Despite the widespread use of computers and the fact that most modern people rarely write by hand, the demand for notebooks, notebooks, diaries, albums and other paper and white products is still at the same level. High profitability, a vast sales market, relatively small start-up capital - all this attracts the attention of entrepreneurs to the paper-and-white products market.
The range of products presented in this segment is very large. However, low-cost school notebooks with varying numbers of sheets remain the sales and profit leaders.
The main players in the notebook market are divided into two main groups:
- large enterprises that provide the largest volumes of production in the middle and lower price categories;
- medium and small producers, including dealers who open their own production.
The first group includes only the five largest domestic producers who specialize in the production of cheap 12- and 18-sheet notebooks and which own about 70% of the entire market: Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, LLC Voskhod, Polotnyanozavodskaya Paper Mill, North-West timber industry company, "Lighthouse".
Most companies are attracted to the segment of expensive notebooks with full-color covers. The number of participants here is much larger. The leaders are Khatber, Academy Holding, Polotnyaznozavodsky Paper Mill, North-West Timber Company, Kants-Exmo, AST, Polygraphy, Alt, KTS-PRO. It is worth noting that the Russian market for both cheap thin and expensive general notebooks has long been oversaturated.
Design and product range come to the fore. Therefore, all companies that occupy leading positions in this segment have several designers on staff and produce their products on high-speed printing equipment using high-quality materials. Other companies, whose activities are not related to publishing and printing, also compete with manufacturers of paper and white products. They, as a rule, are the owner of a brand under which they release their products. These enterprises do without their own production, placing orders in the regions in order to minimize costs and reduce the retail value of goods.
The products of western stationery brands (Herlitz, Silwerhof, Top Point, Landre, Pigna, Unipap, etc.) do not constitute serious domestic competition: they differ only in higher functionality at a similar price, and sometimes even at a slightly lower quality. Due to the oversaturation of the market, Russian notebook manufacturers are trying to look for new distribution channels abroad (mainly in the CIS countries).
However, the range of paper and white products is not limited to notebooks alone. This includes various types of paper (note paper, writing paper, for office equipment, for notes with a sticky layer, tear-off paper, etc.), cardboard, notepads, albums, envelopes, postcards, accounting and other forms, office books, etc. . Office products are in second place after school notebooks. Constant modernization of equipment and improving the quality of their products allowed Russian companies to achieve significant success in this segment. High quality and low price (the difference, however, is not so great and amounts to about 10-15%), compared with the products of Western manufacturers, have led to the fact that domestic enterprises prevail in this segment.
The largest of them are Svetogorsk Paper Mill (trademarks Ballet and SvetoCopy), Syktyvkar Timber Processing Plant (Snegurochka brand), Krasnokamsk Paper Mill of Goznak (Goznak-Copy, Goznak-Raduga, Goznak-Copy Lux, etc.). As is the case with notebooks, many trading companies with their own brands place orders for the production of paper under their own brand in large paper mills. An example is the Papirus company, which sells its products under the brand name Papirus, which is manufactured at the Arkhangelsk PPM.
To organize your own production of paper and white paper products, you will need the following equipment: a lining machine with a set of shafts for it, sheet-cutting machines with spare knives, a wire reeling machine, a puncher (for making cuts for springs for notebooks, albums, notebooks on a spring), a sewing machine, printing machine, hydraulic press for pressing paper waste. In addition, you need a metal table for wire sewing and a binding table, carts for transporting products.
Used equipment can be purchased for 800-900 thousand rubles. The cost of new cars depends on the country of manufacture, performance, model. If the proposed assortment is large, you will also have to purchase additional cutting equipment (single and three-knife machines), thread sewing machines, alphanumeric cutting machines, edging lines, gilding presses, perforating equipment, hard cover production lines. Consider the technology for the production of paper and white products on the example of simple and general notebooks.
Obviously, the main raw material for the production of notebooks is paper. For example, one ton of paper can produce about twenty thousand thin notebooks. In turn, paper is made from cellulose, which is obtained after processing wood (it is milled, pressed and clarified). Raw materials enter the factory in the form of a large drum weighing several tons. Using special equipment, the paper from the drum enters the processing line, where the printing machine applies the marking to the entire length of the paper web.
As a rule, water-based paints are used to apply a marking pattern (cell, ruler). They are safe for humans and have no smell. Then the pages of the future notebook are made in a special form - rectangular or with rounded corners. Using an industrial knife, sheets of the right size are cut, which are bent and stacked, depending on the number of pages in the notebooks. This whole procedure is fully automated.
