For the last several years, Printing Impressions has been reporting about the business opportunities available to commercial printers. High on that list has always been wide-format graphics. But why? Take a look at some of the numbers.
According to the InfoTrends report “Emerging Trends, Wide Format” year-over-year volume has seen double-digit growth: 14% in the print-for-pay market and 11% for in-plants. But right now, less than 10% of commercial print shops have wide-format capabilities.
And when you start to break down the numbers it gets even more interesting.
According to IT Strategies’ report, “Commercial Printers: The Wide-Format Return-on-Investment Numbers Speak Loud and Clear for Those with a First Mover Advantage,” for the average job the production price per square foot is $1.00 for standard substrates or $2.50 for rigid materials. If a shop averages between 5 and 20 print per day (at a size of 6 square feet) and they are able to do this at least 240 days a year, hypothetically, the business could be making somewhere between $70,000 to $360,000 in gross profit annually. That would be net-new pages for that business and brand new revenue.
Put another way, a typical $2M annual revenue shop, selling as little as 5 wide-format prints per day can add nearly 4% to its annual net sales or operating income.
Although that might not be double-digit growth, it is certainly on the way. And those numbers are for very low volumes.
If those numbers get you thinking that wide-format might be the right opportunity for you and your company, make sure you’re prepared.
- Get your sales team engaged early so they can get your customers thinking about what you’re going to be able to do. Start selling even before you get the wide-format press. Your customers don’t know what new types of print services they will be able to get from you unless you tell them. Once they know, the customers start thinking. This pre-selling can give you a feel for the opportunities available before you have the press in-house.
- Map your current state, then your future state. Look at the jobs you will be able to do right at the very beginning, but don’t let the planning stop there. Start looking ahead to the future of what types of jobs you would like to do and work toward it — either with additional education or new product investments.
- Have a holistic strategy for growth. Don’t get locked into just one segment or one type of product. Any user these days can be very flexible if you bring them creative solutions.
- Have a strategy to upgrade, but remember that an upgrade strategy is not a like-for-like footprint replacement. When it’s time to upgrade to a new machine don’t just replace one machine for a new one. Look at where you are currently in terms of jobs and volume, and then map out where you want to go. Make sure you build in capacity for growth.
But remember, getting into wide-format printing is all about improving profitability. It’s not as much about how much square foot you can sell; it’s about how much you can sell that square foot for.
Want to learn how two printers — one commercial/digital printer and one screen printer —made the successful leap into wide-format printing? Sign up to view the Printing Impressions webinar “Wide-Format Graphics Printing Capabilities Can Propel Your Business,” sponsored by EFI.
Adding wide-format graphics printing capabilities to your operation is a great way for your business to remain competitive and profitable.
What you will learn:
- The value of adding wide-format printing to your product mix
- Real-life examples of how two print providers prepared for and maximized their new wide-format capabilities, including
- Operator training
- Getting sales engaged early
- Factors to consider for estimating and pricing
- New media and finishing equipment considerations
- What workflow changes need to be made to accommodate your new in-house printing capabilities
- Designing for wide-format graphics: The basics
- They will also reveal how it marketed its new capabilities and how it continues to drive demand.
Click on the link below to sign up for the free webinar:
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.