Like every industry, the print world was hit hard by the economic crisis. Even among those businesses that have survived, many are still struggling. But this isn’t just because of the banks withdrawing their financial support – the impact of the internet on traditional printing services has also affected revenue.
Almost all operations have had to adapt to survive. The traditional print business model – price-driven and product-focused – is no longer fit for purpose. Business models have evolved to address the harsh reality facing the industry, with many companies slashing overheads and, unfortunately, cutting staff in order to survive. A key part of this new perspective has involved streamlining business processes to increase efficiency and stretch profit margins.
Manufacturers are also feeling the pinch, with businesses unable to invest in new systems. They’ve responded by curtailing product development and adopting a new approach to support their clients. Many have become consultants, offering business training and support, helping print houses to implement more effective business models.
Trade associations, too, have being toiling harder to meet members’ demands, particularly as the turnover, number of enterprises and employees in the industry declined.
Recessions are undoubtedly bruising and claim many casualties, but they’re an inevitable part of the economic cycle. The print industry has experienced economic crises before, and it will undoubtedly weather this one.
Print houses are digging in and looking at different ways to drive revenue – for example, by taking advantage of the digital revolution to broaden their product portfolio, and exploiting the potential of integrated multi-channel communications.
The silver lining for those companies that survive the downturn is that they’ll be stronger and wiser – and will be competing in a smaller market. When the economy finally recovers, these businesses will reap the rewards of their stoicism and adaptability.
How has the recession affected your business? What changes have you made to survive? And have we finally turned the corner in terms of recovery? Read more and have your say – leave a comment!