On March 12, InfoTrends released two new reports focusing on the commercial printing industry in Europe. The reports are based on a survey of 241 respondents in 14 different European countries from the commercial printing, digital print specialist, quick printer, pre-press, reprographic, marketing services, and related industries. Business Trends in Commercial Print, available now for $1,995, focuses on hardware, applications, and volume trends. Software Investment Outlook 2012, also priced at $1,995, focuses on software, automation, and business strategy.
Ralf Schlozer, director of InfoTrends, commented that the number of printing companies has declined sharply since 2000, and the remaining companies “need to adapt to the changing market conditions and take the appropriate steps with their investment plans, strategies, and general opinion of how they look at industry trends.”
For example, InfoTrends says its research shows that more print volume is expected to originate online over the next two years, with such print jobs growing from 10 percent of all print volume currently to 18 percent by 2014. The research firm’s survey also revealed some encouraging news for hardware manufacturers—digital color printing equipment topped the list of respondents’ planned investments.
InfoTrends says the variable data, automated production, and web-to-print markets are seeing “sizable” print volume growth and increases software adoption. Moreover, nearly two-third of respondents have already or say they need to transform from a traditional print services provider to a marketing services provider.
Those companies that we follow most closely—manufacturers of digital hardware—have been benefiting from the shift from analog to digital and growing popularity of short runs and personalized products such as photo books and trans-promo printing. Meanwhile, manufacturers of traditional offset equipment have found their business hard-pressed by shrinking print volumes—witness the recent insolvency proceedings of Manroland (see “Offset Press Maker Manroland Files for Bankruptcy”).