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Report Finds Companies Who Are Adapting Are Finding 'Plenty of Opportunity'

Monday, September 14, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

New edition of the annual industry assessment reports sales up 1.3% in first half of 2015, projects full-year sales up 1.5%-2%, and forecasts 2016 sales to rise 2%-3%.

(Chicago, Ill.,) Although there is still much work to be done, the majority of graphic communications companies we surveyed believe there is plenty of opportunity in our industry," says Andrew Paparozzi, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, and author of the Epicomm State of the Industry Report, 13th Edition, sponsored by Canon U.S.A. The latest edition of the report was released today during a presentation by Paparozzi in the Canon booth (#1213) at GRAPH EXPO 15 in McCormick Place South, Chicago.

"We capture that opportunity by developing an 'adaptability advantage,' the ability to adjust quickly and efficiently even to rapid, disruptive change such as our industry has been experiencing. Nothing will be more important to success in this industry," he continues. "But creating that adaptability advantage is a process, not an event, and we must get better at each step of the process on a consistent basis because neither the pace nor the magnitude of change is about to diminish."

"Canon is proud to sponsor this important industry report and host its introduction in our booth at GRAPH EXPO, demonstrating our commitment to the printing industry," said Junichi Yoshitake, Senior Vice President, Business Imagining Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. "The information and advice it offers, gained through Epicomm's rigorous survey process and unparalleled industry insight from author Andy Paparozzi, will help companies throughout our industry grow and enjoy increased profitability."          

One of the industry's signature assessments of current business conditions and prospects for the year ahead, Epicomm's State of the Industry Report is based on a comprehensive survey of some 174 industry companies and extensive follow-up interviews of survey participants. The new edition includes data on services offered by company type, commercial printing sales over the last half-year, sales and pre-tax profitability expectations for full-year 2015, and the outlook for 2016. For the first time, the report covers companies whose primary services include mailing, fulfillment, and marketing, in addition to general commercial and quick printing establishments.

"Commercial printing sales (all sources) were up just 1.3% during the first six months of 2015, little better than half last year's 2.4% gain," says Paparozzi. "Despite the weakness, 38% of our survey participants expect to grow at least 5% this year, and 39.1% expect to be more profitable than they were last year. Overall, Epicomm forecasts commercial printing sales to be up 1.5% to 2% for all of 2015, and 2% to 3% in 2016."

In addition to the industry sales data, the report surveys participants' opportunities, successes, and disappointments, including what are viewed as the biggest opportunities for profitable growth by printing companies, providers of mailing services, and providers of marketing services. About half of the companies in each category (printers: 54%, mailers: 47.4%, marketing services providers: 60%) cited marketing more effectively as their biggest opportunity for growth.

The report also includes a full chapter on how to develop the "adaptability advantage," delineating each of the six distinct steps in the process. "Everything about our industry is changing profoundly," says Paparozzi. "We can think of our situation as adapt or perish. Or we can think of it as adapt and thrive because of the historic opportunity the upheaval is creating. The key to capturing that opportunity is embracing the adaptability process."

The report concludes with a chapter on "Must-Dos-actions we can take right now to build a sustainable competitive advantage," says Paparozzi-and an extensive sampling of comments from survey participants gleaned during one-on-one interviews and covering topics ranging from labor markets and profitability to marketing plans, client interaction, and new products and services.

Paparozzi will present a special program, "2015 State of the Industry Findings," from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the Epicomm booth (#861) at GRAPH EXPO. For more information, call (800) 642-6275 or email slake@epicomm.org. Copies of the State of the Industry Executive Summary will be available to GRAPH EXPO attendees at both the Epicomm and Canon booths.

Eligible Epicomm members will receive a free printed copy of the full report next month as a benefit of membership. Non-members may purchase the report for $565. For more information, contact Tyler Keeney at tkeeney@epicomm.org or (201) 523-6316.

 

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