Exclusive Research: Top 100 Print Buyers Ranked by Projected 2018 Print Procurement Spends
In summary, the Printing Impressions Top 100 print buyers (as shown in the accompanying chart - Opens as a PDF) collectively are predicted to procure $50 billion worth of printing, about 1.2% below 2017. These entities will also account for more than 37% of U.S. GDP. The types of paper, printing and converting, naturally, vary sector to sector.
Printing is sold inefficiently, not for lack of effort, but because of three marketplace misconceptions. The first is that there is a relationship between a prospect’s revenue size and their demand for our medium. Just look at the orange line in the figure below.
There is no correlation!
The second misunderstanding in sales management is that printing demand is widely spread among tens of thousands of buyers. The blue curve along the same graph shows that there is no linearity. Twenty-five companies place nearly the same volume of print as the next 50 organizations. The 50, in turn, order more than the next 100 — and on-and-on.
The third, and most subjective, mistaken belief is that it’s harder to sell large projects than it is to garner small ones. This is a fallacy, rooted in fear, that prospect access is somehow inversely related to a prospect’s volume. It is not and, in the experience of the best printing sales pros, making contact is actually easier.
Let’s start climbing the curve by “putting a face” on a few of the Printing Impressions Top 100 print buyers among the entities on Table 1.
No. 24 McDonald’s Corp. divides its print requirements by function: Marketing, which is regional with local ad, event, collateral and media placement subcontractors; product outer packaging, presentation, sanitary papers and wholesale delivery; franchise development, including digital forms and proposals; property signage, décor, exteriors and other real estate-related activities; and co-operative cross-branding and coordination of games and national programs and promotions with partners.
All functions report to the corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., which includes brand integrity and management of patents, trademarks and other intellectual property. Dean Barrett is the global marketing senior VP. The Ronald McDonald House Foundation is administered separately. Of the 36,000 restaurants in the system, about 40% are in the United States. Print-per-location is forecast here at more than $30,000/year.
Walt Disney Co., at No. 7, is decentralized by four businesses: media networks, including ABC; studio entertainment, principally in motion pictures; consumer products, including interactive media; and parks and resorts. Nearly 200 operating units and functions procure print to a total of nearly 1.6% of the company’s $62 billion in revenues.
As an example, Tony Merrell manages Disney Creative Productions, a group of 30 who oversee production of digital graphics, video, photography and print for park events, conventions, groups, weddings and internal clients. Disney’s principal supplier touch-points in the U.S. are in Burbank, Calif., Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and New York.
At No. 5 is Johnson & Johnson. Claire Paterson (Zuber) serves as manager, global production. She oversees packaging and collateral in flexography, web and sheetfed offset, digital and variable imaging. J&J procures approximately $1.05 billion with a staff of more than 100, principally at its New Brunswick, N.J., headquarters. It also operates an in-plant and onsite packaging at its various pharmaceutical and consumer personal care manufacturing facilities.
Apple is ranked No. 4. At the Cupertino headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Heather Wolf is the senior print production manager, with 11 print designers, specifiers and buyers. They procure in-store signage, POS, direct mail and publication inserts for the U.S., while counterparts in 28 cities around the world perform similar functions for their respective markets.
The company is arguably the richest in the world and will likely overtake the print buying ranks of the present top three following yet another iPhone introduction in late 2018.
Advance Publications, at No. 3, is the largest privately-held publisher in the U.S. It is decentralized at each of three divisions, the largest of which is Condé Nast (New York) where 24 signature titles are separately sourced and managed.
Kevin Roff, a former prepress salesperson for Quad/Graphics, is production manager for Glamour. He and more than 100 managers and support personnel are directed by David Orlin, senior VP of operations and strategic sourcing.
No. 2 Pepsico is the largest user of flexographic packaging and metal decoration on earth. If that’s not enough, the Purchase N.Y.-based global packaged foods and beverage conglomerate is also one of the largest customers for rotogravure, large-format litho and screen print in POP/POS applications.
Pari Patkar is a senior analyst for global packaging procurement and print quality, and works in a matrix-type group that crosses over with product managers and supply-chain logistics planners. More than 1,000 vendors in over 100 countries provide print for 22 iconic, billion-dollar brands.
At the peak of the curve at No. 1 is the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), where nearly 1.8 cents of each dollar in receipts goes to print. An R&D facility overseen by VP Gary Reblin in Virginia is coming up with new products and services, such as the recent “Parcel Select/Parcel Return” and “Express” Priority, which are more than doubling the contribution of the shipping and packaging (+16%) category. This fast-growth, print-intensive service will demand more than 3 billion labels, envelopes and diecut boards.
That buys over one-half of total print and converting. The balance consists of transactional print (money orders), accountable mail forms and stickers (certified, registered, etc.), POS retail marketing at more than 30,000 locations and, of course, stamps!
“Forever” and “collectible” are heaven-sent words to the USPS balance sheet. These are cash-collected and treated as deferred liabilities. Jim Cochrane serves as chief marketing and sales officer and executive VP.
In summary, the 100 indicative demanders collectively are predicted to print $50 billion, about 1.2% below 2017. These entities will also account for more than 37% of U.S. GDP. The types of paper, printing and converting, naturally, vary sector to sector and is best figured out by visiting retailers and other representative venues.
When the chart is extended, the next 1,400 printing demanders represent an additional $59.6 billion, some 3.2% above last year’s numbers. Farther to the right of the 1,500 entries continues a long, flat tail indistinguishable from the horizontal axis — what economists call the “residual.” It is where the nearly 114,000 really small ad-hoc buyers are located. It’s also where our salespeople shouldn’t be!
Vincent Mallardi, C.M.C., is a the chairman of the Printing Brokerage/Buyers Association International (PBBA) and is a Certified Management Consultant in the paper, printing and converting industries. He is also an adjunct professor in economics. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org