Federal government printing work awarded to private sector printers has shown no signs of increasing based on third quarter data released by the United States Government Printing Office (GPO), the federal agency through which federal government agencies are to submit their printing needs.
Third quarter 2011 (3Q11) volume was $78 million for July through September compared to $79 million for 2Q11, $61 million for 1Q11, $66 million for 4Q10 and $82 million for 3Q10. Total work awarded by the GPO to private sector printers in FY2010 was $358 million, and total work awarded for FY2009 was $425 million.
“Disturbingly, it appears we are on a course to end the year with less than $300 million awarded by the GPO to thousands of private sector printers who depend on federal print jobs for their livelihoods,” said Deborah Snider, senior vice president of e-LYNXX Corporation and head of its Government Print Management division. “The GPO was awarding half a billion dollars a year to the private sector in the 1990s. Some decline can be attributed to less demand because of e-communications, but the main reason for the decline is federal agencies have been allowed to setup their own print shops in defiance of Title 44 of the United States Code.”
Title 44 of the U. S. Code states that all federal printing, with a few exceptions, is to be channeled through the GPO. If, in practice, this were happening Snider said GPO work awarded to private sector printers would be a boon to an industry that very much needs a shot in the arm. Public Printer William Boarman has said that if the estimated $800 million in print work now being done by agencies were awarded to the private sector the federal government and taxpayers could save about $400 million and the jobs created would help with the economic recovery.
For 3Q11, the top 50 print suppliers produced for the GPO work valued at $49 million compared to $57 million for 2Q11, $39 million awarded during 1Q11 and $45 million awarded during 4Q10. Work done by the top 50 suppliers during 3Q10 was valued at $48 million.
Of the more than 1,423 print suppliers that obtained GPO work during 3Q11, NPC, Inc., of Claysburg, Pennsylvania, won the most work with $5,748,230 awarded to the firm. Rounding out the top five GPO job winners for 3Q11 were Gateway Press of Louisville, Kentucky, with $3,606,682, Monarch Litho, Inc. of Montebello, California, with $3,329,197 and Pearson Custom Publishing of Boston, Massachusetts, with $2,524,410.
With declining GPO work, Snider said it is more important than ever for a printer to fully understand the GPO marketplace. “A printer can expect to increase its profitability from an industry average of 2%, before GPO work, to 14% or more afterwards,” she added. “Those percentages are based on a printer working with an experienced GPO bid service firm, identifying open production capacity and offering margin pricing to fill otherwise non-productive, non-revenue generating schedule openings.”