Commercial Printing Industry Moves Closer to Growth

By Andrew Paparozzi
In July 9, 2010

Our industry’s sales (all sources) fell 4.1% during the six months ending in May, the smallest decline over any six months in nearly two years and significantly less than the 15.3% decline during the same period a year earlier. During the three months ending in May sales were down just 0.2%.

When do we finally begin growing again? That’s not nearly as important as asking, What are we doing to prepare for growth when it comes? As NAPL has long emphasized, participation in the recovery ahead will be about growing at someone else’s expense, not about growing with the market. And it will be reserved for companies that are best prepared for an industry that is becoming increasingly:

• Multi-media, multi-service, and integrated with our clients’ businesses. It’s far less about what we print and how we print it and far more about helping clients communicate more successfully with their clients.

• Competitive despite record consolidation. We competing in new ways with people we’ve never had to compete with before.

• Complex in a lot of ways. We’re making tougher decisions over a much broader range of issues. And while the return for being right is greater than ever, so is the cost of being wrong.

• Divided between companies that understand what’s happening and those that don’t. It’s not the strong getting stronger. It’s the most adaptable and best-informed getting stronger.

See NAPL Printing Business Conditions, July 2010 and the NAPL State of the Industry: Strategic Perspective 2010 for more.

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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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