Leaders Beginning to Widen Their Lead

By Andrew Paparozzi
In April 6, 2011

It happened after the 2001-2003 recession. And it’s happening now, as recovery from the Great Recession of 2008–2010 begins. NAPL Leaders are widening their lead, growing their sales 7.8% between June 2010 and December 2010. In comparison, industry sales fell 2.5% over the same period. (See the graph below.)

Who are the Leaders? They are not companies of a particular size, equipment configuration, or ownership structure. Rather they are companies that make change—no matter how disruptive—an opportunity rather than a threat. They don’t do it overnight. And their numbers may not be pretty while they’re doing it. But NAPL Leaders ultimately turn change to their advantage by making the tough decisions that others delay or avoid altogether.

What about the widening of their lead as recovery progresses? There are many reasons for that. But no reason is more important than how Leaders prepare for recovery. Even at the recession’s deepest, when others are hunkering down, cutting, and freezing, Leaders are focused on getting more productive, more competitive, and more valuable to their clients. And in the earliest stages of recovery, when others are still in a wait-and-see mindset, Leaders are moving aggressively to gain market share. Put another way, Leaders laid the foundation for their outsized gains of 2005–2007 in late 2003 and early 2004 when our industry was, as it is today, struggling to emerge from deep recession—just as they are laying the foundation today for the gains they’ll be making in 2012–2015, as recovery takes hold.

What else do Leaders do? We’ll talk about that in the NAPL Growth Leaders Study™ we’ll be publishing later this year.


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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