Turning Printing Companies Around…

The Quick Consultant

Turning Printing Companies Around
One Firm at a Time!

By John Stewart

Between the late 1990s and well into the first decade of this century I made my living providing individualized, on-site consulting services to printing firms throughout the U.S. and abroad. I sometimes joke with folks that while my short-term memory has really gotten bad recently, I can recall almost every single detail, including the layout of the shop and the problems encountered, involving the 400+ consulting visits I undertook in those days.

I consulted with printers in almost every state in the U.S. including two separate firms in Alaska. I also traveled to Australia, Brazil and Venezuela, the latter visit being exceptionally memorable because to this day I still vividly remember the press operators using gasoline as a press wash! I was still smoking in those days, but I was not alone – the press operators seemed fine with have a cigarette themselves as they washed up their presses!

I’ve often thought I could put on a pretty interesting seminar about all those consulting visits, and one of the first stories I would probably tell would be one about the owner of a business, who during an early morning conversation, asked me to step outside for some additional privacy.

Once outside, he confessed with a couple of tears running down his cheek that he had a personal crisis on his hands, a crisis so bad in his own mind that he had seriously contemplated suicide. He told me he actually had been thinking about taking this action during the past few weeks and was actually waiting to hear what advice I might have to offer. Continue reading

FREE Sample Pages from Just-Released Digital Pricing Study

Four Free Sample Pages – Would you like a very brief glimpse of what’s contained in the latest 2016-17 Digital Printing Pricing Study? All you have to do is click on the artwork below or click here to download a FREE 4-page PDF demonstrating the tip of the iceberg as to what is in store in the complete study.

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“I immediately raised my digital envelope prices 5%… More than paid for the study in less than a month..”

Bob Rosenfield, Edison Press, Standford, ME

2016-17DigitalCover-sm NEWThis brand new 114-page study is one of the most comprehensive pricing studies we’ve ever published.

Dedicated strictly to pricing of digital products and services, this new study is now available for immediate shipment (hard copies and PDFs). Retail price of this study is $229. PDF orders are shipped same day as received. Hard copies are mailed within 24 hours. Click on the Bookstore tab above or Click Here to place your order.

 

Closing the Print Shop – Download Report

OffsetNewsletter_QPC-1You can now download and print our 12-page report titled, “Printers Report Strong Shift to Digital,” by clicking here. If you wish to read it on line, the full article appears immediately below in the adjoining column.

The file is currently 12 pages, 8.5×11. To print as 3, 11×17, 2-sided pages from Adobe Acrobat > Print,Page Setup in lower left corner, > Tabloid, landscape orientation. then > OK. Under Page Sizing and Handling, select Booklet. Then just choose 2-sided from your printer.

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Rejecting Industry Surveys

As much as we hate to do it, in order to protect the integrity and accuracy of our studies, we sometimes find ourselves rejecting surveys submitted by fellow printers. We are currently in the process of tabulating data contained in a 59,000 cell Excel data base. Even under the best of circumstances, it often involves spending 80-100 hours or more just cleaning up the data base before we can begin to create tables and add all the various additional calculations that we provide our participants.

2016-17DigitalCover-sm NEWFor every 100 surveys we receive, there will typically be five or six survey forms where participants appear to be far more interested in receiving a free copy than they are in providing us with accurate data. Our recent 2016-2017 Printing Industry Digital Printing Pricing Survey is a case in point. We received more than 220 surveys prior to the deadline.

After initial examination of the data, we detected 12 surveys that we felt needed to be rejected and excluded from our data base. We don’t do things like this lightly, because we know if we reject a survey we are most likely going to create an enemy, and we have enough of those already! <g> Continue reading

Early Stats from Digital Printing Survey

Preliminary Results at a Glance

With less than 12 days to go before the July 18th deadline, we can report some very brief, preliminary results from early participants in our 2016-2017 Printing Industry Digital Pricing Survey.

2016-17DigitalCover-sm NEWAverage Sales – If you think you’re too small in terms of sales to participate think again. Survey participants report their average 2015 sales at $1,444,900 and are projecting sales of $,1,556,340 for 2016, an increase in sales of 7% – 2016 compared to 2015.

Median Sales – Median sales, a probably more reflective picture of our survey participants, for 2015 was $854,480 and projected to be $935,000 for 2016, or a 9% projected increase in sales for 2016.

Independents vs. FranchisesIndependents account for 75% of all our respondents with franchises accounting for 22.5%. Another 2.5% are In-plant operations. Continue reading

Stewart Banned From PO List

Stewart Banned From PO ListKicked_off_PO_list

Is NPOA Kidding?

They Want to Ban Me

From Posting to PO List?

Dear Fellow PrintOwner List Subscriber,

Tuesday afternoon I posted the following heads-up notice about a new survey I am conducting…. it is one of hundreds of educational surveys I have conducted over the years, including a couple of dozen surveys conducted on behalf of NPOA.
So imagine my surprise that within minutes of my posting the email below I received a “WARNING” email from board member Chuck Pappas who noted that, Continue reading

Profits & SPE Correlation

The comments below were written on April 26th and forwarded to the PrintOwners List Serv, but they never appeared on the list, because unbeknownst to me at the time I had been removed from the list a couple of hours prior.

Nonetheless, I consider SPE to be one of the most important ratios to track in the printing industry so I decided to post the following. It is indeed unfortunate, that too many printers tend to either ignore, avoid, gloss-over or rationalize their sales per employee (SPE) numbers when compared to others.

So here is the post that never made it to the list serv: (See interesting chart at end of post.) For those unfamiliar with this ratio, it is calculated taking gross annual sales (excluding postage income) and dividing that by the total number of employees, including all working owners/partners.

“As a general rule, truly profitable printers in this industry become and remain very profitable not by charging significantly more or less for their product, but rather by producing those products far more efficiently. Efficiency and levels of productivity can be easily and quickly measured by SPE or Sales Per Employee….. Continue reading