6 Ways to Drive Your Postpress Company to Greater Profits
The postpress industry has seen plenty of transformation in recent years. Lucky for you that means plenty more opportunities for profit.
But the problem isn’t knowing where you want your business to go, it’s how you’re going to get it there. Here are some of the tricks you can employ when you’re reaching for those higher profits.
1. Go Lean
Think about how you get ready each morning. Most of us have a system: 1) Coffee, 2) Get dressed, 3) Another coffee, and so on. Your system works. It gets you to your goal of being out the door on time (at least most days) and where you need to be.
Now you probably didn’t spend the time analyzing your process and developing this strategic system that allows you to reach your goal using the least time and materials. But you get the picture.
Postpress companies in particular, in a fast-growing, hyper-competitive market, can benefit from Lean improvements.
There are countless resources available on how to develop a Lean strategy. PIA offers Web-based courses on Lean through the Integrated Learning Center in addition to several professional articles on the topic.
2. Automate where you can
Another method to achieve more efficient operations is employing automation. Your customers are demanding quicker turnaround times for their binding, finishing, and other postpress jobs, and many operations are finding it difficult to keep up.
New technology has increased the efficiency of automated finishing equipment in recent years. In addition to faster turnaround times, another benefit of automation is more user-friendly equipment. This means less need for highly skilled operators and more profits you can put toward your bottom line.
3. Mind your customers…
Your goal should be to nurture your existing customer base while also growing it. Focusing on current customers allows you to develop repeat clients and ultimately brand ambassadors who will happily promote your company via social media, word of mouth, etc.
On the flip side, bad customer service can lead to negative, damaging feedback for your company. According to sales consultant, Leslie Groene, “96% of unhappy customers do not complain, they just stop doing business with you. 91% of those who don't complain will share the negative story with at least 9 other people, and 13% will tell more than 20 other people about their experience.”
Among the best practices for attaining new customers are:
Targeting: Begin by determine who your target customer is—what problems do they have and how can your company fix them?
Communication: Get out in front of your customers, whether face to face or through email, direct mail, or other marketing platforms, and show them how you can provide them with solutions.
Inbound marketing: Apply lead-generating, inbound marketing tactics such as automated marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing to bring clients to your business. In fact, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
4. …and your employees
One of the most critical “customers” that many companies overlook is the employee. What’s the cost of a disengaged employee? Not only do they fail to create a positive experience for your external customers, disengaged employees also cost the U.S. economy $350 billion a year in productivity loss.
Think about that number for a moment. The losses each business can accrue can be catastrophic, especially for a small firms.
But it doesn’t take major investments to improve employee engagement. Try it out—employee recognition, providing snacks, or dress-down days are a few small changes that can add to greater employee satisfaction.
5. Network, network, network
It really is all about who you know. Attend events like GRAPH EXPO 15 and co-located CPP EXPO and join local and national postpress industry organizations. The BIA LinkedIn group is an active forum for developing and sharing ideas. Also look at your local business chapters for opportunities to network with other professionals in your area.
6. The more you know…
Even in difficult economic times, education should remain high on your priority list. Brainpower is a critical resource to staying competitive and profitable.
Continued education is one method to keep employees motivated and satisfied with their job. Most of the time it is cheaper to retrain an existing employee than it is to train a new one. And considering the hiring challenges within our industry—bindery operators are one of the top three hardest positions to fill, according to PIA’s recent ad hoc HR Trends survey (Jim Kyger, “Graying, Recruiting, and Meeting Your Customers’ Demands,” The Magazine, August, 2015, 66-67)—you want to encourage your staff to stay up to date on technologies and strategies.
For resources, you’ll find valuable postpress titles offered through the PIA Bookstore. BIA members receive discounts on publications as well as learning and networking events throughout the year.
Have any profit-building tricks? Share yours on the BIA LinkedIn group!
If you’re looking for new paths to grow your postpress business, take a closer look at BIA.
What is BIA?
BIA is a dedicated Printing Industries of America group specifically for postpress companies.
What do they do?
BIA offers support for members through the finest networking in the postress industry and education on the latest innovative technologies. Our members enjoy access to value-added resources that allow them to be more competitive and profitable.
What are the benefits?
- Discounts on registration for all Printing Industries of America conferences
- Special pricing for publications purchased through Printing Industries Press
- Exclusive discounts through the National Buying Program
- Access to professional peer networking forums, like virtual peer groups
- Free technical support from the Technical Hotline
- Digital access monthly to Printing Industries of America: The Magazine
- Discounted rates on courses through the Integrated Learning Center
- Bound for Excellence e-newsletter and the BIA Blog
How can I join?
Visit www.printing.org/BIA and download the Membership Form.