NAPIM Study Reveals Printers Focused on Product Performance
America’s printers want the ink they purchase from ink manufacturers to perform on press as well or better than advertised. That’s the key finding of a recent survey distributed among 2,000 printers by the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). The survey’s results were made public by James E. Coleman, NAPIM’s executive director.
“While the overall results of the survey were in line with most of our expectations, NAPIM is both pleased and somewhat surprised with our printer customers’ focus on improved product performance,” Mr. Coleman said. “Until recently, our past research indicated that printers were more concerned with service and price than on how inks ran on press. Perhaps the rapid pace of change in press technology makes it even more imperative for printers to work closely with their ink suppliers so they can realize more of the benefit of new equipment investments.”
The 2001 NAPIM Ink Industry Evaluation Survey was conducted to quantify the characteristics and opinions of printing ink users as they relate to a variety of issues. NAPIM’s goal was to obtain results that could easily be used by the organization and its members to ensure that printing ink manufacturers continued to meet the needs of their customers.
While 85 percent of the respondents agreed that product performance was their most important need from ink suppliers, other significant findings include:
• 57 percent felt that their ink suppliers provide value beyond the price of the product.
• 52 percent of the respondents agreed that their primary ink supplier contributes to the success of their business.
“Results like these tell the printing ink industry that their customers want to be served by knowledgeable people and companies committed to their success and solving their problems,” Mr. Coleman said. “The survey shows that across a broad range of printers, the printing ink industry is seen as providing added value.”
The demographic profile of the survey showed that the “typical” respondent’s firm:
• Purchases $300,000 worth of printing ink each year.
• Has 105 employees.
• 67 percent classified themselves as packaging printers.
“Now that we have heard from our customers in a definitive manner, printing ink manufacturers have an even clearer view of what printers want and how to give it to them,” Mr. Coleman concluded.
PIA Issues Flash Reports
In response to member needs, the economics and research department of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), Inc., is issuing once or twice monthly Economic and Print Market Flash Reports through e-mail and postings on the Graphic Arts Information Network’s web site, www.gain.net.
The first report appeared the week of Oct. 8, and will continue indefinitely. The reports are available to members of PIA, the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), and registered users of GAIN.
“The Flash Reports are designed to provide PIA and GATF members the latest economic and print market data trends with outlooks so they may adjust their operations accordingly,” said Dr. Ron Davis, PIA’s chief economist.
Based on surveys of PIA members, the first of the reports included graphs and narratives signaling shifts in the U.S. print markets before and after the Sept. 11 incidents which showed the following:
•Printers’ sales were down an average of 17 percent compared to what would have likely taken place for the month of September, amounting to perhaps a $2 billion loss in print sales.
• Printers’ sales will probably be down nearly 1 percent on a year-to-date basis for the third quarter and 1-1.5 percent for all 2001 against 2000 levels.
• Print markets are projected to grow by approximately 2 percent in 2002, or to approximately $166 billion, which is just slightly ahead of their 2000 level.