Blog Posts - Economics

  • 04/29/2015

    Profit leaders—printers in the top 25% of profitability—saw profits increase to 10.3% in 2013 and the forecast looks like increasing profits into 2016, based on the 2014-15 Ratios results. Now is the time to make a decision—do you invest those extra profits into growth areas, or do you save for a rainy day? Here Ed Gleeson, Director, Center for Economics and Market Research and Stu Margolis, Partner, Margolis Partners, give a plain-English explanation of the Key Printing Industry Ratios you need to be aware of—to keep your business strong both in good times and in bad.

    Increasing profits enable companies to grow by generating capital that can be invested into additional productive capacity, hiring additional workers, and moving into new facilities. ...

  • 04/29/2015

    This post was contributed by Stuart W. Margolis, CPA, MT and Suzette Margolis from Margolis Partners, LLC. Together with Printing Industries of America and membership participation, Margolis Partners brings you the annual Ratios Survey. Visit www.printing.org/ratios to learn more or participate in the 2015 Ratios Survey. 

    For most of us, ratios are not something we think of every day, at least not until springtime and the onset of baseball season. If you want to compare two Major League home-run hitters, you are likely to compare their batting averages.  If one is hitting .389 and the other’s average is .236, you immediately know which is doing better, even if you don’t know precisely how a batting average is calculated.   When applied to business, think of ratios as “batting averages for business”. In baseball or in business most ratios measure some form of productivity. They...

  • 05/07/2014

    When you boil it down, a financial ratio is a simple mathematical formula that compares two or more sets of numbers. However, as our market still struggles to find solid ground post-Recession, this formula is critical to maintain control of your firm’s operations.

    Financial benchmarking is the number-one way to take the reins and control operational costs.

    Few people understand financial ratios—and how printers can apply them—better than Stuart Margolis, CPA, MT, of Margolis Partners, LLC. If you’ve participated in the Ratios, you probably recognize his name. He’s a long-time partner of Printing Industries of America who helps industry members increase profits with Ratios financial benchmarking.

    Why is financial benchmarking so vital to success? If you’re a business owner or...

  • 02/12/2014

    Each year, you analyze your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). You use the Ratios to compare your numbers against industry profit leaders—the top 25% in terms of profit as a percent of sales. Then you note discrepancies and come to educated conclusions, like “Our paper costs are out of line with industry averages we need to review our contracts with our vendors” or maybe “Our waste and spoilage figures are higher than average” or “Our sales per factory employee are too low to support our current staffing; we need to increase sales to current customers, develop new market opportunities, or reduce our staffing levels.”

    But what does it really take to be more profitable?

    Our members wanted to know, so our Center for Economics...

  • 11/19/2013

    You have big goals for your company. How much do you know about your customers, your products or services, your competitors, and the market you serve? There’s a high value in big data insights that provide a clearer focus, helping you determine where your company stands and where you need to go. Yet, if you are like the majority of companies, you don’t have professional custom surveying, analyzing, and reporting capabilities in-house. That’s why more and more companies are turning to our Economic and Market Research department at Printing Industries of America for custom market research services.

    In this market research case study, learn how Magner Sanborn, a full-service advertising and brand design agency, worked one on one with...

  • 11/19/2013

    The latest Custom Market Research Case Study told how the Printing Industries of America Economic and Market Research team developed, analyzed, troubleshot, and delivered solutions for Magner Sanborn, a full service advertising and brand design agency. Fully aware of the value of big data insights, Magner Sanborn “wanted to leverage their client’s brand, but first they needed to know where they stood in the market,” according to Ed Gleeson, director, Economic and Market Research.

    Jill Hulswit can tell you how she and her associates did just that. As account supervisor at Magner Sanborn since 2008, she is responsible for maintaining client relationships and managing projects internally for her company. The goal was to determine the current market awareness of their client’s digital...

  • 10/31/2013

    Even when dealing with top-line challenges with help from the Printing Industry Financial Executives (PIFE) group and other professional resources, firms can still greatly improve profitability. How do you step up your game? In this article, adapted from “Boosting Your Bottom Line” by Dr. Ronnie H. Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Printing Industries of America, learn how to improve your financial performance from the bottom line up.

    How’s your company ranking on the profitability playing field? If you’re looking to boost your firm’s bottom line and gain competitive advantage, sales, cost, and pricing have the biggest impact on performance and profitability. The 2013 Ratios survey showed a major financial performance gap between profit leaders and the industry average. For you, this indicates there are many opportunities for increasing...

  • 10/15/2013

    The industry’s “Profit Leaders” represent firms in the top 25% of profitability. So what’s their secret? What are they doing that the other 75% are not?

    They’re using Printing Industries of America’s Ratios reports to benchmark their business, learning where they can improve efficiency and productivity. And the result is higher profits. Here’s how you can do the same with the 2013–2014 Ratios.

    Ask Strategic Questions

    The new 2013–2014 Ratios, whichshows that printing industry profits are finally increasing,collates key market data to pinpoint strategic business areas to focus on. Profit leaders use the reports as an efficient way to benchmark and get a pulse on important areas of operations, like profitability and sales factors, cost drivers, and ...

  • 09/16/2013

    In this four-part series, we’ll take a look at how each indicator from the Monthly Conditions Dashboard is affecting your business based on the survey results from the past 15 months. Charts are also provided to show the trends in an easy-to-read format, so you can benchmark your current market conditions with hundreds of other printers.

    In July, we shared some market insights based on data pulled from the Monthly Industry Conditions Dashboard. This market monitoring report from our Economic and Market Research department can be used to determine where the industry is trending in the short term, which can help you better forecast demand for the coming quarters.

    In Industry Trends Report: Part 1—Monthly Sales we learned about the wide swings and modestly rising sales printers are experiencing. Positive sales for 2013 are predicted in...

  • 07/01/2013

    In this four-part series, we’ll take a look at how each indicator from the Monthly Conditions Dashboard is affecting your business based on the survey results from the past 11 months. Charts are also provided to show the trends in an easy-to-read format, so you can benchmark your current market conditions with hundreds of other printers.

    Where do you expect your sales to go in 2013? Earlier this month in Industry Trends Report: Part 1—Monthly Sales, we told you about printers’ wide swings and recent modestly rising sales based on the Monthly Industry Conditions Dashboard.* This report is a new industry market trends report from our Economic and Market Research department that allows you to plan your business strategies each month.

    How does it all work? Survey respondents provide information in five principle areas—1) Monthly Sales, 2) Sales Expectations, 3) Profits...