TrendWatch Identifies Untapped Opportunities for Graphic Service Providers

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, NY -- March 5, 2002 -- TrendWatch Graphic Arts today released its latest special report entitled, "Value-Added Services: Will the Real Value-Added Please Stand Up." TrendWatch Graphic Arts (TWGA), known for its analysis of the graphic communications industry, reports that while valued-added services (VAS) continue to be the target of graphic arts service providers, most are not implementing these services due to cost, limited resources or confusion concerning implementation. According to the report, graphic arts firms are ignoring key new media services that will be necessary to compete in the future. For example, only 4% view "cross-media" as a top sales opportunity and even fewer, 2%, see "bulk email services" this way. "Traditionally TrendWatch Graphic Arts has reported what 'is' happening in the industry... with this report we're reporting on what 'is not' happening," stated Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "We see profits are moving away from the press, and more toward peripheral services which support the clients' overall marketing communication objectives. Thus, the player that can offer the client a greater number of integrated services now instantly offers superior value to the client. And yet, resistance to VAS, though weakening, is still dominant. The winners are those that are embracing the VAS concept now and thus strengthening their market position before their competition." In the graphic arts industry, valued-added services include those services which traditionally have not been offered. For example, prepress shops offering digital photography and data asset management services. But the mistake comes in just adding the service without integrating them into a total business philosophy. Value-added services are difficult to extract from a larger workflow or infrastructure. For example, online fulfillment doesn't add value without digital asset management, and digital photography adds little value without graphic design. In many cases, value-added isn't an individual product or service. It is an entire array of products and services that work together to accomplish a larger communications goal. According to the Report... -- 22% of respondents cited "broadening print products offered" and 19% of respondents cited "broadening fulfillment, shipping, and mailing capabilities" as top sales opportunities; -- 14% cited "broadening prepress services" as a top sales opportunity; --11% of printers and prepress shops plan to purchase a digital camera for production work in the next 12 months; -- 8% of printers and prepress shops see "graphic design/creative" as a top business opportunity, including 17% of the prepress shops; -- More and more prepress shops are offering traditional printing services as 19% see "broadening print products offered" as a key sales opportunity; -- 19% of prepress shops see "Broadening fulfillment, shipping, and mailing services" as a top sales opportunity and 8% are investing in binding and finishing equipment. While this report may result in the addition of some firms adopting value-added services, the true differentiator isn't the services themselves. It's the business philosophy that drives them. That's why TrendWatch Graphic Arts felt that a study on value-added services was both important and necessary. There is a fundamental shift occurring - not in theory, but in practice - around the mix of products and services offered by graphic arts firms and the relationship changes that come with them. This 100+ page report aims to guide industry vendors and service providers into examining for themselves the opportunities that exist today. VAS supports the service providers marketing efforts by allowing them to offer a solution that integrates within a complete service package while driving new revenue streams. For vendors, it offers an understanding of how their offerings can support these more complex workflows.