Research Report Showcases Ways Digital Printing and Automation are Powering Profitability
A special report from NAPCO Research highlights the ways print providers are redefining business strategies to maintain profitability as they face labor shortages, declines in print volumes, price competition, heightened security requirements, and changing customer needs. “The New Formula for Production Print Success” leverages NAPCO Research surveys and print provider examples to highlight how process automation and digital transformation are strengthening business results.
The report (download the full asset here) identifies the following 4 challenges and presents recommendations and real-world examples of ways print providers are overcoming them.
Challenge 1: Beating Profitability Targets
Achieving profitability goals can be a challenging task. According to the PRINTING United Alliance’s 2022- 2023 State of the Industry research, while industry sales are growing and confidence is on the rise, operating cost inflation and labor shortages are squeezing print providers margins. In turn, print providers are prioritizing the importance of cost reduction and production productivity. Nonetheless, commercial printers participating in the State of the Industry research are taking multiple actions to beat profit targets, from price increases to cost-cutting to capital investment that supports automation, faster production speed, and more streamlined workflow. In addition, commercial printer survey respondents report their top capital investment objective is to increase productivity/efficiency (82%), followed by increasing production speed (53%), and automating operations (52%).
Challenge 2: Accelerating Productivity
Commercial printers participating in a NAPCO Research’s Annual Print and Trends and Strategy Service survey identified the following as their top three workflow pain points or inefficiencies influencing productivity:
- Producing and managing a high number of small-quantity jobs
- Keeping up with technology changes
- Increasing throughput; shortening production times
This challenge points to the benefits of investing in the right equipment and workflow automation to reduce costs, enable faster throughput, increase efficiency, and improve output quality.
Another essential benefit of automating business processes is that it reduces labor requirements, a critical challenge for print providers. Despite persistent labor and skill shortages, technology solutions exist to support print service providers in reducing staff needs, simplifying processes, and automating tasks.
Challenge 3: Winning More Business and Growing Print Volumes
Over half of commercial printers (56%) participating in a NAPCO Research’s annual survey report differentiating their products and services is a key challenge. Offering printing enhancements is a way for print providers to differentiate from the competition and capture more business. Marketers and brand owners understand the value of enhanced printing and its ability to give their printed communications a premium look.
Challenge 4: Championing Sustainability
Brand owners, marketers, and consumers are looking for eco-friendly options. Sustainability is an important topic across all industries, but printed products often suffer from a perception that they are difficult to recycle, end up in landfills, and are damaging to the earth’s forests. At the same time, organizations are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on carbon emissions and the environment.
An Updated Success Model Emerges
Print service providers are looking for new ways to address these challenges while remaining competitive and profitable. Meeting today’s competitive challenges requires re-aligning business strategies to adjust for new market realities. The new formula for a printing company’s success combines delivering quality, turnaround, price, value, innovation, security, and sustainability.
Download the full asset today to learn how to power profitability with efficiency, automation, differentiation, and sustainability.
Lisa Cross is the principal analyst of NAPCO Research (a unit of NAPCO Media) where she conducts market research and analysis on emerging trends and changing dynamics in the commercial, in-plant and packaging industries, and the market forces that are driving those changes. With decades of experience covering the graphic arts and marketing industries, Cross has authored thousands of articles on a variety of topics, including technology trends, business strategy, sales, marketing and legislation.