Monday, June 3, 2013

WANTED: Details on the 1,300 printing companies born in 2013

In a commentary last week called "Consolidation:  Not the Whole Story", Andrew D. Paparozzi, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, and Joe Vincenzino, Senior Economist, of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL; East Rutherford, New Jersey) point out that in the last several years, the printing industry has seen an average of 1,300 start-ups annually.  They also rightfully lament the fact that, although establishment sources provide such head counts, they don’t furnish any additional information on the types of companies entering the industry. 

In this context Mr. Paparozzi and Mr. Vincenzino admonish printers:

Remember, the companies that are entering the commercial printing industry every year are starting with a clean slate—i.e., without the legacy equipment, work habits, and mindsets that can limit flexibility. They’re coming in with a different workforce, with a different, more relevant set of skills. They don’t have the troublesome issue of long-term, loyal employees whose skill sets don’t quite match the direction on which the company is embarking—new entrants are hiring the skills they need at the start.

Thus, while we may pick up business from the printer that as shut its doors, don’t ignore the rest of the story—a new breed of nimble and tough competitors are entering the industry. Furthermore, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because new entrants tend to be smaller companies. Smaller companies grow—and the good ones grow rapidly.

From my perspective as a printing-industry journalist and commentator, I’m most interested in investigating and spreading the word about the specifics of all those newfangled types of equipment, workforces, habits, and attitudes.  So now or at any future point, please don’t hesitate to forward me links and details about any new “nimble and tough” start-ups that you uncover or know.

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