Second drupa 'Touch the Future' Report Shows the Benefits of Good Management Practices
CHICAGO—November 11, 2015—The first results of the second drupa Global Insights Report "Touch the future: Applications that can create growth" are in: Implementing new print applications is for many the best way to regain growth in the demand for print. Yet the result of implementing such applications is often disappointing. The second drupa Global Insights report will show that good management practice in planning, integration and marketing delivers on average an additional $175,000 of annual turnover and $63,000 of additional profit compared to poor management practices. The report explains what good management practice are and includes case studies to demonstrate the results in practice.
Best practice in implementing new print applications
About 750 printers from around the globe (all members of drupa's expert panel), participated in a survey about new print applications they implemented and their experiences. Overall, these printers reported about 26 different applications, with an average of 2.8 applications per printer.
Some applications offered a quicker payback on average than others and the differences were not depended on the size of the original investment. In the publishing market for example, short run batch book production took on average more than double the time to payback than on-demand book production. In the commercial market, business stationery applications took twice as long to payback compared to multichannel marketing investments.
However in every market and with every application there were both successes and disappointments. Regarding planning, integration and marketing, it became clear that good management practices meant that printers invested on average $70,000 more but gained $175,000 extra annual turnover and received an extra $63,000 profit. This was true in all markets and applications except packaging, where in some cases those adopting good management practices gained less than those who did not. This suggests that is more challenging to apply new applications in the packaging market than in other markets due to structural reasons such as the complexity of the supply chain.
In the report these findings are set against the background of an analysis of changes in the global demand for print and how print must exploit the very digital technologies that are driving the way people, brands, corporations and governments communicate.
The demand for print and the impact of digital communications
While the world population is nearly static in many developed regions it will grow overall for many years to come, particularly in Asia and Africa. With the rising living standards, the demand for print in many developing countries will continue to grow. Nevertheless, overall global demand for print has decreased, in part due to sluggish economic conditions but largely because of the rapid growth of digital communications. The growth of the Internet is staggering reaching 42 percent of the world population last year with ever-wider use of both mobile phones and social media (51 percent and 29 percent of world population respectively). There are fundamental shifts in the way consumers communicate with each other and expect brands, corporations and governments to communicate with them. Print can be a key part in those multichannel communications but only if print takes advantage of the very technologies that are driving change. Consequently, print advertising has fallen over the last 5 years at 6 percent compound annual rate but consumer spending on print has declined by only 1.5 percent compounded annually.
Print must make use of new applications with fresh print technology and automated workflow
New digital technologies are not only changing the way consumers communicate, they are changing the way that print can and must meet customer needs in order to remain relevant and central to communications. There are now more mobile-connected devices than people on earth. Data is now the core driver of increased business and handling and manipulating data must be a core skill for all printers if they want to thrive in the digital future. Print is still essentially a manufacturing industry and must combine data and intelligent devices with intelligent systems and automation to meet market needs. While analogue print will stay for many years to come, digital printing—whether toner or increasingly ink-jet—will be essential for growth and this in turn demands automated workflows. Printers' business models must evolve in line with the changing technology and examples are included in the second drupa report—such as on-demand publishing, digital packaging, textiles and interior decorations.
The full report will be released in English in a few weeks; the Executive Summary will be available in seven languages (German, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese) at www.drupa.com.