Snapshot for Tomorrow
The United States' financial situation has gotten so dire, President Obama recently called for the freezing of all federal salaries in an attempt to get a hold on the country's debt, which is expected to rise to $2.3 trillion by 2012.
The U.S. economy hasn't been pretty for a while and most expect it to stay rather ugly through the upcoming year. Fortunately, most professionals in the printing industry recognize the ride will likely be bumpy and are planning ahead.
Here, leading manufacturers offer their predictions for the new year.
Ed Glaser, chief marketing officer, Colortree Marketing Resources, Richmond, Va.
The outlook for 2011 is cloudy with rain. Many print distributors are focusing on print, when they should be participating in the cross media marketing explosion. While cross media marketing is evolving, those who ignore it do so at their own peril. To remain relevant, they must learn about and evangelize social media, pURLs (personalized URLs), QR codes and text messaging combined with online, print and mobile marketing. Clients are looking for ways to reach customers in the format customers want to be communicated to with, and that means a combination of digital and print media.
Gene Toepfer, vice president of sales, Foster Printing Service, Michigan City, Ind.
We do see growth from our trade partners, especially in direct mail products and services. We also see many distributors expanding from their core products and services into commercial print and direct mail.
Paul Willard, sales manager, Broker Forms, Grand Rapids, Mich.
The next year will be full of changes that lead to opportunities in the 1099 and W-2 market. There are major changes to 1099-MISC reporting requirements starting in 2012 and we've got our eye on them. Businesses now will need to file 1099-MISC forms to individuals and business for services and goods over $600. These new rules are expected to increase the number of forms filed by 10 times. Our goal is to deliver products that will help distributors to not only make 1099-MISC reporting easier for clients and themselves, but to increase their own success and profitability. Look for more information from us in the coming months; we're monitoring the Internal Revenue Service and Congress as they further define the requirements and how they should be implemented.
Tony Heinl, executive vice president, Repacorp, Tipp City, Ohio
We currently are seeing an increase in sales on a monthly basis, and are hopeful that demand for our products continues to increase in 2011. I predict there will be steady growth in digitally printed labels as organizations continue to order smaller quantities due to the cost structure of digital short runs. There will be steady demand for our instant quote module tool, as it allows our distributors to instantly become part of the digitally printed label industry. The quote module allows our customers to provide instant accurate quotes while they have their customer on the phone, thus capturing more orders.
Jim Maggio, vice president, Maggio Data, Hauppauge, N.Y.
There are limited signs of improvement. Unemployment continues to be high though for the first time new claims have declined slightly, providing reason for optimism. At best, modest growth can be expected in the overall industry. Those companies with market niches and who have developed specialty products will regain market position faster than those relying on traditional forms.
Barcoding and security will remain important. Healthcare forms sales are strong, but are threatened as Obama Care encourages the industry to move towards paperless solutions. Growth will come in areas such as direct marketing, where personalization and features such as QR codes are integral to and an important element of sales and Web marketing.
Mark Cupach, director, national sales, Identity Group/Business Stationery, Cleveland
Economic uncertainty continues to limit business growth as overall productivity exceeds GDP growth, [keeping] business owners from hiring. Stagnant employment growth is the brake to the U.S. economic engine called consumer spending that creates demand. With those factors considered, the print and graphics industry will continue to transition. Distributors and manufacturers who re-invent themselves to service the changing buyer landscape will position themselves to absorb businesses that fail to find new revenue streams. In the end, re-invention will determine winners and losers in 2011.
Gerry Toscani, CEO, Paris Business Products, Westampton, N.J.
Based on the continued lagging economy and high unemployment rate, we expect an accelerated rate of decline in paper consumption in many segments of the paper market through 2011. We anticipate a continued reduction of converting capacity as well as additional mergers and acquisitions as the market reacts to lower customer demand. We do believe paper pricing will be more stable in 2011 as the major producers continue to reduce mill capacity.
Art Waganheim, vice president of operations, Paitec USA, Davie, Fla.
