Bucking the Trend

By Andrew Paparozzi
In August 19, 2013

Our industry’s sales fell 0.4% last quarter, after declining 0.3% the previous three months. At $76.4 billion sales are essentially unchanged from three years ago and still more than 21.0% below pre-Great Recession (2007) levels. Business is still very inconsistent: “The roller coaster continues—as soon as we feel confident the bottom drops out” and “there’s no visibility” are representative descriptions. And while significantly fewer companies report declines in prices, profitability, payroll hours, and employment, the number reporting increases is still far short of healthy levels. The bottom line as we close out summer 2013: We aren’t regressing anymore, but we aren’t progressing very much, either.

At least not as an industry. Many of the participants in our research are progressing very nicely. For example, nearly one-third increased sales 5.0% or more through midyear and nearly one-fifth increased sales 10.0% or more. Results like those remind us that we don’t have to wait for the economy to turn up or the competition to shake out. They also inspire the theme of this year’s NAPL State of the Industry Report: Getting on and staying on the right side of the market redistribution.

Among the topics the Report covers:

• Why market share is being redistributed from companies that print to companies that put print to work for their clients.

• Why neither a healthy economy nor continued consolidation is going to stop the redistribution.

• How to get on the right side of the redistribution by hearing the voice of our best clients more clearly, executing more effectively, and establishing ourselves as experts.

• Who NAPL Leaders are, what they have accomplished, and keys to their ongoing success.

The 2013 NAPL State of the Industry Report is generously sponsored by KBA and will be unveiled Tuesday, September 10, at KBA’s booth at Print 13. For more information please visit www.napl.org.

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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