NAPL (National Association for Print Leadership)

NAPL 2013 State of the Industry Report Finds Dramatic Disparity in Companies' Sales Performance

The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) State of the Industry Report, 11th Edition, reveals striking differences in individual company performance that has little to do with business size, location, or specialty, and everything to do with each company’s ability to respond to current industry and economic challenges.

“The most telling result of our research is the dramatic variation in performance from company to company,” explains NAPL Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi. “We found that, compared to a year ago, sales were up an average of more than 21% during the first half of 2013 for the top fifth of our survey group and down an average of almost 15% for the bottom fifth. Clearly, some companies are on the right side of market redistribution, while others are not, and are falling further behind.”

Paparozzi, co-author of the report with NAPL Senior Economist Joseph Vincenzino, introduced the latest edition in a presentation at the booth of report sponsor KBA during the recent PRINT 13 show in Chicago. 

“Business remains a tough grind,” adds Paparozzi, noting that since early 2010 commercial printing industry sales have fluctuated between fractional gains and fractional losses, and remain more than 21% below their pre-recession high. “Getting to and staying on the good side of the market redistribution is the most significant challenge facing everyone in our industry. We’re in a constant battle for market share, and neither a healthy economy nor continued consolidation is going to change that.”

The new report includes an in-depth look at industry Leaders, whose performance has outpaced the rest of the industry significantly over the last decade plus. “Despite economic challenges and structural changes, between January 2000 and March 2013, Leaders’ sales are up 54.2%, while the industry at large is down more than 21%,” says Paparozzi. How Leaders have responded to challenges, diversified, and implemented strategic shifts are outlined in the report, along with key takeaways and lessons learned that all printers can apply in their businesses.

Among other topics reported on in the new study:

•           Commercial printing industry sales, sales distribution, and sales expectations.

•           Commercial printing establishments by region, company size, and company “births and deaths” over the last 10 years.

•           Commercial printing industry history and outlook; print sales and GDP by region and state.

•           The role of communication and new skill development in company growth and profitability.

•           The impact of diversification in opening new opportunities; areas expected to grow fastest; benefits and challenges of diversification by company size.

•           Ideas for action, including client communication, social media, and using business/customer advisory groups.

NAPL members receive a free copy of the report as a benefit of membership. The NAPL State of the Industry Report, 11th Edition (NP417), 60 pp., is available to non-members for $149.95, plus shipping and handling. For more information, or to order, go to www.napl.org/store, call (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6324 or Ext. 6349, or email joppenheim@napl.org.

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