Top 100 Manufacturers
More Change Hits the Top 100
Changes in company ownership and product mix are having a dramatic effect on the industry
By Bill Drennan, Maggie DeWitt & Danielle Litka
Change has become the norm in the forms industry, as the past year has seen last year's top independent manufacturer by sales close its doors and directs going independent, in addition to the usual spate of mergers and acquisitions.
CST/Star Products ceased operations last Spring. A few weeks later, American Tissue, a paper converting company, purchased CST/Star's assets and opened three of the eight plants as American Forms. With only a few months of operations, American Forms declined to be a part of this year's Top 100. Likewise Latitudes, Moore Corporation's new independent division, which opened for business in May, also did not participate this year.
Notable acquisitions this year included Transcontinental Printing's purchase of some of the as-sets of Newtown/CPC; Print-Xcel's acquisitions of Discount Labels and Braceland; and En-nis' purchase of Northstar Computer Forms.
In fact, there was a lot of activity overall among the Top 100, as 78 percent expanded manufacturing capabilities in existing op-erations, an additional 17 percent purchased or acquired facilities and six percent built new plants. Alternatively, 14 percent consolidated operations.
Overall, the total revenue re-ported by the top 100 Manufacturers was $4.38 billion. While this is significantly higher than last year's $3.16 billion, the addition of Transcontinental Printing's $1.6 billion in sales has skewed the charts. Next year, the addition of Moore's numbers to the mix will further confuse the results.
The chart on the following page illustrates that a wide range of equipment is dispersed among the Top 100. However, equipment purchase plans for the coming year are light, with CTP equipment the most often cited at only six percent.
Software, as shown in the above chart, fares a little better. Of the companies responding, 38 percent now have e-commerce capability and another 18 percent plan to add it in the coming year. For Web site access to production information, 25 percent have it now and 27 percent plan to purchase it. For job proofing over the Internet, 20 percent offer it now and another 20 percent plan to provide it in the coming year.