Commercial Printing Outlook: Forecasting a U-turn
Along those same lines, PIA's Davis points out that the year-over-year growth rate for individual printers can actually be much better than the industry-wide figure because of plants going out of business. Those companies that do the right things to survive can see their sales grow, even with flat or declining industry sales, as long as the percentage of plants going out of business exceeds the change in sales, he notes.
Leadership is Changing
Being a market leader used to be about doing things you already were doing better and faster, Paparozzi adds. That started to change in the late 1990s with advances in digital communications and other structural changes that have now redefined not just the printing industry, but the American economy as a whole, he says.
NAPL has found that today's market leaders have five critical attributes in common, starting with regularly completing a very advanced and effective business environmental analysis, both of their internal and external environments. This is along the lines of a SWOT—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats—analysis that looks carefully at where a company stands internally, and in relation to the competition and its clients. Then, the leaders:
• are able to translate that analysis into a company vision and a meaningful business plan;
• have the flexibility and courage to act on that plan;
• communicate the plan and vision effectively both internally and externally; and
• execute it effectively.
"Those skills used to be luxuries in our industry, but are now required to participate fully in a recovery. You don't need just one or two or three of them; you need all five," Paparozzi says.
He notes that one of the most tried-and-true measures of a recovery is the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance. He says there's a misconception that recovery begins with the unemployed, but it really starts with the mindset of the employed.