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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
FTA TODAY 68 FLEXO june 2010 www.flexography.org Recently, the FTA Supplier Leadership Council (SLC) launched a survey of FTA member printers to identify current conditions and emerging business trends within the North American flexographic printing industry. The “Flexometer” survey, consisting of 13 simple questions, was sent to 440 member locations and elicited responses from 61 facilities, a response rate of 13.9 percent. The survey was sent to only one contact at each member location, to eliminate the possibility of duplicated information. The SLC will be distributing this survey quarterly to gauge the ongoing status of the flexo industry. The Q2 2010 survey will be sent in mid-June for response by June 30, 2010. Should you be the contact at your facility that receives the email, please help us to make this as accurate a reflection of our industry as possible. Thank you in advance for your participation and your can- did responses — together, we can gather industry information that will help us all conduct business more effectively. The DaTa Printers were asked to provide a snapshot of their com- pany ’s business operations, as well as their perspective on both current and anticipated future business trends. Here are a few of the key questions and summaries of the responses: How many people (full- and part-time) are employed by your company? Exactly 50.8 percent of those who responded have 21-100 employees at their facility, with more than 90 percent having more than 20 employees. What size/type flexo presses do you have at your facility? 62.3 percent consider themselves narrow web (<24in.) printers and 36.1 percent are wide web (>44in.) In addition to flexo, what type of presses do you have? An estimated 58.3 percent only print flexo. The balance of the printers use at least one other type of printing press. What is/are your primary market(s)? 47.5 percent have flexible packaging and same amount tag/label/decal as their primary markets. Please indicate the change (increase/decrease) in your firm’s total sales during the last quarter compared with the same period last year. Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicated that sales were stable or higher compared to the same quarter last year (Q1 2009). What business trends are you seeing? Nearly 82 percent are seeing stable or increasing business trends. Over the past three months, what has happened to the level of employment at your plant compared to the same period last year? There was stabilization in employment reported in management, administrative, production/ technical and sales positions. Layoffs were primarily due to slow business. How do you predict your company’s employment will be in the next three months? More than 52 percent are planning on hiring additional staff, 45.9 percent will remain stable and only 1.6 percent indicated that they will have further decreases in employment. Are you planning any capital expenditures in the next three months, such as replacements, upgrades/retrofits, or line enhancements? Nearly 64 percent are planning on capital expenditures in the next three months. What is the most significant issue affecting your business? The highest priorities were raw material costs and sales/ marketing challenges. Lagging slightly behind were competition/price wars and the economy. Rounding out the list were regulations, reducing costs, lead times, health care/ insurance/taxes, the decline of mail, and production capacity. ConClusions While this was a baseline survey and is limited in its scope, it provides a quick look at the health of our industry, and more importantly, forms the foundational data for an ongoing com- parison to subsequent surveys to identify longer-term trends. We encourage you to respond to the Q2 2010 survey when it is distributed in mid-June. Those results, especially as com- pared to these, will also be reported to the FTA membership. Overall, this initial survey would seem to indicate a grow- ing sense of hopefulness and, perhaps, a movement beyond the business and financial challenges of 2009. As we capture additional information from the next surveys, and expand the base of responses, we’ll be able to provide a much more de- tailed and comprehensive picture of the flexographic industry. Watch your inbox for the next survey request, and let your own voice be heard! n • 58.3 percent only print flexo. • Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicated that sales were stable or higher. • More than 52 percent are planning on hiring addi- tional staff. Flexometer: a new “health of the Flexo industry” survey Q1 Results and Feedback Inaugural Phoenix Challenge Golf Tournament Announced Change in Sales Change (percent) Response (percent) -‐25 or less 3.3 -‐15 to -‐24 6.6 -‐10 to -‐14 4.9 -‐5 to -‐9 11.5 0 to -‐4 4.9 stable 11.5 0 to 4 13.1 5 to 9 23 10 to 14 14.8 15 to 24 4.9 25 or more 1.6 0 7.5 15 22.5 30 -‐25 or less -‐ 10 to -‐14 0 to -‐4 0 to 4 10 to 14 25 or more Sales in Q1 2010 as Compared to Q1 2009 Response (percent) Change (percent) FLX_June2010_mech.indd 68 6/10/10 9:40 AM