Distributors Prosper With Industry Growth
This year's BFL&S State of the Industry Report provides an upbeat prognosis for the prospects of the printed products industry. The experts tell us that forms sales are stabilizing after a few declining years and that the markets for other printed products are strengthening.
While several forms products have largely been replaced by computerized systems, this attrition is largely over. The specialty niches that forms products fill are still going strong. With any type of economic turnaround, the need for forms will grow.
Commercial printing is accounting for a lot of activity on the supplier side, as equipment is being added to enhance forms printers' participation in this area. Manufacturers we interviewed believe that an opening exists in mid-size run lengths, where commercial printing is on the rise.
Label suppliers note increased usage on manufactured products and security applications, helping to spur growth. Manufacturers participating in the direct mail segment believe that growth potential is enormous, with experience in the forms arena providing the ability to marry mailing pieces to other types of technology.
For the promotional products niche, the sky seems to be the limit. Distributors are taking advantage of relationships with existing customers for printed products—particularly commercial printing and direct mail—to add on profitable promotional items.
We seem to have ridden out the latest economic declines, making predictions for the printed products industry look better and better.