WhatTheyThink

COVID-19 Accelerates Channel Fog and Channel Fatigue

Contrary to many assumptions and preconceived notions, the share of transactional communications that consumers accessed electronically declined steadily over the past three years. This article explores how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating consumers’ demands for service providers to communicate with them via their desired channels.

Estimating: Your Customers Least Favorite Aspect of Print Buying

Getting your customer’s pricing is a critical measure of customer satisfaction. Your customer might not be outwardly complaining, but many print customers are migrating to online solutions that provide immediate pricing. Not every job you produce deserves a manual estimate.

Donuts Lead the Way in Return to Normalcy  —June 2020 M&A Activity

Southern Champion Tray Acquires, Brook & Whittle Establishes Western Presence, and more…

Does It Take a Pandemic to Change the Fashion Industry—Will COVID Be the Catalyst for Change?

Textiles expert Debbie McKeegan asks why it takes a pandemic to change the fashion industry, which has long been recognized as the world’s second largest polluter. Perhaps change is on the way, with manufacturers forced to re-examine fragile supply chains. Still, a lot will depend on changing consumer demands!

The PPP Comes to the Aid of the Industry

The Government has begun releasing details of the recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aid. In general, the Treasury Department and SBA have issued $7.2 billion to graphic communications industry businesses, retaining 440,609 industry jobs. We break down loan amounts paid out to industry businesses by NAICS code, as well as the number of jobs retained.

Five (No or Low-Cost) Ideas for Turning Downtime into a Path to a Stronger, More Profitable Business

Your print shop is still open and you don’t want to lay off or furlough employees unless you have to, but the work isn’t flowing in like it was. How can you justify keeping them on? One of the answers is to see this as an opportunity to invest in strategies that will pay off in an even stronger, more profitable workplace for everyone long term.  Here are five ideas for starters.

Between the Sheets: Digital Printing for a Digital World

More businesses and brands embrace digital print as an efficient and cost-effective way to reach their audiences. This article, sponsored by Neenah Paper, offers some tips, best practices, and new ideas for using digital printing for direct marketing, and looks at the latest in Neenah’s popular Explore series that uses creatively designed print samples to help designers and printers alike get the most out of digital printing technologies.

SpeedPro Launches InfoLnkX for Contactless Restaurant Menus—and More

In development even before COVID-19 hit, InfoLnkX by SpeedPro is an NFC-based chip that can be programmed to deliver digital, contactless menus to patrons’ phones right from restaurant signage or table decals. But the uses for InfoLnkX go far beyond restaurant applications.

A moment of levity. View Today's Dilbert

Dilbert is brought to you by the hiring pros at PrintLink. PrintLink is the industry leader in Executive Search & Professional Placement.

Industry Data
TODO
Book Publishing Establishments—2010–2017

In 2010, there were 2,973 US book publishing establishments; by 2017, that number had dropped to 2,440. Book publishers are especially well-represented in Non-Employer Statistics. Full Analysis

TODO
A Tale of Two Cities: The Pandemic Years

Annualized profits for Q1 2020 took a nosedive from $990 million to -$4 billion. Sure, the pandemic hit in the last three weeks of the quarter, but this is an old story that predates COVID. Full Analysis

TODO
Periodical Publishing Establishments—2010–2017

In 2010, there were 7,221 US periodical publishing establishments; by 2017, that number had dropped to 5,279. Magazines have been struggling in the Internet age, with closures and consolidations, but also have been seeing a shift in what constitutes “periodical publishing.” Also: we’re officially in a recession (surprise). Full Analysis

TODO
Printing Outlook 2020 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The Printing Outlook 2020 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond.

Updated April 28, 2020 to include a COVID-19 Survey that we conducted Late March/Early April 2020.

Purchase Report

Recent Discussion

Joe Lindfeldt on Devastated by the Downturn, APPi Bounces Back with Antimicrobial Paper Coating

We looked at this for our clients. Anti microbial is not anti viral. Upon further research, we could identify no coatings that are lab tested and approved for anti viral properties. If APPi or anyone has an antiviral option that effectively addresses… Full comment Reply

Robert Lindgren on Estimating: Your Customers Least Favorite Aspect of Print Buying

Jennifer... This line is the gem of your whole wonderful article: You can have multiple prices based on the customer’s standing with you. This requires upfront work: identifying the patterns, calculating your costs, and then setting your pricing … Full comment Reply

Adam Dewitz on The PPP Comes to the Aid of the Industry

@Joe the DG3 listed in the PPP data is Dg3, Inc. dba Dallas Glass in Salem, OR. Reply

David L. Zwang on Devastated by the Downturn, APPi Bounces Back with Antimicrobial Paper Coating

You should contact John Beadle at APPi. He worked with his current supplier and BioMasters in the UK to make it happen Reply

Magazine

WhatTheyThink Magazine is the resource for the Commercial Printing, Visual and Graphic Arts Industries. Industry experts share their ideas and technical knowledge on ways to improve operations.

WhatTheyThink publishes 2 editions of the magazine: Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage. Subscription are free to qualified industry professionals or via paid subscription.