As one company president puts it, “On a minute-to-minute basis, we must manage cost like we’ve never managed cost before. We have to make sure we have a quality management process in place that supports continuous improvement so we can take cost out and increase productivity. We just have to have exceptionally run operations today to survive.” Our research group’s ambitious goal: Increase sales per employee 4.5 percent this year, to an average of $150,622.
• 56.5 percent plan to get out of the commodity space by offering greater value to clients. That goal is to get involved in clients’ work earlier, stay involved longer, and satisfy a broader range of their communications needs by complementing print—it’s print-and, not print-or—with services such as variable data digital, Web-to-print, 1:1 cross-media marketing, mailing, and fulfillment.
There’s more good news. Many of the companies we survey know that there is plenty of opportunity in our new industry—just not in the same old places or by doing the same old things. They also know that, far from being equitable, the recovery ahead will heartlessly divide companies that are prepared to capitalize on those opportunities from companies that aren’t. Their solution? Ask the question every one of us should be asking: What are we doing to get on the right side of the divide?