Otava Book Printing Ltd: Significant investments help beat competition and retain ‘local production’ in Finland.
Otava Book Printing Ltd is making considerable investments in its production facility in Keuruu. CEO Marko Silventoinen says that the investments will create a firm foundation for continued local book printing in Keuruu and Finland.
“Competition in the sector is currently coming from outside our country’s borders. We believe that these investments will enable us to respond to it more effectively. We offer publishers and others who need books the chance to boost the efficiency of their own businesses. Instead of the traditional ‘print and stock’ model, books can now be printed more flexibly to meet demand. New production technology enables us to react rather than rely on forecasts, which we have done so far, thereby removing the risk of overprinting,” says Silventoinen.
“These investments seek to boost production efficiency, improve our edge in an increasingly competitive market, and reduce lead times. Our goal is to halve our delivery times by next year. Book Printing is investing in both traditional and modern printing technology,” says Silventoinen.
The company will be taking delivery of an eight-colour offset printer at the end of this year. Early next year, it will also be getting a printer based on inkjet technology, complete with post-printing equipment. When the new equipment arrives, the company will cease using one or two of its old printing presses. Silventoinen says that it has been about ten years since the last major investments: the company’s bookbinding equipment was renewed and remains in good working order.
“We’re now investing in printing technology. We still have plenty of room for new equipment, but the floorplan of our old premises poses a challenge. We’re not currently able to fit all of our production processes into a single space, and moving things about leads to wasted, unproductive time. We’re planning to relocate in order to improve our material flows. Our relocation also has an eye on the future: it will enable us to make further investments in binding equipment.
Silventoinen describes the value of the investments as ‘considerable’. Their exact monetary value is still open, as some equipment suppliers will only be selected over the coming weeks. He reminds us that Otava Book Printing Ltd is still the most significant printer in Finland – “there aren’t really any others left.” Otava has been printing books for more than a hundred years, and Silventoinen says that it is the company’s wish to keep producing books for Finnish publishers in Finland. According to Silventoinen, the Otava Group’s desire to remain both a printer and a Finnish family business is also a question of responsibility.
Otava seeks to develop its production methods and operating models in cooperation with its customers and distributors. Books are printed ‘locally’ in Finland with due regard for the environment.
“Our operating methods are reflected by our right to use, for example, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the Association for Finnish Work’s Key Flag. We’ll be continuing our Otava Book Printing Village activities in Keuruu, and will also be reserving space for our partners. We’ve rented extra space for them, as they’ve expanded their activities. Co-operation relationships remain extremely important to us.
Book Printing currently has about 60 employees. We print about six million books a year and our annual turnover is about EUR 12 million.
This article was first published in Keskisuomalainen on 18 September 2018.
Text: Päivi Liimatainen