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Published October 29, 2009
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TWGA Releases Report on Digital Printing



TrendWatch Graphic Arts (TWGA) has released a new report on digital printing, “Digital Printing: Destination Here.” According to TWGA, as a technology and market application, digital color printing has arrived and continues to make solid gains. Drivers of acceptance have been prices for digital presses and related consumables costs that have declined significantly while quality has greatly improved. The combination of better quality and lower prices has jolted the graphic arts firms to invest in digital color equipment.

According to the report, prices for digital presses and related consumables costs have declined significantly. This, in conjunction with technological advancements that have greatly enhanced the output quality, has led to a steady increasein investment in digital color equipment.

“The new higher-quality/low-cost combination is jolting graphic arts firms to invest in digital color equipment,” said Vince Naselli, TWGA director. “We’re not talking about super-sized growth, but over the last three years, interest in purchasing digital presses has increased steadily. There is a definite sense in the marketplace–both among customers and printers–that these presses have finally ‘arrived’ and are producing output of sufficient quality, at reasonable cost and with ample reliability for broad-based market adoption.”

Findings of the report include:
• 15 percent of reporting converters plan to purchase a digital press in the next 12 months. This number rises to 26 percent for converters that already have digital presses.
• Investment in digital color printing is on an upward swing, up 5 percentage points to 14 percent in TWGA’s most recent printing survey.
• 12 percent of all responding commercial printing firms reported that production of digital color printing jobs has increased in the last 12 months.
• Printing firm’s overall interest in variable data printing has been holding steady for the past five years.
• Overall, 13 percent of graphic arts firms see variable data printing as a top sales opportunity for their business; among digital printers, this figure rises to 27 percent.
• Short-run color as a sales opportunity using digital color presses gained 6 percentage points between current and prior survey results. At 16 percent, this is the highest score ever reached.

TrendWatch Graphic Arts specializes in the assessment of trends and changes in graphic communications markets. “Digital Printing: Destination Here” is available for online purchase in PDF format. More info: (866) 873-6310; web: www.trendwatch graphics.com.



NAPL Introduces New Service: Performance Indicators



The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) has introduced Performance Indicators, a new service in which participating companies gain valuable insights into their current performance and future prospects. The service sets itself apart from traditional benchmark programs by monitoring those “vital few” metrics that the most relevant in today’s business environment, and by analyzing participant input to determine the strategic principles that provide the foundations for ongoing success.

“Today’s printing companies need to move quickly to act on their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses because markets are simply becoming too competitive for anything less,” said Joseph P. Truncale, NAPL president and chief executive officer. “By being privy to the specific metrics that are most meaningful in today’s business environment, as well as NAPL’s in-depth analysis, Performance Indicators participants will have the insights they need to steer their companies in the right directions.”

As a benefit of participation, Performance Indicators members receive free of charge a monthly report containing the key metrics that support a process of continuous improvement, put into perspective by NAPL’s economists.

NAPL will use the raw data that participants submit monthly to calculate the vital metrics that measure value creation, effective management of factory resources, the ability to create and maintain margins and efficiency of operations.

Thisnew service complements NAPL’s Printing Business Survey of 300+ printers, which sets the “macro” view by focusing on the industry’s directions, trends and critical issues. Performance Indicators offers the “micro” view, giving participants actionable information about their individual company’s strengths and weaknesses. Participation in NAPL Performance Indicators is open to any commercial printing company. More info: NAPL, (201) 634-9600 or (800) 642-6275; fax: (201) 634-0324; web: www.napl.org.


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