United States Government Printing Office (GPO) work to private sector printers has increased modestly from the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) through the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), and industry officials express some hope that this begins to reverse a trend of declining work from the GPO.
First quarter 2012 volume to the private sector was $61 million for January through March compared to $59 million for 4Q11, $78 million for 3Q11, $79 million for 2Q11 and $61 million for 1Q11. Total work awarded by the GPO to private sector printers in FY2011 was $305 million compared to $358 million in FY2010, and $425 million in FY2009.
“While an increase of GPO printing from $59 million to $61 million to the private sector is better than a decline, we are still concerned about the overall decrease in GPO work over the past several years,” said Deborah Snider, senior vice president of e-LYNXX Corporation and head of its Government Print Management division. “GPO remains a very solid and viable secondary market for printers who want additional income to complement their commercial work. Typically, GPO work is done when other work is not scheduled so it will round out a printer’s production schedule. While thousands of printers are registered as GPO print suppliers, only a few hundred are active bidders. That means the door is wide open for other printers to compete.”
For 1Q12, the top 50 print suppliers produced for the GPO work valued at $39 million compared to $38 million for 4Q11, $49 million for 3Q11, $57 million for 2Q11 and $39 million for 1Q11. NPC, Inc., of Claysburg, Pennsylvania, won the most 1Q12 GPO work with $5,356,729 awarded to the firm. Rounding out the top five GPO job winners for 1Q12 were Gateway Press of Louisville, Kentucky, with $4,909,250, Sourcelink of Miamisburg, Ohio, with $2,813,721, Cenveo of Stamford, Connecticut with $2,218,370 and Monarch Litho, Inc. of Montebello, California, with $1,681,184.
Snider said that once a printer starts winning GPO work consistently, it can expect to increase its profitability from an industry average of 2%, before GPO work, to 14% or more afterwards. Production utilization will increase from a print industry average of 70% to full utilization of 90% to 95%. Those percentages are based on a printer using proven tools and services developed for printers seeking GPO work, identifying open production capacity and discounting prices to fill non-productive, non-revenue generating schedule openings.