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Point Balance Launches printSUPPORT

Press release from the issuing company

HARVARD, MA - August 5, 2002 - Point Balance, Inc. today announced the launch of the printSUPPORT program, a dynamic family of products, services, tools, and educational/training resources designed to assist printing company owners and managers maximize profitability by effectively managing "support" activities and processes. Support activities are all work activities performed by a printing company except for direct production activities. Point Balance, Inc., a management consulting and training firm based in Harvard, MA, created printSUPPORT to help printers and industry solution providers improve support activity efficiency by better aligning emerging technologies, process design, and organizational dynamics. As the printing industry shifts from iron to integration, printers can leverage the printSUPPORT knowledgebase to drive improved financial performance. To help printers focus on the importance of managing support expenses, Point Balance, Inc. has published the first printSUPPORT resource, the Support Expense Efficiency Analysis (SEEA). This self-analysis allows printing companies to benchmark their support efficiency against their industry peer group. By completing the SEEA, a printing company can establish their Support Efficiency Index (SEI), the first support metric for the printing industry. The SEI is used to measure the dollar value of the support performance gap between the participating firm and profit leaders. Initially, the SEI helps the printing company understand how efficiently they manage support expenses when compared to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Thereafter, the printing company uses SEI as a management tool to identify, prioritize, and measure support-oriented process improvement efforts. Bill Davison, Principal of Point Balance, Inc., contends that printers must become increasingly sensitive to non-direct factory activity as their services, products, and applications expand. "While the industry has made significant strides in leveraging new technologies in production," he says, "the tools of operational management have not kept pace. As printers expand their services to their customer base, and as automation becomes more prevalent, management needs sharper financial information to understand how specific products and customers are contributing or detracting from profitability. The SEI is an excellent overall support-based financial snap shot." The printSUPPORT SEEA product is available at no charge and may be downloaded at www.pointbalance.com. The printSUPPORT family of products and services draws on the research performed for the timely and successful Executive White Paper titled Driving Improved Profitability With Activity-Based Costing by G. David Dodd, William K. Lavelle, and Stuart W. Margolis. In this study, authors Dodd, Lavelle, and Margolis describe the huge and persistent profitability gap that separates "profit leading" printing companies from the rest of the industry, and they use a detailed analysis of information contained in PIA’s annual ratio studies to identify one of the primary causes of this profitability gap. Their analysis reveals that high performance printing companies incur much lower levels of "support expenses" for each dollar of earnings produced than average firms of the same size. The White Paper then demonstrates why traditional budgeted hourly rate cost systems fail to provide the information that printing company managers need to better manage and control support expenses. Finally, the authors show that well-designed activity-based costing systems can provide printing company managers with information that is critical to making profit-enhancing decisions. Driving Improved Profitability With Activity-Based Costing is available at no charge and may be downloaded at either www.pointbalance.com or www.hrmargolis.com. A printSUPPORT Event Solution program is currently being offered to Solution Providers for Graph Expo 02. An Activity-Based Costing implementation guide and ABC workshops are currently in development and will be introduced to the industry in up coming months. For more information about upcoming programs and product releases please contact [email protected] Point Balance, Inc. is a management services company headquartered in Harvard, MA providing business consulting, process design and renovation services, technology assessment, training and education, implementation oversight and project management for print, publishing, and media companies.