Based in Iasi, northern Romania, PIM is a leading digital print provider which also operates from three other locations in the region. Founded by Marius Petrariu in 1992, the company started life as a general commercial printer, but now specialises in on-demand book printing. Without this specialisation, the future of PIM would not have been as bright as it is today – and here’s why.
In the early noughties, after watching his business grow for almost two decades, Marius Petrariu realised PIM was struggling financially. New revenue streams were needed to turn things around; he had some experience in offering digital printing services, and saw this could be where that growth was achieved.
In 2009, Petrariu started looking into the business opportunities involved in producing smaller quantities of books. He recognised that lower run-length jobs would only make losses for bigger publishing houses using traditional offset printing technologies, and that if he was able to streamline the production process and use digital printing technologies to publish on-demand (within 24 hours), it would yield a healthy new source of revenue.
The key was that the production process should require as few manual touch points as possible, making a full range of inline finishing critically important. After weighing up all the solutions available on the market, he decided to install several Konica Minolta presses and workflow solutions. At the same time as doing this, Marius Petrariu had contacted a number of other publishing houses, convincing them to outsource their smaller-quantity jobs to him – work which would usually only make a loss for these larger, more traditional publishing houses.
These new ideas began to prove themselves within months. “It was clear to me that the average quantity of books per order was declining steadily,” Petrariu explains. “This gave me the opportunity to produce all the book titles quickly, and relatively inexpensively. And it worked! It did generate the new revenue stream we needed.” He goes on: “Today, we produce more than 100 new book titles per month. The average quantity is about 100 copies per title, but sometimes we run over 1,000 copies, and sometimes we have a print run of just one copy. Our customers ask us to produce a wide variety of books, ranging from academic text books to art catalogues.”
The future now looks bright for PIM: “Because of our ability to deliver high-quality publications consistently within 24 hours, we have built a strong reputation nationwide. Some 40% of our orders now come from our capital, Bucharest, far outside our traditional ‘home market’. Because of this, we are now in the process of opening a digital production centre in Bucharest, so we can serve this new key market better still.” Marius Petrariu concludes: “None of this would have been possible without the success we’ve had with our on-demand publishing business!”