Thursday, July 3, 2014

Repro 101 Blog "Repro PPoP Index" – resurrected and updated through Q2 2014

PPoP = “plans printed on paper”

In January 2014, I posted what I thought was going to be the final reading for the Repro PPoP Index.  But, because Ed Avis (Managing Director of the IRgA) undertook the effort to conduct a survey of reprographers and publish an index reading – what he calls the IRgA Index – I decided to resurrect and update the Repro 101 Blog’s Repro PPoP Index readings – for Q1 2014 and Q2 2014 - so as to add a bit more context (or, you could call it “flavor”) to the IRgA Index that Ed published.

In a post on on June 16, 2014, Ed said this:

“The first edition of the IRgA Index, a new tool to measure the health of the reprographics industry, has been released. The results show solid confidence in the state of business aimed at both AEC and non-AEC businesses.”

The IRgA Index, which is based on a survey of IRgA members, is a quick snapshot of the industry in both traditional and non-traditional areas. For the first quarter of 2014, the Index stands at 77 for business directed at the AEC community and 85 for non-AEC business. The Index is set up so that a score of 50 means business is flat; any number above 50 shows growth.”

You can read Ed’s full post about the IRgA Index at this link:

About the Repro 101 Blog Repro PPoP Index; what we’ve been saying all along about this Index:

 - This index does not attempt to track "total sales" of A/E/C reprographers. It attempts to track only sales of "plans printed on paper”.

 - And, by "plans printed on paper", I mean A/E/C "plans", large-format, b/w and color, unbound or bound, full-size, half-size, whatever large-format size.

If you click on the link that’s immediately below, you’ll find a table that contains all of the Index readings since we first began publishing this Index:

Blog Publisher’s comments:

Based on the Q2 2014 Index reading, large-format plan printing is picking up, and that’s nice to see!

Perspective - On Thursday, January 9th, 2014, which, until today, was the last time I put up a post about the Repro 101 Repro PPoP Index, I wrote these comments:

The first thing I’d like to mention is a clarification of sorts.  The index readings in the reports we’ve been issuing were not readings based just on prints produced at reprographer-production centers, but were readings based on large-format plan-printing wherever it took place.  In other words, at reprographer-operated production centers and at reprographer-operated OnSite (FM) locations.  I.E., the “totality” of large-format plan printing.

Observations.  Based solely on my own personal analysis of the Index readings (the numbers) we’ve reported over the past few years and the more recent index readings (the numbers) we’ve reported – it does not take a rocket science degree to understand that the bottom, literally, dropped out of the A/E/C plan printing business.  That happened sometime during 2009 for some and during 2010 for others. My SWAG (silly-wild-ass-guess) is that on an overall reprographics industry basis, revenues bottomed-out in 2010 (and, leading into 2010, 2009 was also an awful year for most), and that 2011 was another awful year.  In short, 2009, 2010 and 2011 are years that reprographers would never, ever like to see repeated.  2012 brought a slight uptick in activity, followed by fairly decent uptick in 2013.  The more recent “up-readings” in the index do not necessarily mean that reprographers are busier in their production centers.  More and more large-format plan-printing volume is finding its way to OnSite (FM) sites.  There are a lot more reprographers offering OnSite services today than ever before [in spite of the fact that many of those now offering OnSite (FM) services don’t have a good understanding as to how promote, sell, cost, price, and operate that business.]  I’m positive that every reprographer knows that the volume of printing – on a per-project basis – has declined from what it used to be and that that particular decline was not caused by the recession, but by the “further digitization” of the industry.  The trend on the A/E/C side is to find ways to print less, and they (A/E/C customers) are doing that by distributing files rather than ordering and distributing hard-copy prints.  (Well, that said, they are still printing, but not as much as used to be the case.)  That trend will continue, much to the dismay of reprographers.  The A/E/C Industry was healthier in 2013 than in 2012, and, based on how things are going, it does appear that 2014 will be even a healthier year.  Similarly, and for reasons that are obvious to most reprographers, I fully expect that 2014 will be a better year for most reprographers than 2013 was.  But, the growth in revenues from printing plans on paper, 2014 vs. 2013, will not be directly proportionate to the growth of the A/E/C Industry. 

To my reprographer friends – continue your efforts to diversify your revenues.  I do expect that 2014 will bring increased revenues from plan-printing services, but, given continuing digitization efforts going on in the A/E/C Industry, you can’t bank on that happening in a meaningful way.

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