Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Printing Industries of America (PIA) predicts that 9,500 printing companies will disappear by 2020

Not totally applicable to the “reprographics” industry, but, nevertheless, food for thought about the future …..

This afternoon, I came across an article on a blog related to the printing industry. The most interesting (and, I think, provocative) part of that article were these three sentences:

“Printing Industries of America (PIA) predicts about 9,500 printing companies in the United States will disappear by 2020. That would leave about 27,000 printers nationwide, down from a high just a few years ago of 36,500 and before that more than 50,000.”

If you would like to read the full article – and the article is basically about the role of the U.S. Public Printer and the author’s opinion that the U.S. Government Printing Office (the “GPO”) should do more to drive “government printing business” to printing companies in the private sector – here’s the link to the article:—an-opportunity-for-the-new-public-printer/#comments

One of the “big questions” facing the “reprographics” industry is, “will the reprographics industry experience a similar decrease in the number of companies involved in the industry?”

During the period 1998 – 2008, there was a considerable amount of “consolidation” in the reprographics industry. ARC purchased quite a number of reprographers. Thomas purchased companies. A few others were also active with acquisitions. The “Great Recession” has caused tremendous financial trouble for many reprographers. Will all make it through this recession? The quantity of “plans and specs” on a project-by-project basis has reportedly declined over the past 2-3 years, as customers have found ways to reduce print quantities, or, worse, have found ways to avoid having to print. I’m not given to thinking 9 years into the future, which is what the PIA prediction was all about. If I was active in the reprographics business, I’d be worried about what the landscape is going to look like in 2012. By 2012, the A/E/C industry should be experiencing a robust recovery. Will the reprographics industry experience a proportionate rebound?

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