Trust in Commercial Printing
Margins are high and the future is bright for this market niche
MOST DISTRIBUTORS KNOW commercial printing is not the typical sale. It involves greater interaction with manufacturers and end-users. Most orders are not simple reorders of the exact same product. There are a lot of colors and shapes and innovative designs and, for some distributors, that is a lot of work compared to a basic form sale. But, for those wondering whether or not commercial printing is worth the effort, a pep talk from John Andersen, sales manager for Admore, a division of Ennis, Macomb, Mich., just might change things. To him, commercial printing is more than worth the effort.
"Some distributors are not on the commercial printing bandwagon. What is taking so long?" he asked. "There are decent margins on this work and the reruns are the bread and
butter of the business. For
distributors who think, 'why should I be selling commercial printing?' think again," Andersen commented.
"Distributors who leave this crumb for the next guy are opening the door for another printer or distributor to walk in and eventually take away all the business," he added. "Service the account, and take the small orders, too. Distributors need to offer one-stop shopping. Don't send customers looking somewhere else."
Andersen, who worried about coming across too preachy, felt compelled to emphasize the significance of commercial printing today. "It is a niche that offers an attractive margin," he said, "and it's a line of business that will never feel dull."
Ennis produces a line of commercial printing products under the name ColorWorx. It includes four-color process with UV coating business cards, postcards, brochures, letterhead, rack cards and door hangers. "We are also introducing several new items such as table tents and greeting note cards," said Andersen.
He reported that standard mark ups are 30 percent to 40 percent. "In some cases, distributors can mark up a job in the 20 percent to 30 percent range, but charge additional creative fees for composition and design, services that are difficult to shop around. I know of distributors who create logos used in national campaigns and they make more money on this than on the printing," he said.