No doubt, our industry has taken a thrashing the past few years. But some of us continue to grow, even thrive. What will it take to be a long-term printing hero?
According to a new printing industry report from IBISWorld, the industry contracted by an average of 2.1% over the past five years and that decline will continue, although at a slower pace.
This leaves our industry in a state of overcapacity and shrinking demand, with customers expecting more for less as paper costs continue to rise. Increased competition from digital media continues to stretch advertising budgets, and consumers are increasingly becoming multi-channel readers.
All of this could spell disaster for some printers, but for others, it represents an important opportunity.
As IBISWorld’s industry analyst Omar Khedr notes, “Printing requires substantial capital investment in new technology to remain competitive in times of excess capacity.”
“Industry consolidation has allowed larger printers that have economies of scale and access to strong financing to adopt more efficient equipment,” Khedr continues in an IBISWorld press release.
As the printing market shrinks, we believe it will be the companies with state-of-the-art technology and the most efficient in-house processes that will thrive. Customers continue to look for ways to cut their production budgets without sacrificing quality, and only those printers that are outfitted to accommodate these needs will come out ahead.
In fact, we believe that industry consolidation is beneficial to customers in the end, as it will weed out the printers that might not offer anything special in their production or their service. And while we don’t like to see any business run afoul of a challenging economy, we believe the customer can benefit from this necessary editing of the competition.
It is possible to grow in adverse conditions. Invest in technology, streamline your production processes with an unrelenting focus on quality and efficiency, and never ever forget that you are in business for the good of the customer.