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FLEXO Magazine : March 2014
drupa Printing Trends, Analysis, Outlook With drupa 2012 already two years in the rearview mirror and the 2016 installment only two years away, Messe Dussel- dorf—the show ’s organizer—has started issuing a series of reports outlining the state of the print industry from different segments and metrics. The first of these, the Global Trends Report, examines macroeconomic factors in the printing industry and its findings bode well for the global packaging marketplace. Specifically, it says that, as investment in the print industry improves, North America will lead the way. Chief among expenditures will be print technology, IT and other new services. In the packaging realm, printers are directing capital expenditures to raising efficiency. Another common refrain was to “offer a range of new services to clients.” drupa deemed the clear trend to be investment in additional capacity. What exactly are printers investing in? “Across all print companies in every region and market sector,” according to drupa, 52 percent said “the No. 1 investment priority is print technology.” Finishing equipment came second at 49 percent and prepress/workflow/MIS came third at 41 percent. Looking to the future, flexo was the package printing technology most cited as where investment dollars would be used. Focusing on workflow and MIS demonstrates the industry ’s attention to reducing costs and improving efficiency, says drupa. PAINS & GAINS A changing market, increased competition and economic constraints are all cited as reasons for why printers face challenges in their efforts to continue to grow. Employment at print companies is rising: 34 percent of printers reported an increase in hiring in 2013. In nearly every region, when it came to increasing sales 60 percent of respondents said finding new customers was the biggest challenge. In second place with 38 percent was finding a good sales staff. In developed markets, such as North America, having in place a sales staff knowledgeable of digital process and services is seen as a pinch point. According to drupa, more than half—57 percent—of printer respondents said strong competition was among the top two constraints to growing business, followed by lack of sales, at 39 percent. DATA DEMOGRAPHICS Data put forth in drupa’s Global Trends Report was culled from a questionnaire answered by more than 2,400 “senior decision makers in print and related industries.” Specifically, respondents were comprised of: • 1,419 printers • 498 suppliers • 508 print purchasers drupa’s Global Trends Report is the first in a series that will lead up to drupa 2016. For more information and to purchase the initial report, visit www.drupa.de. drupa Global Trends February 2014 04 drupa Global Trends Operational Trends February 2014 Given poor economic conditions and major market changes driven by digital communications, remarkably strong operational performance was reported by printers for the last year, though prices and margins remain under severe attack. drupa Global Trends February 2014 07 drupa Global Trends Investment Trends February 2014 Indications are that overall global investment in the print industry in the next 12 months will be strong. Economic conditions are picking up, confidence is slowly returning. PRESSING ISSUES 10 FLEXO MARCH 2014 www.flexography.org