NAPL Performance Indicators: Leaders and Companies Determined to Become Leaders

By Andrew Paparozzi
In August 26, 2009


NAPL Performance Indicators is not about what’s typical or representative of our industry. It is not about benchmarking against companies that are the same size or that have the same equipment we do. In fact, it’s not about benchmarking at all: Performance Indicators is about building and sustaining profitability by carefully monitoring what’s most important—the vital few metrics—and acting aggressively on what those metrics tell us.

Seventy-five (70) companies currently participate in Performance Indicators. There is nothing distinguishing about their profiles. Annual sales range from under $2 million to over $200 million, with the majority, as in our industry at large, having sales of $20 million or less. The majority are general commercial printers offering a broad range of products, led by direct mail/marketing, newsletters, and promotion. And the majority offer sheetfed lithography and/or digital printing as their primary processes, all also true of our industry at large.


What distinguishes Performance Indicators participants is their profitability:

• The most profitable 50% maintain an EBITDA/sales ratio between seven and eight percentage points—or 87.9%, on average—above the industry.

•  The most profitable 75% maintain an EBITDA/sales ratio between three and four percentage points—or 47.5%, on average—above the industry. 

None of that is surprising. Performance Indicators participants are either leaders who are determined to maintain their leadership or companies determined to become leaders. All recognize that in our increasingly competitive, complex industry we either get better—improve continuously—or we get left behind. And all recognize that vital few metrics analysis is essential to improving continuously.

There is no charge to participate in Performance Indicators. For more information on the program, click here. For a profile of program participants, click here. And for a comparison of EBITDA/sales ratios with the industry, click here.


EBITDA/Sales: NAPL Performance Indicators Participants vs. Industry

EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as a percent of sales.  All figures are four-quarter moving averages to capture trend. Source of industry EBITDA/sales: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations, U.S. Census Bureau, first quarter 2010 and previous ediitions,

Leaders Document base Q2 2010a

NAPL Performance Indicators Participant Profile

Leaders Document base Q2 2010b

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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