Epicomm State of the Industry Report Finds Companies that Are Adapting Are Seeing ‘Plenty of Opportunity’
“Although there is still much work to be done, the majority of graphic communications companies we surveyed believe there is plenty of opportunity in our industry,” said Andrew Paparozzi, senior vice president and chief economist of Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, and author of the Epicomm State of the Industry Report, 13th Edition, sponsored by Canon U.S.A. The latest edition of the report was released during a presentation by Paparozzi in the Canon booth (#1213) at GRAPH EXPO 15 in McCormick Place South, Chicago.
“We capture that opportunity by developing an ‘adaptability advantage,’ the ability to adjust quickly and efficiently even to rapid, disruptive change such as our industry has been experiencing," he continued. "Nothing will be more important to success in this industry. But creating that adaptability advantage is a process, not an event, and we must get better at each step of the process on a consistent basis because neither the pace nor the magnitude of change is about to diminish.”
“Canon is proud to sponsor this important industry report and host its introduction in our booth at GRAPH EXPO, demonstrating our commitment to the printing industry,” said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president, Business Imagining Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. “The information and advice it offers, gained through Epicomm’s rigorous survey process and unparalleled industry insight from author Andy Paparozzi, will help companies throughout our industry grow and enjoy increased profitability.”
One of the industry’s signature assessments of current business conditions and prospects for the year ahead, Epicomm’s State of the Industry Report is based on a comprehensive survey of some 174 industry companies and extensive follow-up interviews of survey participants. The new edition includes data on services offered by company type, commercial printing sales over the last half-year, sales and pre-tax profitability expectations for full-year 2015, and the outlook for 2016. For the first time, the report covers companies whose primary services include mailing, fulfillment and marketing, in addition to general commercial and quick printing establishments.
“Commercial printing sales (all sources) were up just 1.3 percent during the first six months of 2015, little better than half last year’s 2.4 percent gain,” said Paparozzi. “Despite the weakness, 38 percent of our survey participants expect to grow at least 5 percent this year, and 39.1 percent expect to be more profitable than they were last year. Overall, Epicomm forecasted commercial printing sales to be up 1.5 percent to 2 percent for all of 2015, and 2 percent to 3 percent in 2016.”
In addition to the industry sales data, the report surveys participants’ opportunities, successes and disappointments, including what are viewed as the biggest opportunities for profitable growth by printing companies, providers of mailing services and providers of marketing services. About half of the companies in each category (printers: 54 percent; mailers: 47.4 percent; marketing services providers: 60 percent) cited marketing more effectively as their biggest opportunity for growth.