Catalog Printing--An Evolving Market Thrives
On the printing end, Perry Judd's, based in Waterloo, WI, had experienced enough positive volume to justify adding more press capacity to accommodate the business, according to Craig Hutchison, president and CEO. Perry Judd's realized significant volume in the first half of the year, then enjoyed a heavy flow heading into the second half and the holiday season.
"We installed a second eight-unit, stacked, 211⁄2˝ Heidelberg M-3000 in our Baraboo plant in October 1998, so we had the capacity available to welcome many new catalog customers, as well as the ability to absorb the increases in page counts and quantities that our current customers added this year," he remarks.
"Nothing has really changed dramatically in terms of direct marketer needs, but I would say that delivery at home, and the tracking and confirmation reports to validate in-home delivery, continue to take on more and more significance," he adds. "Direct marketers are very sophisticated in terms of order patterns, and stocking and staffing based upon their projections. Because of this sophistication, the delivery process must be fine-tuned—from the original production schedule to the carriers to the postal system—to meet catalog marketers' expectations. We suspect that this aspect of what we do for our customers will continue to grow in importance, as our clients look to reduce this cycle time and still deliver on time."
Hutchison believes the economic climate and consumer tendencies that held true in 1999 will carry over into the new millennium. He doesn't foresee any significant cost increases tabbed for the production process, but notes that consolidation in the ink-and-paper industries would have a bearing on consumables pricing. With the combination of strong demand and moderate cost increases, he believes that catalog marketers will continue to grow their businesses, resulting in higher page counts and larger print orders for printers.