered with facts and figures and to some extent with provocative statements and challenges, he attempts to waken the print community from its deep slumber. I think the speed at which he delivers his presentations is his way of saying that time is of the essence!

OLU'YOMI OJO

Chief Idea Officer Printivo Limited, Nigeria

What Bernd Zipper is doing for the online print industry and the global printing industry as a whole is awesome. Zipcon today has become a connection point for every decision maker and stakeholder in the industry. This is not just good for everyone, it was what the industry need at the moment.

Dr. Michael Fries

CEO Onlineprinters GmbH – diedruckerei.de, Germany

Bernd Zipper has been an influential player in the world of Internet and print for many years. He uses his experience, his contacts, events and his consultancy services to drive the evolution of the industry and the medium of “print” forward.