SOI--Commercial Printing Improves Profits
As the industry matures, distributors look for new opportunities
With advances in technology and the economic growth of small businesses, the future looks more than optimistic for the commercial print industry.
"The forms industry is shrinking," said Chip Grayson, president of Systems Business Forms, Savannah, Ga., "and we need to concentrate on other areas, such as commercial print, to sustain profits."
He added that there is high profit in print services and, with the proliferation of digital equipment to produce black-and-white and color printing, the demand for time-sensitive pieces has grown quickly.
"Customers who are confident in your company worry less about price and more about deadlines," Grayson noted. "They want to know that you can work not only within their budget, but within their time frame."
Glenn Martin, president of Control Printing Group, Independence, Mo., noted that, "With the advent of desktop publishing systems, production costs have decreased dramatically." He added that because of this, many distributors can find success in targeting small- to mid-size companies.
However, warned Grayson, "Before you sell something you have to have product knowledge." In fact, both Grayson and Martin have invested in sales training.
Martin's company works with the manufactures who attend his company's sales meetings. "We work together. They show us spread sheets, sales and product information," said Martin.
"It's important for sales reps to go to the plant and talk with people in each department," added Grayson. "This training allows them to understand first hand the language and nomenclature."
Finally, keeping abreast of new techniques is a must for a future in commercial printing. While some elements of the workflow process are still performed as traditional craft-based steps, many are digitized and controlled by computers.
By Nicole Johnson