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TrendWatch Says Economy Rebound No Cure for Print Industry

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK -- July 26, 2003 -- TrendWatch Graphic Arts today released a special report, which analyzes the last eight years of data collected by the graphic arts research firm. The report, called "Why You Can't Wait This One Out: Eight Years of TWGA Printing Data Tell Why 'Normal' Is Gone Forever" is a 100+ page analysis of dramatic trends in the graphic arts industry since 1995, when TWGA first started collecting data. The report contains up to 17 points of data on hundreds of critical industry issues addressed over the eight years, including technological, economical and business concerns related to the graphic arts industry. The data is then presented in easy-to-read statistical charts showing the dramatic trends. The report is available for online purchase at the TWGA eStore in PDF format. For more information, please go to the TWGA website (www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com). Researcher's Quote... "With eight years of data, you begin to see very obvious trends," notes Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "The trends we analyzed in the report tend to be very consistent in terms of either upward or downward slopes, given the predictable spikes from technology or economic change. While some may see this announcement as 'doom and gloom' it's our hope that most will see this as a sharp and reliable indication that it's time to review business plans. Using this report allows industry managers to make strategic marketing decisions with confidence." According to the Report... Based upon analyzing the data since 1995, the following trends become apparent: -- PLANT PRODUCTIVITY: Concern about "increasing plant productivity" is on the decline, thus suppliers trying to sell equipment on the basis of incremental productivity improvements need to change their message; -- TECHNOLOGY CONCERNS: Concern about "keeping up with technological change" is also on the decline, so shops no longer see the need to acquire the latest and the greatest in order to be competitive; -- BUSINESS CHALLENGES: Prepress-related processes like preflighting, working with PC files, and PDF workflow are sharply declining as business challenges, giving rise to new service opportunities; -- SALES OUTLETS: "Increasing sales personnel" is decreasing as a sales opportunity at the same time that "working with print brokers" and "partnering with other graphic arts firms" is on the rise. When it comes to increasing sales, printers are starting to adopt the "no overhead" option; -- PREPRESS OPPORTUNITIES: Prepress-related processes are declining as opportunities, thus these services have become commodities, causing printers and service bureaus to now look elsewhere and create new profit centers and competitive differentiators; -- LARGE FORMAT GOOD!: Large-format printers are one of the bright spots, showing consistent and steady growth as a planned investment; About the Report... The results of this report historically chart with data points from up to 17 surveys on the most industry-critical business issues: -- BUSINESS CONDITIONS: Which groups tend to be more optimistic and which are pessimistic in their outlook (optimistic companies tend to buy more equipment); -- SALES OPPORTUNITIES: Trend lines indicate where product and service offerings are on the rose, fell, spiked or dipped which makes where they're headed easier to predict; -- PLANNED INVESTMENTS: Understanding what industry consumers plan to purchase allows product managers to be more confident in their product and manufacturing budgets. Methodology... This report is based on the TrendWatch GA Printing Historical Database, which contains data from all 17 TrendWatch GA Printing surveys conducted by TWGA over the last eight years. Charts for each individual question are derived from trend lines from that historical database over as many data points (number of surveys) for which that question was asked. Availability... The TrendWatch Graphic Arts "Why You Can't Wait This One Out: Eight Years of TWGA Printing Data Tell Why 'Normal' Is Gone Forever" report is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com or by phone at 866-873-6310. The price for the report is $1595. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase.