Remembering What We’ve Learned
During the Great Recession, companies, economy-wide, learned to do more with less—in many cases they were forced to. In order to maintain profitability, or minimize any damage, companies strove to be as lean as possible. This was certainly the case for the commercial printing industry, which not only was being impacted by the cyclical effects of the economic downturn, but also continues to deal with the redefining effects of structural changes.
Data on sales per employee show that commercial printing companies, on average, have achieved efficiency gains. As seen in the chart below, sales per employee among State of the Industry participants increased 4.0% last year to $154,831, and since the depths of the Great Recession, the increase amounts to more than 11.0%.
Of course, “on average” means that some companies achieved greater efficiency gains, while others didn’t achieve any gains at all. Nonetheless, as discussed in the soon to be released NAPL Printing Business Conditions: Vol. XIV, No. 2, many companies do realize that being as lean as possible/controlling costs/doing more with less is a key factor for success going forward. Yes, there are other key factors for success such as marketing more effectively, and increasing our value to clients. But, in an industry as competitive as ours, it is also essential that the lesson of “doing more with less” does not fade as business conditions improve.
Andy Paparozzi Joe Vincenzino