Commercial Printing Industry Sales per Employee Fell Sharply in 2009

By Andrew Paparozzi
In February 18, 2010

NAPL data show our industry’s sales per employee fell 3.9% in 2009, to
$179,914. Coupled with the previous year’s 0.4% decline, sales per employee is
now down 4.3% since peaking at $187,992 in 2007. (See chart below.)

As always,
sales per employee varies widely by company size and within company-size
categories. For example, sales per employee averages slightly under $120,000
for NAPL State of the Industry
participants with sales of $3 million or less but nearly
$210,000 for participants with sales of $30 million or more. Within the first
group sales per employee ranges from over $145,000 for the top 20% to less than
$92,000 for the bottom 20%. Within the second group the comparable numbers are
$252,000 and $146,000, respectively

your sales per employee carefully as recovery progresses to ensure that you
don’t over-hire. How do you compare with the NAPL Performance Indicators
participants? Where are your
biggest opportunities for improvement? Cross-training? Eliminating
“institutionalized positions, roles, and processes,” as one NAPL State of
the Industry

participant puts it? Hiring employees who are “versatile and able to
multitask,” as another recommends? Remember, in our increasingly competitive
industry we have to build productivity and control costs as vigilantly during
recovery as we do during recession. Sales per employee is a good place to


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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