Industry Shakeouts - Good or Bad?
Moore is slashing personnel. Standard Register is downsizing. Precept is breaking up. Transkrit is gone. These changes may prove significant to the rest of the industry, but the news is not necessarily bad.
Moore's almost indiscriminate layoffs are an attempt to get its personnel numbers in line with its earnings. However, some of its volume will become available to the distributor market because of regional business needs and be-cause many of Moore's salespeople will become distributors and bring their clients along with them.
The layoffs by both Moore and Standard Register may bolster the number of experienced press operators and prepress professionals, as well as salespeople available to independent manufacturers and distributors.
In the case of Precept, it's distributors are not going away. For the most part, they are becoming part of other operations or have decided to go it alone.
Transkrit went under mostly due to parental problems. Operating under the constraints of bankruptcy, DIMAC found it too difficult to maintain the mailer manufacturer. We'll have to wait and see how much of Transkrit's $75 million in business can be maintained by Net2Press and how much will drift to other mailer suppliers. In any case, that business will still be controlled by the distributor market.
If, as the PIA predicts, forms sales remain fairly steady this year, any decrease in print volume from the large manufacturers should result in a gain for the smaller manufacturers. Add to that increased sales in commercial printing, labels and promotional products, and it could well turn into a banner year for the distributor market.
Bill Drennan, Editorial Director