2005 Market outlook Printers in Full Court Press

The presses are just one part of the answer. I look at printing press technology as kind of a me-too thing, if you have the financial resources to make the type of investment we are making. It is the other things that ultimately win out in the market, such as having sound operating practices, financial discipline and cost control.

QUADRACCI: Quad/Graphics’ approach to equipment purchases is, and always has been, strikingly simple: Continually upgrade to the newest, most efficient equipment when it becomes available. We have a long-standing practice of replacing equipment once it has served its useful, economic—vs. mechanical—life.

This approach enables us to put the most advanced capabilities in the industry at our clients’ disposal, while providing high-quality printing at a low unit cost—a must in today’s marketplace. To that end, Quad/Graphics’ recent purchases—we’re spending more than $200 million on 10 new 64-page presses, six perfect binders, four saddlestitchers and five polywrappers—will be used to replace a large number of older, less-efficient pieces of equipment.

Without a doubt, print remains one of the strongest mediums that marketers can use to reach their target audiences, so it’s not surprising that catalog and publication printers are seeing an increase in demand for their services. These recent equipment purchases further underscore our commitment to print and our belief that the industry will remain strong and viable for the long term.

PI: Most press buyers seem to be saying that their purchases were not about adding capacity, but rather to gain efficiency. Do you agree?

QUADRACCI: I would characterize Quad/Graphics’ recent equipment purchases as an effort to expand our efficient capacity…or, having the right mix of equipment to promote high-quality printing at a low unit cost.

Certainly, the 64-page presses we’ve started installing are ultra-efficient and will change the competitive landscape. Printers—Quad/Graphics included—that have the means to print up to 64 pages per impression (in four unique 16-page signatures, no less) will be able to far outpace those that don’t.

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