Posted: May 25th, 2022

Hearts Desire a Case Study 8 pages

changing nature of digital printing, info-imaging, and to determine the steps Heart’s Desire Printing and Design Co. must take in order to remain viable and profitable in the competitive business printing marketplace. Until the recent years, upgrades at the company have involved purchases of printing presses, which may have included computerized controls. Computers have been utilized in the different debarments for separate functions. Accounting and invoicing were handled by the accounting department. Sales, reorders, and CRM were handled by the sales staff. This staff each has the use of computers on their desks, to automate the day-to-day business functions. The art department is using Mac-based machines for graphic design. But because the computer equipment in the rest of the office is PC windows based, the task of file sharing, and cross platform communication is cumbersome.

This plan will investigate the marketplace demand for expanding the digital info-imaging services, and how the recently purchases $20,000.00 computer server, and CRM software can be utilized to serve the companies customer base, which is expressing demand for advanced digital imaging services within the small business and public sector communities. In the past advanced image processing was limited to large print houses because of the expense of specialized equipment. Technological advances have brought advanced imaging capabilities to within the reach of print houses the size of Heart’s. The customer-based is also becoming more aware of the capabilities in the area of computer image manipulation. Because of these two factors, there is a perceived market niche which could be serviced.

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The plan’s purpose is to identify a course of action which will lead the company toward successful utilization of it’s computer equipment, which in turn would enable Heart’s Printing and Design Co. To meet and service the growing sector of digital printing, imaging, and info-imaging.

Project Objectives

Heart’s Desire Printing and Design Company specialize in designing and printing greeting cards. Begun locally to service their growing city, Heart’s has grown with the economy over the past 25 years, and now ships cards nationwide. The majority of the company’s clients are located within the immediate 4 state region, in which Heart’s has a small but personally minded sales staff servicing mostly independent card shops, book stores, and hospital / institutional gift stores.

Recently the company launched an e-commerce enables second generation web site. The company’s first web site was little more than an online brochure. The second generation site has a shopping cart system, and lists the company’s highest moving card styles. While this i-expansion has brought a small increase in revenue, the company is spending so much time communication between the ordering and shipping and customer service departments to facilitate the new orders, that a question as to the Internet marketplace’s profitability has surfaces. The initial response was to purchase an in-house server, and total CRM software package, but the new systems are still not integrated into the rest of the company. The sales and accounting departments use the CRM modules designed for their tasks, but the rest of the company is still using desktop and laptop PC’s, making the time saving features of total CRM integration non-effective for the company.

As the CIO, I believe the recently purchased computer equipment is an invaluable asset to the company.

The lack of communication between departments creates much double work, tracking, and manual file sharing.

The first goal is full network integration so as to increase intra-company communication abilities, and job sharing capabilities. Included in the goal of a networked work environment is a high speed Internet access, and bringing the web site, which is currently hosted by a third party server farm, in house. A second goal in the process will be to determine what equipment is needed to move into a wider spectrum of info-imaging services. With daily control over our web site, a third generation site can be launched and promoted to national and international clients who can accept custom designs. Because of the computerized printing equipment, we no longer have the high costs of setting up presses which made custom orders financially unfeasible. The company can, and should, investigating the profitability of launching a custom card line which would allow business customers to submit graphics, photographs, and wording via Internet. The customer could then select the font type, choose from a variety of standard layout patterns, and place an order online.

Heart’s Desire earned its place in the market through its innovative and personal designs, and its personalized customer service. While the Internet allows us to reach more potential clients, the need for personal contact and follow through is still the key for business growth and success. The new computer system is a tool toward that end. While some expected the purchase to ‘instantly solve all our problems’ and are becoming disillusioned with the purchase choice, shifting the focus of the company to using this investment as the means to reach an expanding and increasingly diverse customer base will create the synergism for the company to move foreword on an Internet enabled platform.

A third purpose is to determining how to market the new services / abilities to the company’s customers. The plan will seek to identify what additional benefits can be offered to the company’s client base through the addition of digital equipment and services.


The key issues in this changeover involve three areas:

Computer hardware and software,

Meeting the customer demand / marketing to this new niche market.

Employee training and organizational culture change,

The computer hardware and software needed to engage this shift are not limited to one time purchases. The rate of change in the technology used to access the Internet, manipulate info-images and produce graphic design is constant. Each time a new piece of software arrives in the marketplace, new applications are developed, and the capabilities and customer expectations advance further. Our initial equipment purchase should be considered the price of entry into the digital marketplace, not a final solution. For example, Rochester Institute of Technology recently did some research on the success of digital color printing companies. They identified 149 companies that had bought digital color presses in the early stages, 1993 to 1994,… And what they found was, that out of those 149 companies, 32% of them were either out of business or had been acquired, Twenty-one percent were still in business but had removed the digital equipment and 47% were still operating them in some form or another… The study found that among the companies still existing was that they were able to identify some critical success factors for digital printing. The first factor was to be able to understand the customer base. What does the customer really need? What is the customer looking for? Are they looking for print, or are they looking for a solution to a business problem? And the successful companies were able to identify the business problem the customer had and helped them solve it.” (Peck 2003)

The specific demographics of the market niche to which the new hardware, software, and employee training will be directed are a rapidly growing market. Based on a survey conducted by Kodak, the vast majority of the respondents agree that the convergence of imaging and information technology — or info-imaging — is fueling growth. In particular, the Internet, software and wireless connectivity are specific examples of info-imaging that will catalyze growth. More than 94% of influencers agree that broadband technology, which will increase the speed at which larger digital files can be shared, will be an important enabling technology, while more than 80% agree that wireless communications will be important.

