Tools for Success
According to the results of SGIA’s (Booth 1961) Industry Benchmarking Survey, conducted this year, there’s a forward-looking, optimistic approach taking hold in the printing sector. A third (33 percent) of companies are actively working to increase printing capacity; 28 percent are working to increase finishing capacity; and 85 percent made a production-related capital investment in the past year, nearly half of which were over $50,000. For the year ahead, the numbers are mostly the same. To add to that discussion: 83 percent of companies report the desire to increase hiring in the year ahead.
The survey pulls in data and opinions from across the printing landscape, including commercial and packaging printers, sign and graphics producers, garment decorators and industrial printers. The findings indicate an industry ripe with opportunity and benefitting from technological development. To some degree, industry consolidation, driven by a mix of opportunity-seeking and the blurring of lines between previously discreet printing segments, has changed the playing field. And many printing companies, whose operations focused on a singular process or handful of products, are expanding their processes and products, further blurring industry boundaries.
Many of today’s printing business owners are redefining their companies. Many are navigating new areas, driven by the opportunities that are inherent to new technologies, or leaving crowded, commodified verticals and product areas as they search for niche opportunities and higher margins. And that is why we’re here in Las Vegas.
With so much focus on machines and technology — the wiz-bangs that make the SGIA Expo floor so exciting — it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the bottom line is king, and for businesses that operate in competitive areas with relatively tight margins, the difference between wanting and needing is profound. Our survey results show an industry-wide interest in market expansion, i.e., successfully entering new areas, as a way of building the business, and that’s a great thing. Much is moving in the industry: The technology, the needs of customers, time expectations and expected quality, among other things. So, then, it is imperative for businesses to be ‘on the move’ as well.
The sheer number of possibilities found at the SGIA Expo is profound — there is something on hand for every printing business. But it is so much more than that. The educational opportunities alone — even just today — can supply you with ideas and know-how to chart a course for the year ahead, give your sales efforts a much-needed shot in the arm or provide you with the inspiration you need to move your company toward new, robust opportunities.
One more bit of data to consider: In the results of the SGIA survey, more than three-fourths of respondents indicated they expected to see increases in both sales and production in the year ahead. Is this true of your business? If not, then why? The answer is out there among more than 600 exhibiting companies. You better get moving.