Arvato Leveraging U.S. Growth to Go Global

Will Morgan
May 4, 2016

As part of our continuing coverage of the rapidly growing print management market, InfoTrends is conducting a series of interviews with leading industry professionals in 2016. These innovators and the providers they represent are helping the market evolve from basic print procurement to a more comprehensive marketing supply chain management solution. We chose to focus our first blog post in this series on a lesser known company in the North American market. Though it manages more than $100 million of print for its clients in North America alone, Arvato may not be familiar to many outside Europe. Arvato is a white label provider of call center support, financial and IT solutions, as well as print and supply chain management. As part of an initiative to broaden its print management presence in North America, the German firm recently re-located Stephan Hackert, Vice President of Business Development in North America, to San Francisco.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Arvato is a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, a media company with 117,000 employees and $19 billion in annual revenue.
  • Arvato has approximately 70,000 employees worldwide, with around 3,000 in the U.S.—including a core group working in print management with support in Germany.
  • Arvato has been providing print management solutions in the U.S. for more than a decade.
  • Arvato’s prominent clients include Nestlé, Porsche, and Volkswagen.

Hackert explained that Arvato’s entry into the North American market was originally opportunistic. It first began offering print management services in the U.S. because European clients asked for it, but it has since developed past those initial needs and expanded its capabilities, integrating them into a comprehensive portfolio. Arvato’s international growth strategy aims to bring the digital transformation of the print management it already delivers in Europe to the United States. Hackert says that he has been encouraged by the willingness of American prospects to consider engaging with a print management firm for the first time.

While he noted that digital communications are more sophisticated in North America than in Europe, he added that in both markets enterprises embarking on a digital-first strategy do not immediately think to turn to print management providers. That is why it is vital for firms to branch out beyond print procurement and frame themselves as comprehensive specialists managing information and communication across every channel. Clients today are often looking for holistic solutions to their communications needs. Originally formed as a logistics company, Arvato focuses on their clients’ end-to-end information supply chain, creating efficiencies from initial infrastructure set-up to delivery across designated channels.  Hackert says this approach creates cost savings because it is not limited to print solutions alone.

Arvato’s clients led it to American shores and its focus on North American expansion now plays directly into its global ambitions. We are seeing other European print management firms seeking to expand their U.S. operations in an effort to capture some of the $1 billion in print management that InfoTrends forecasts will shift into this market over the next five years. Arvato’s early entry may have given it a jump on its European counterparts. It is looking to consolidate its position and is now actively augmenting its American supplier pool. With a strong client base and a sizeable slice of print under management in North America already, we expect Arvato to become a more powerful competitor in the market in the years to come.


Will Morgan
Research Analyst

Document Outsourcing



InfoTrends covers the marketing print management market within its Document Outsourcing consulting service. We recently published a comprehensive report entitled Exploring the State of the Global Marketing Print Management Market, which provides insight into this space through interviews with nearly 40 executives worldwide. For more information on our research and services, contact Jennifer Skerrett at today!

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