A majority of industry influencers believe traditional imaging companies are best positioned for success in providing digital printing services. Approximately 78% of influencers surveyed believe companies maintaining a stake in various solutions and offering consumers the most choices are positioned as industry leaders. (Kodak, 2001)

Others who have demonstrated some market success in the digital print/POD arena are those who have accepted the trends toward convergence (i.e., the blending of digital transactional printing and commercial print applications) and have begun thinking about how the technologies that support the total printing workflow will enable them to both optimize current equipment (keeping the presses printing) and make on-the-fly modifications to pre- and post-processing equipment depending on what type of print job is running.

Corporate and Business Culture

Training the employees of a family run business can be more difficult than affecting change in a large corporation. While there are fewer staff to address, the company culture within a small company tends to be more deeply established than in a large corporate structure. There are established patterns of human behavior and interaction as to the methods we use to gather and exchange information. These patterns encompass totality of behaviors (active or passive) that people engage in to gain access to, organize and use information. Thus, it will include not only pro-active steps to gain access but also the passive reception of information (Wilson, 1989).

Organizational information behavior is identified similarly. Organizations set up systems and services that are designed to acquire, share and disseminate information of all kinds, from the production data from factories to events in the market-place. However, information also reaches the organization by all kinds of routes that are not initially set up as information acquisition mechanisms. In other words, organizational information behavior embraces not only the formal systems set up to manage internal information flows, but also the systems, including libraries and information centers designed to access external information as well as the organizational and personal communication systems through which information reaches the organization and is disseminated.

Within the past decade, businesses have learned that as business use of information technology (IT) expands, the traditional constraints of time and geography, which were formerly rigorous, are now relaxing or changing. Rapid advances in telecommunication and other information technologies are fostering globalization mind set within any company. As a result, the global marketplace is becoming the new frontier of business. Faced with the rapid pace of change in today’s business markets, organizations are compelled to adapt with unprecedented dexterity and flexibility in order to remain competitive and to face the challenges ahead.

The founder of the company built the company of service and quality, and he taught his sons that it sometimes is better to say no to a new opportunity in order to keep your existing promises. So the single goal of expanding the company services to include a full range of digital info-imaging services is the cornerstone around which the entire company change is built upon.

Strategy Recommendations

The first strategy is broken down into 4 steps. This process is a single recommendation, and when selected, a full commitment must exist to follow each step through to completion.

The company will pursue a strategy of full network integration of all computer equipment in the operation. The company will include full Internet integration, a company intranet, and full integration of the sales force with wireless communication technology. This will facilitate eliminating communication problems, and a higher degree of customer service. While focused internally, this strategy will enable the company to create the framework on which the business expansion will be built.

The second strategy the company will follow is to seek and hire sales force, and graphic designers who have a higher level of experience with digital technologies. Since the company is in a city with a major university, the process of finding qualified candidates should be fairly easy. Seeking qualified candidates from the university also means that the company will be hiring younger staff which can form a basis of future growth for the organization.

The third strategy is to recognize the full impact of implementing this organizational change, and manage a fully integrated plan in order to facilitate an organizational culture change. This is more than training staff to do different tasks, or operate new software. Organizational change includes training the existing and newly hired staff in the full usage of the new equipment, hardware, software, and wireless technologies. It also includes training the staff to think differently, accept information on a different level, and adjust to the full capabilities of the digital, networked work place. The company is committed to quality production and building long-term relationships with their clients through world class service on every job. The equipment change could become an obstacle to organizational advancement if the staff does not fully understand its capabilities. And become proficient in its use.

The forth strategy needed to successfully attaining the long-term goal of establishing a market presence in the digital info-imaging industry is to pursue and secure customers, both locally and Internet based, and provide the digital services with the same commitment to quality which current customer receive when ordering printed and graphic design work.

Since integrated informational technology is at a rate of constant change, the second recommendation is that a position of Office of Information Technology will be created, and search for a suitable candidate will begin within 2 weeks. Moving toward strategy #1 will create the need for the OIT professional. This person will be key to the long-term success of our companies move toward digital info-imaging, and this person will be able to consult on the selection, purchase and design of equipment and software needed to complete the digital change over.

Gantt chart – Time lines month months

18 months years market research for OIT person completed

OIT person hired completed

Hardware capabilities researched completed additional Hardware purchased and installed complete

Staff trained, internally and via university classed

Research hiring consultant firm to manage change.

Consultant hired

50% complete

85% complete

Internet and intranet complete

75% complete

100% complete

Launch of digital services, and online custom products launched

Promotion campaign, online, multimedia, and local company open house

Planned for 2 years from start of project


strongly recommend we make the initial steps toward face-lifting the full usage of our new equipment by immediately starting on Strategy #1 of the short-term goals. Full network integrating of our existing systems will produce time savings in all aspects of the company, and identify the areas in which we need assistance, or additional software / hardware solutions or training. Identifying these needs will create the parameters for filling the OIT position, which will be key to the long-term success of this plan.


Convergence of imaging and IT is important to industry growth. (2001) Eastman Kodak Co. Accessed 18 May 2003,

Kim, DH 1993. “The Link between Individual and Organizational Learning.” Sloan Management Review 34 (4): 37-50.

Peck, Gretchen, (2003)Digital Printing: New Opportunities Revealed

Understanding the Convergence is a Key to Success. Digital Output” Accessed 18 May 2003)

Rockart, J.F. (1979). Chief executives define their own data needs. Harvard Business Review, 57 (2), 238-241.

Wilson, T.D. (1989). Towards an information management curriculum. Journal of Information Sciences, 15, 203-209.

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