Despite the trends for many business forms and advertising dollars to go to electronic formats, we continue to recommend to our dealers and end-users that pressure seal technology offers quantifiable benefits. The availability of affordable digital TransPromo printing solutions can allow effective creation of personalized transactional documents and direct mail pieces, which a customer will want to open, read and keep. And pressure seal technology is a greener way to mail since there is no need for envelopes or tabs. We also believe 2011 will be an up year for replacement of older technology pressure seal machines.
Doug Boysen, vice president and general manager, Folder Express, Omaha, Neb.
As the world market plays a growing role in print competition, the strength of Folder Express continues to be speed, price and options. We empower distributors to be effective on an international playing field. The new decade further emphasizes the importance of individuality in all realms of marketing. More opportunities can be created with customized projects and will enable us to lead the market in meeting cost and timing demands. Most of all, I think the upcoming year will be a fine example of "you reap what you sow" with success coming from providing innovative print options for your clients.
Mike Durbiano, vice president of sales and marketing, Printgraphics, Vandalia, Ohio
We're out of the recession. Right. Although the general economy is improving, the recovery is slow and the business environment is sluggish at best. Due to our thoughts and planning for 2010, Printgraphics will realize significant growth due to our product diversity. 2011 should see a more robust growth period in key areas such as digital color, direct mail and specialty applications geared to drive revenue to end-users. Even traditional form products should see increased activity as industries such as transportation and healthcare expand. The uncertainty of an unprecedented recession will ease, and consumer confidence will increase. This may translate to a 5 to 6 percent overall growth in the industry.
Zarik Megerdichian, CEO, 4over, Inc., Glendale, Calif.
Advances in web-based business will continue to drive print buyers to direct-to-customer printers. At 4over, we are committed to using technology to provide our trade customers with services, tools and products that enables them to effectively compete in this new marketplace. Expanding our national footprint to minimize shipping costs and turnaround times, and utilizing state-of-the-art technologies will continue to be important factors in giving our trade customers the competitive edge to retain and recapture the customer. We recognize we will only succeed when our customers succeed, so our goal is and will remain to help maximize their profits.
Gregg Emmer, vice president, chief marketing officer, Kaeser & Blair, Batavia, Ohio
2011 looks like a pretty good year. With only a few weeks since the mid-term elections, the short term effect has been twofold. Salespeople are more confident and interested in seeing their customers, and customers are much more likely to get their businesses growing again. We are seeing a pretty dramatic change of direction. Reinforcing my market prediction is a growing list of projects for spring and summer that our Authorized Dealers are working on with their clients. Businesses for the most part had money, they just lacked the confidence in the economy to invest it in their business. That seems to have changed.
Both NJBF and InfoSeal see 2011 as uncertain in terms of staying power for the current fourth quarter 2010 strong sales. There continue to be many new opportunities for sales that are a result of changing loyalties or changes in the landscape of competitive manufacturers. NJBF and InfoSeal will continue to focus on core competencies, which are capabilities and products that are still relevant in the print market. While there are new concepts in direct mail and marketing, such as pURLs and social media, it is still traditional print with enhanced features that drive our sales.
Dale "DJ" Jacoby, vice president/general manager, Badger Tag & Label Corp., Random Lake, Wis.
Our tag presses continue to run steadily. We're seeing about an equal split in types of tags including custom tags and blanks for customers to imprint at their facilities. The strength in that part of our business is due to a long-standing history of being known as a tag printer, which also means we have a depth of production diversity resulting in ongoing solid growth in tags. Even with the continuation of the challenging business climate, our labels business has been strong, as well. The investment we made in a six-color UV digital press and plotter cutter last year is proving to be an even more significant area of growth than we originally forecasted. We have been approached about new substrates and more complex projects that we are able to find a solution for than we ever thought possible. It also allows us to provide fast turnarounds on shorter run, intricate diecut projects than using traditional methods.
Rick Vullo, customer service manager, Hospital Forms & Systems, Dallas
While we see some growth in the hospital forms portion of our business in 2011, our plans for future expansion and growth focus primarily on updating and adding to our pattern glue capabilities with emphasis on laser label/form products. Among other applications, these multiple function forms are used widely in Internet/mail order sales and fulfillment.