Mixed Bag

NAPL’s latest trends report for quick and small commercial printers finds many are getting left behind.

Sales have slowed, expectations have dimmed, and owners’ compensation is down, according to NAPL’s latest Quick and Small Commercial Trends Report for summer and fall of 2011. I doubt that this comes as a surprise to anybody. What does stand out to me, once again, is the wide variation between top performers and also-rans.

Overall sales were down 0.2 percent for the group, down from a 2.7 percent gain in the last report. Companies that grew still outnumbered those that declined, but by a narrower margin. However, the top 20 percent of the group saw sales growing at 9.0 percent while the bottom 20 percent saw sales dropping by 9.6 percent.

Overall owners’ compensation has also tapered off to an average of 7.9 percent. However, top performers owners’ compensation was 17.6 percent of sales while the bottom performers were minus 0.7 percent.

I’ll be covering more of this data, along with data from other sources, in my January state of the industry article, but one other line from this NAPL report bears repeating: “Get better, or get left behind.”