Logo srl is an innovative Italian enterprise specialized in digital printing. Starting as a small photocopy shop, the company was able to profit from the new opportunities offered by technological change.
Supply Chain Management Paper
Logo srl is an innovative Italian enterprise specialized in digital printing. Starting as a small
photocopy shop, the company was able to profit from the new opportunities offered by
Since the transition from offset printing to digital printing implies a major paradigm shift in
the industry production system, the study of Logo srl business case is very interesting for
students of supply chain and logistics.
In the present work, first, we are going to describe the company location sites,
transportation methods, machinery and equipment, software solutions, inventory
management, and supply chain, in order to understand the sources of its competitive
Finally, we will try to identify future challenges, both risks and opportunities, in Logo srl
business activities, and suggest possible improvements.
Professor of Operations Management
Ohio University Business College
Supply Chain and Logistics
International Economics and Business
Università Politecnica delle Marche
The Company and its Competitive Advantage
Logo srl is an advanced Italian typography located in Borgoricco (Veneto region) and
specialized in digital printing.
Starting as an ordinary photocopy shop, both the offset and the digital business have
gradually grown. Initially, the managers were skeptical about higher volume production, but,
eventually, invested in additional capacity to meet increasing demand.
Even if services also include large print runs of magazines and catalogs, instruction
manuals are the most successful and distinctive Logo srl products.
Since it was founded, the company has embraced digital printing, a major technological
breakthrough that revolutionized the typographic industry. Modern digital printing and
postpress technologies allow for good enough quality at very competitive prices.
Digital printing made it possible to shift from the push production system typical of
traditional offset printing to a pull production system.
In fact, prepress process times are dramatically reduced, if not eliminated, thanks to
digital technology. As a consequence, running small and frequent printing batches on
demand became economically feasible.
Inventory levels are a critical issue for the industry, since information contained in printed
materials tends to become more and more obsolete with time. Cutting down inventory
levels not only increases throughput today, but also avoids writedowns tomorrow.
Digital technology is especially suited for mass customization: variable data can be
automatically read from a database provided by the customer, inserted in the document
layout, and printed without incurring in additional setup costs and longer process times.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Logo srl found its main revenue source in the production
of instruction manuals: this kind of documents contain many technical data and product
codes, which need to be updated frequently and/or customized on an individual basis.
On demand and mass customized production can save significant amounts of money to
companies with large product portfolios, since they do not need anymore to run high
volume print batches and stock voluminous copies of technical documentation, which will
quickly become outdated, in their warehousing facilities.
However, Logo srl competitive advantage rests not only on digital printing, but also on
additional services specifically conceived and created, in part with the help and knowhow
of acquired companies, viz. Doculab srl, expert in technical document design and visual
communication, and Gloman srl, specialized in packaging.
Thank to investments in information technology, Logo srl is able to offer to its customers a
number of webbased tools that simplify the funnel process and speed order fulfillment.
Logo srl has achieved a perfect integration of the instruction manuals supply chain: it can
assemble them, package them with additional components and materials (e.g. screws,
nuts, bolts, warranties, barcodes, etc.), and, finally, stock them in its own warehousing
facilities on behalf of the customer.
Location and Transportation
In 1999, Roberto Vettorel started the business in the back of a small photocopy shop in
Borgoricco, a small town near Padua (Veneto region, NorthEastern Italy). Today, Logo srl
is still located in Borgoricco, but its production/warehousing facilities spread over 6,000
square meters (3,000squaremeter offset printing facility, 1,300squaremeter digital
printing facility, and 1,700squaremeter logistics facility).
The location site is very favorable since Veneto and the adjacent regions (Lombardia,
Emilia Romagna, FriuliVenezia Giulia, TrentinoAlto Adige) are economically rich and
Most Logo srl customers are located in Triveneto (Veneto, FriuliVenezia Giulia,
TrentinoAlto Adige) and Lombardia. In fact, these parts of Italy are very welldeveloped
and industrialized, thanks to the presence of many manufacturing companies, in particular
small and medium enterprises.
Since Logo srl does not have its own transportation fleet (vans, trucks, etc.), it entered into
shipping agreements with specialized onboard couriers. Usually, the company delivers an
order with a maximum lead time of three working days after receiving the digital material
from the customer.
In Triveneto and Lombardia, Logo srl relies on a trusted courier and often delivers within 24
hours. If, for example, the company receives an urgent order of a reasonable size at 12
AM, it is able to set up the printing process within an hour. So, at around 7 PM, the express
courier takes in charge the finished product and delivers it to the customer on the next
Customers and Suppliers
Logo srl broad product lines target a number of different customer segments:
● Clothing companies (labels, tags, catalogs, barcodes) such as Diesel and Replay;
● Local governments (administrative material, communication material, leaflets,
posters, brochures, books);
● Educational institutions (teaching material, communication material, administrative
● Publishing houses;
● Manufacturing companies (instructions manuals, production cards, documental kits
with variable data) such as Ansaldo, Electrolux, De Longhi, and Riello.
Quality and price are not always the most important or only supplier choice criteria.