Notebook covers are made from materials other than the indoor unit. The most commonly used cardboard. However, in some cases, manufacturers use plastic or more exotic materials - for example, leather or fabric. Previously, a pattern is applied to the cardboard used for covers, after which a pre-set size is produced from it. When designing the cover, various types of special effects can be used: UV varnishing, glitter, foil stamping, relief stamping, flocking, fluorescent or metallized paints, etc. Any of these decorative elements increases the cost of the finished product.
The finished cover is stacked on a stack of sheets. All this is held together. The easiest and most inexpensive way of fastening is with metal brackets. Its minus is that the pages are attached in the middle and when pulling out one of them, the second also comes off. In addition, there are restrictions on the number of sheets in a notebook with such a mount. In second place in popularity is spring mount. This increases the weight and volume of the notebook. Another disadvantage of this type of fastening is that the last pages in such notebooks are not fixed well enough and may fall out during the operation of the product.
Punching of the block, spiral winding, cutting and bending of its edges are carried out automatically using a punch-stitcher on the spring. Fixing with glue is not very convenient, since it does not allow to open the notebook completely, and it is very expensive. Fastening paper sheets with threads has only one drawback - high cost.
After the cover with the inner sheets is fastened together, the notebook falls under the knife, which cuts off the excess paper. After that, the finished product is checked for defects. Selected notebooks enter the packaging strip. They are packed in a vacuum film or in cardboard boxes.
Specialists recommend that entrepreneurs who are just starting their activities in the field of production of paper and white products, choose from the very beginning one group of goods and develop this direction. Someone produces unusual thematic notebooks with drawings on each page, someone specializes in notebooks for schoolchildren and students with youth design and tips, someone tries to break into the market of goods for creativity with their paper products (scrapbooking albums, paper for decoupage). The number of such niches is very large, and competition in some of them is practically absent. Nevertheless, you should not save on conducting market research and thoroughly studying the market and the demand for it before opening a new company. A sharp reorientation from the release of one product to another, even within the same product group, will fail.
The number of workers in a paper mill depends on what it produces and to what extent. For servicing automatic and semi-automatic machines, 5-6 people per shift are enough. However, the most important employees of such an enterprise are designers. As a rule, only a part of them (and not always large) work in the company staff.
Nevertheless, no matter how excellent specialists develop the design of covers and the internal block of notebooks and notebooks, do not rush to launch the new series in mass production. First, a small batch is issued with a circulation of several thousand copies, which is distributed to distributors. Sometimes a consumer assessment of a product surprises specialists with extensive experience in this industry. Based on the sales results, a decision is made on the fate of the series.
Successful companies are constantly developing and improving, trying to get ahead of their competitors. They have to constantly come up with something new, and since this business is not highly technological, the novelty will remain such for a maximum of one season, and then all other manufacturers begin to replicate it. For this reason, many companies refuse to participate in trade shows or do not present their new products there, since it is likely that a good and original idea will be “borrowed” by others immediately before these products go on sale.
Design copyright protection is a burning issue for Russian companies. Many companies produce licensed products at the peak of the popularity of a film, series, musical group, etc. In this case, it is important to be able to guess and even sometimes predict fashion trends and tastes of adolescents. It is also worth considering the fact that the second edition is usually not as popular as the first. Experts believe that the change of design and the appearance of new series should occur at least once a year. Some manufacturers are gradually replacing in several stages, stretching this process for one season.
In the early 2000s, paper manufacturers worked with general distributors. Now they all organize their own dealer networks. Established relationships with wholesalers - this is one of the main conditions for the success of such a business.
The production of notebooks is not very profitable, as they are sold at low prices (this applies primarily to products up to 48 sheets in a single-color cover). The price has been set too low due to the policy of large wholesale companies that charge large margins on notebooks while taking profits from retail operators, fierce competition and the desire of retailers to attract as many customers as possible. High competition and a gradual decrease in sales lead to the fact that profit indicators in the industry as a whole are constantly decreasing. This applies to a greater extent to those enterprises that do not have their own paper raw materials. The cost of paper in the cost of one product can reach 75%. The main development potential remains for companies operating in the middle price segment. The minimum investment required to start your own business in this area is about three million rubles. These investments pay off within 2-3 years.
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