Propelling Your Business Forward—Part 1

noelward

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Propelling Your Business Forward—Part 1
Print 2022 and Beyond

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

The next twelve months offer great potential despite labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. Print providers and in-plants are planning growth and investing in people and technology, while chasing long-term success. The world is returning to business, not quite as it once was, but just as dynamic and rich with opportunity. The trick, as always, is taking advantage of the changes.

Some of the changes are attitudinal and require adapting to the emerging business climate. To get a sense of the shifts ahead and what they may mean for print providers, Canon USA asked Andy Paparozzi, Chief Economist of PRINTING United Alliance, to offer his analysis and recommendations for helping print providers make every job successful while taking steps to optimize operations.

This first white paper in the series, Print 2022 and Beyond, leverages the PRINTING United State of the Industry Research with Andy’s analysis and recommendations. The next white papers in the “Propelling Your Business Forward” series will dive into the 2022 NAPCO Research sponsored by Canon USA.

The findings in the first report and white paper confirm much of what I heard at a recent conference with an elite group of transactional printers and direct mailers. The data shows that some two-thirds of print providers are positive about 2022. They expect sales to grow although they did think the business coming in may not be as profitable, largely due to increased costs. Most of the 206 print providers questioned said rising material and operational costs combined with shortages of both supplies and employees pose significant challenges.

Things to watch
In times of dynamic uncertainty there are always a host of things to watch for. This year, and possibly 2023 are just such times. Here are a few items to keep in mind. Download the full report for more detail
  • Wages and the CPI: Talk with your customers and brace yourself (and your business) for thinner margins as customers struggle to protect their budgets.
  • Productivity & Unit Labor Costs: Compensation rising faster than productivity does little for your business or for your employees. Compounding this is finding good employees who will stick around.
  • Consumer Confidence: Many people lack faith that the U.S. economy is going to improve. Moreover, because employers are a visible part of the economy, consumer lack of confidence shows up on the floor of your pressroom.
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What to do
Print sales and volume may be returning but it is not business as usual. Although there are solid opportunities ahead you will need to do some things differently as you and your customers adapt to the new normal. But you don’t have to figure it out on your own. NAPCO Research and other PRINTING United Alliance studies show steps print providers should take in 2022 and into 2023. The report provides additional data showing that new equipment and software provide competitive advantages.
  • Increase efficiency and productivity. Raising the bar on efficiency and productivity can be done with hardware, software and by optimizing your team’s performance.
  • Manage your supply chain. It used to be that paper, ink, and other consumables arrived when you needed them. Now you need to take an active role in ensuring materials arrive before they are required.
  • Change your recruiting strategies. Your business may be putting ink or toner on a page, but you are competing for workers across many industries. Paparozzi encourages creation of an EVP policy—an Employee brand and Value Proposition–describing your company’s approach to a work/life balance, respect for individuals, professional opportunities and more.
  • Find ways of selling more effectively and efficiently. Videoconferencing via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and GoToMeeting have changed business and sales forever. These virtual meetings require attention to detail, especially for sales. Invest in video sales training and the techniques of virtual selling.
  • Follow the money. Specifically, look to industries that offer the best opportunities for print. Four rise to the top:
    • Packaging, Beverages & Foods
    • Medical & pharmaceuticals
    • Healthcare providers
    • Real estate
  • See the report for the sizes of these billion- and trillion-dollar markets​
2022 is the year print providers can focus on sustainable growth, staff development and long-term success. Even though many organizations reduced their demand for print during the pandemic, usage is returning—and some of it can be yours.
Be Sure to Download this FREE report here
and watch for the next three reports from Canon USA:
canon-cover-june22.jpg

Propelling Your Business Forward
• Enhancing the In-Plant Product & Service Offering •
• Pinpointing and Pursuing High-Growth Print Applications •
• Positioning Your Commercial Printing Business for Success •​
 
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