Quick/Small Commercial Printers’ Sales Expectations Take Negative Turn

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Oct. 19, 2011—Quick and small commercial printers now expect sales to come in relatively flat (-0.3 percent) for all of 2011, a sharp reversal from the expectation of 5.1 percent gains they expressed in May, according to the latest “Quick and Small Commercial Printers Trends Report” from the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL)/National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP).

The report, sponsored by Xerox, also found that less than 40 percent of those surveyed now expect their business to grow this year, still higher than the 31.6 percent who expect sales to decline, but down sharply from a few months ago.

“We’ve definitely lost the momentum that we had coming into 2011,” notes NAPL Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi. “While the reasons for the falloff in expectations can be company specific, the sputtering economy and high level of uncertainty are among the overarching factors.

“The economy is drifting, with little to suggest it is about to snap back anytime soon,” he adds. “Uncertainty stems not only from a faltering economy, but from healthcare, tax, and regulatory policy. And given the atmosphere in Washington, it would not appear that the clouds of uncertainty are about to recede anytime soon.”

The eight-page report details trends in payroll hours and costs—including cost of goods, payroll costs, and overhead—and the pressures they are exerting on both pricing and owners’ compensation. It also includes a section on strategies quick and small commercial printers are using to deal with the current business climate, ranging from sales and marketing initiatives to new services and cost controls.

“Given the unforgiving business environment, and because in our increasingly competitive and complex industry we either get better or get left behind, we asked our survey group what they would most like to improve about their companies over the next 12 months and what they were doing to make those improvements,” reports Paparozzi.

“Although their responses varied according to their individual circumstances, resources and goals, there was wide agreement that improvement is most important in the areas of sales, marketing, service mix, and efficiency/cost control,” he adds. “All are essential to long-term profitability, and all are mutually reinforcing.”

The “NAPL Quick and Small Commercial Printers Trends Report” is issued quarterly by the NAPL Research Center as a benefit of corporate membership in the association. Non-members may order a copy for $24.95 by calling Donna Komlo at (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6345, emailing dkomlo@napl.org, or ordering through the NAPL store. To order online, enter product code NP252.

For information on NAPL membership, contact Director of Membership Kristen Hartman at (678) 594-0048 or khartman@napl.org.

About NAPL
NAPL is a not-for-profit business management association representing companies in the $80+ billion commercial printing and graphic communications industry in North America. NAPL’s comprehensive slate of business-building solutions provides company leaders with the management tools they need to make informed business decisions in an ever-changing market environment. It serves the unique needs of the industry’s quick and small commercial printer segment through the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP).

About the NAPL Research Center
The definitive resource on current and future industry trends, the NAPL Research Center has built its reputation on accuracy and detailed methodologies. Its annual State of the Industry and Strategic Perspective reports help companies navigate successfully through today’s global marketplace. NAPL research is based on input from the NAPL State of the Industry Panel, a representative group of more than 500 printing company leaders who share information about their business through comprehensive regular surveys. Using survey results and follow-up interviews of survey respondents, the Center’s economists develop insights that provide meaning to industry data and help printers nationwide better understand what’s happening, why, and what can be done in response.

About Xerox
Xerox Corp. is a $22 billion leading global enterprise for business process and document management. Through its broad portfolio of technology and services, Xerox provides the essential back-office support that clears the way for clients to focus on what they do best: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, Xerox provides leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size.

Source: NAQP.

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