Achieving Success: What Needs to Be Done

By Andrew Paparozzi
In February 25, 2013

We can’t control what the economy, Washington, or the printing industry at large do. But we can control what we do—we can initiate, or at least begin to initiate, the actions that are deemed most important to our company’s success. So step number one is to determine what those actions are. Of all the things we should do, what are the high priority actions we need to take? In a supplement to our latest NAPL State of the Industry Survey (The NAPL State of the Industry Series is proudly sponsored by KBA.) we asked our research group exactly that—What actions will be most important to your company’s success? Fortunately, judging from responses of the State of the Industry participants, companies are not complacent. They’re not waiting on the economy to turn around, realizing instead that numerous things need to be done to build toward their company’s success. Among the participants, almost all (94.6%) cited three or more initiatives; 57.0% cited seven or more.

A key factor for future success is that clients and prospective clients know the range of our capabilities—what we can do. It seems that State of the Industry participants are well aware of this, as almost three-quarters (73.1%) of the companies cited marketing more effectively, either in particular, or in general as being important for the success of their company. As a participant noted, “Marketing is most important. We may have a good product, but people need to know it.” While promoting the scope of our capabilities is important, so is keeping a tight rein on operations. This is not lost on survey participants, as a similar majority (73.1%) cited being as lean as possible, controlling costs, or doing more with less.

More than 70.0% realize they need to upgrade capabilities, both to increase efficiencies and to increase value to clients. In fact, almost 70.0% of companies we surveyed see the need to increase value to clients by understanding their business better and offering the services they value most as critical to success. Of course, these initiatives can go hand-in-hand. In many cases, to offer services that clients value we must upgrade our capabilities. See the chart below for what companies view as the top initiatives they need to act upon.

In breaking down what capabilities companies are looking to upgrade, more than half (52.3%) of the companies see a need to upgrade Web-to-print, Web storefronts, and e-commerce. More than one-third (35.4%) of the companies cited workflow, pressroom: digital, or bindery/finishing as areas in which they need to upgrade capabilities. See upcoming reports in the State of the Industry series for further discussion of what companies are doing to achieve success.

Andy Paparozzi                      Joe Vincenzino

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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