The difference between personal printing and commercial printing is the volume and the types of printing done. Commercial printing services are classified into four types. These are offset lithography, digital, large format, LED UV printing. Digital and large format printing are two of the most commonly used commercial printing services. Commercial printing is used in almost all sectors. From coupons to business cards to marketing and promotional materials like flyers and banners, all such products use commercial printing extensively.
The global market for commercial print services was valued at USD 736 billion in 2020. The industry is expected to show a modest growth rate of 0.7% CAGR between 2020 and 2027 to reach USD 773 billion by 2027. The primary reason for the low growth rate of the industry is its matured nature. Geographically, North America, several European and APAC industries like China, Japan, and Korea have already reached industry maturity. Over 75% of the overall commercial print services industry is taken by the geographically mature industries (like North America, Western Europe, China, Japan, and Korea). In fact, due to the proliferation of digitization, the commercial print services industry is expected to decline in some of the mature industries like North America and some parts of Western Europe. The progression in the industry will be led by Latin America and some of the Asian countries where commercial print services are yet to reach their maturity and there is still a requirement for physical printed products, which are otherwise circulated digitally in the mature industries.
While the overall industry is expected to demonstrate low growth, commercial print service providers are employing cost-savings strategies to improve their margins. One of the primary cost savings strategies is employed while procuring the major raw material, i.e. paper. The industry is moving towards a forward buying paper strategy and using recycled paper in several instances. Several companies are proving value-added services like mailing, fulfillment, graphic designs, and several other add-on services which would aid them to deliver innovative services to their customers. Since the industry has reached maturity in several regions with costs having been fixed over a period of time, the only measure to increase bill value is to provide bundled services and include add-on services which would increase the margins a supplier could earn.
Apart from focusing on the main ingredient and providing bundled services, several suppliers are also changing the method of ink. One of them is using soy ink instead of the traditional petroleum-based ink. Using soy ink is helps the suppliers market themselves as eco-friendly which helps build their brand image. While this is not a cost driver, in particular, measures like this help companies increase their market share and provide top-of-the-mind recall.
The greatest challenge that the industry faces is the increase in digitization. The mature industries are moving towards a digital approach and therefore moving away from commercially printing their requirement. Digitization is easily reproducible, easy to distribute, and easy to modify. All these measures also make it a cost-effective method compared to commercial printing. With the penetration of the internet across the globe more and more industries are expected to shift to digital means of display in time and therefore move away from commercial printing.
Another major challenge that the commercial print service industry is threatened with is its dependence on feedstock materials like paper, inks, and solvents. Therefore, they are threatened by the fluctuations in the feedstock prices as well. The price volatility posed by these feedstock components makes it difficult for commercial printing service providers to predict pricing and pre-analyze their margins.
The key suppliers in the commercial printing services industry are Quad/Graphics Inc., ACME Printing, LSC Communications US LLC, Cenveo Corporation, Transcontinental, Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd, R.R. Donnelley & Sonsâ€‹, Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaAâ€‹, Toppan Co. Ltd, Vistaprint NV. The commercial print services industry is fragmented, with no supplier occupying more than 25% of the global market share. Suppliers predominantly follow a cost-plus pricing strategy and prefer contract periods of 2-3 years.
Component wise cost break down for better negotiation for the client, highlights the key cost drivers in the market with future price fluctuation for different materials (e.g.: steel, aluminum, etc.) used in the production process
Offering cost transparency for different products / services procured by the client. A typical report involves 2-3 case scenarios helping clients to select the best suited engagement with the supplier
Determining and forecasting salaries for specific skill set labor to make decision on outsourcing vs in-house.
A typical newsletter study by capturing latest information for specific suppliers related to: M&As, technological innovations, expansion, litigations, bankruptcy etc.
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