New avenues of revenue appear for graphics providers
By Lisa Cross, Eve Padula and Steve Urmano
Continuous market changes and new developments in materials science have forever changed the technological landscape. Many new revenue streams are emerging as suppliers seek to leverage innovations and leverage existing investments.
As such, graphic communications providers are exploring new ways to grow their businesses, and specialty signs, displays and graphics represent a solid business opportunity for a variety of print service providers.
Increased competition is pushing many companies to come up with new products and services to strengthen the businesses of their current customers, while also attracting new ones, according to a report by the International Sign Association (ISA), “ great opportunity in graphic communications and specialized printing ”.
Indeed, many vendors plan to expand into adjacent service markets where they can leverage their existing operational knowledge. To this end, companies are investing in large format printing devices, software and media / substrates to further differentiate themselves from their competitors, increase revenue and improve efficiency.
Recommendations for business growth
- Consider adding or expanding offerings: Signage and graphic display is a growing market that offers many opportunities in a variety of industries. Print vendors looking to expand their product offering should consider offering signage and display graphics. Companies that already offer these products may have the opportunity to increase their market share by expanding their product lines or entering new market segments.
- Be strategic: Although the signage and large format graphics market is expanding, the companies that serve it must discover and implement strategies to ensure continued growth. To successfully develop and extend large format service capabilities, one must begin by leveraging current capabilities and customers to develop new applications. Targeted marketing is another important strategy to consider. An interesting finding from the study is that many vendors are adopting a vertical market strategy. Firms with a strong vertical focus can gain more market attention, become seen as experts within their segments, market more effectively, and sell productively to a targeted customer base and prospect base.
- Automate and optimize operations: Many vendors haven’t invested in workflow software, so there is an untapped opportunity to automate production processes to improve the customer experience and stay competitive in this ever-expanding market. In addition, real-time information is essential to day-to-day business decisions. Do you have the capacity? Can you lower your margin and still be profitable on a job? Software tools will become even more essential in the future. Large format stores that don’t modernize their operations, including their workflow, are sabotaging their future success.
To learn more about large format printing vendors’ investment plans, business priorities, workflow challenges, media / substrate utilization, and application growth, Keypoint Intelligence — InfoTrends recently interviewed more 300 companies, including commercial printers, retailers, digital printing specialists, screen printers and suppliers of advertising specialties. The following highlights the main findings of this research.
The market for signage and display graphics is growing
One of the main findings of the study is that large format printing is a growing market. Overall, the majority of respondents indicated that their large format printing volume was increasing. In fact, respondents reported larger format volume increases than those who reported 17-to-one decreases. In addition, survey respondents expect large-format printing volume to increase by 31% per year.
Companies that reported increased print volume growth had the following similarities:
- They were expanding the applications they produced to attract new markets;
- They were adding services to become one-stop-shop providers; and
- They focused their marketing efforts on vertical industries.