Technical flexibility, shared values, and solid relationships are even more critical for a
company like Logo srl:
● Xerox, the American multinational document management corporation, is the
supplier of printing equipment and machinery. Logo srl is member of Xerox Premier
Partner Community, a worldwide network of digital printing companies, with 730
members in 48 countries on six continents.
● Forgraf srl, the official distributor of Horizon, Morgana, and Schneider Senator in
Italy, is the supplier of postpress finishing equipment and machinery. Logo srl relies
on Forgraf srl flexibility in finding and suggesting technical solutions, and
appreciates the distributor portfolio because of the robustness and userfriendliness
of the products. Thanks to touchscreen interfaces, Logo srl workers can easily and
quickly switch among many different types of work orders (paper sizes, colors vs.
B&W, etc.), which reduces setup costs and times.
● Logo srl purchases only ecological paper, and only from FSC (Forest Stewardship
Council) certified suppliers. The main supplier of paper is the Portuguese
Soporcel, a pioneer company in the production of ecological paper from eucalyptus
pulp from fully certified facilities, raw materials, and processes.
Technology: equipment, machinery, and IT solutions
Logo srl equipment and machinery reflect the specialization of the company in digital
printing. However, back in the small photocopy shop days, the first industrial machine
purchased was an offset printer.
In 2007, Logo srl invested in postpress finishing machinery in order to meet increasing
● Horizon AFC544AKTSC folding machine;
● Horizon StitchLiner 5500 collating and saddlestitching machine;
● Horizon BQ270 binding machine;
● Morgana AutoCreaser Pro 50 creasing machine.
In fact, postpress finishing processes are sequential and require a few different types of
machinery. Low capacity at these stages could create bottlenecks for the entire production
system, a serious issue undermining the fast production and delivery times required to stay
competitive in the digital printing business.
In 2009, the company further enlarged and upgraded its postpress finishing machinery and
● Schneider Senator ELine 78 paper cutting machine;
● Horizon BQ470 binding machine (as a replacement for Horizon BQ270 binding
● Morgana Digicoater 13 UV and primer painting machine;
● Morgana 8000 Feeder paper feeding machine (used in conjunction with Morgana
Digicoater 13 UV and primer painting machine, mainly).
In the following years, Logo srl continued investing in both printing and postpress finishing
technologies. In particular, the company purchased a Xerox paper roll digital printing
machine that allows for medium print runs of very good quality.
Unfortunately, in 2012, Morgana Digicoater 13 had to be dismissed because customers
did not judge paint a satisfactory alternative to more resistant plastic film, despite logistic
and ecological advantages.
Logo srl invested heavily not only in machinery and equipment, but also in IT solutions for
● TPage System is a digital and paper book creator powered by an automatic layout
engine and offering related services, such as print on demand and web marketing;
● DocXML Platform is an XMLbased software platform that enables the
development of automatic and dynamic layout applications;
● Chalco Image Manager allows customers to send and receive digital files, even
large ones, through an easy and secure web interface;
● Web Price List is a webbased application designed for the variable data printing
Logo srl supplier classification system is not based exclusively on raw performance
metrics such as price or average lead time, it also takes into account reliability, flexibility,
In fact, if possible, the company prefers to place high volume orders to few suppliers, not so
much because of discount prices, but to build and maintain good relationships, which
usually translate into more flexible contractual terms.
Even if MRP (Material Requirements Planning) modules implemented in ERP
(Enterprise Resource Planning) software are used by purchase managers for planning
purposes or to order few simple purchased products, actual production is implemented
through kanban cards.
Since final products are very customized, work orders often need to be reprocessed
because of changing customer requirements, while process and lead times show high
variability. As a consequence, it is difficult to make accurate forecasts, so lean production
methods suit company needs better than traditional push systems.
However, production managers acknowledge difficulties in implementing a pure pull
production system, in particular because of long and/or variable lead times for purchased
parts, and would rather describe Logo srl production system as an hybrid one.
A major future challenge for the company is achieving an increasingly smooth integration of
the document flow between the customer and Logo srl, which increases throughput and
reduces delivery times.
Presently, the company offers webbased applications to its customers, but smoother
document flow could be achieved through integration with customers own internal
information system, whether by providing their developers with APIs (Application
Programming Interfaces) or directly offering integration services on commission.
Overall, Logo srl seems very wellpositioned in a segment experiencing fast growth: the
deep crisis of traditional paper publishing may mark a turning point for the entire industry,
and provide an incentive for publishing houses and groups to experiment with business
models based on leaner production methods.
● Logo fa ricco il business del manuale, “Corriere del Veneto”, 05/26/2007
(available on www.logosrl.com).
● Logo, stampa digitale ad alta qualità, “Rassegna Grafica”, 06/2007 (available on
● Logo si rinnova ampliando il dopo stampa, “Rassegna Grafica”, 02/2009
(available on www.logosrl.com).
● Correspondence and conversations with Giorgio Venturini, Logo srl vice president,
and Alessandro Osto, Logo srl plant manager.
● Services brochures and glossary available on www.logosrl.com/supporto.aspx.