Opportunity Awaits in Small Commercial and Quick Printers’ Market
Based on PRIMIR’s recently completed study, “Small Commercial and Quick Printer Study 2006-2011,” in which more than 300 small or quick printers were interviewed – a world of opportunity awaits.
Revealing their overall optimism, 84% of the surveyed respondents projected their revenues would be higher in 2011, and 72% expected higher profits as well. According to John Zarwan of J. Zarwan Partners and Cary Sherburne of Sherburne & Associates, who conducted this PRIMIR research, the survey reveals good news for a market segment that has seen steep declines in the number of establishments and experienced flat to declining shipments over the last several years.
The study exposed that one of the greatest threats to the small commercial and quick print segment is the increased capability and prevalence of in-house copiers and printers, which are siphoning off the work that these firms typically produced in the past. As a result, many small commercial and quick printers are seeking to both broaden and provide more sophisticated offerings in order to capture the more complex types of work that their customers are less likely to produce in-house.
According to the study results, “At a high level, several trends have clearly emerged – trends that we know apply to the printing market as a whole, but many of which were erroneously perceived as perhaps less likely to affect the small commercial and quick printer as heavily as they have affected their larger brethren.” Foremost among them:
• Analog is out and digital is in. While there will continue to be a market for analog products, including presses and consumables, there is a clear shift in this market toward a digital future.
• The increasing penetration of computer-to-plate. Over 50% of our sample is already using some type of CTP, including polyester, metal and DI. Implementation is more prevalent among quick printers than among small commercial printers. This is perhaps one of the biggest opportunities for vendors and printers alike in this market – to hasten the adoption of CTP and direct-to-plate by this segment, which has understandably been slower to adopt than larger firms.