Time to be big or really small?

Editor - S K Khurana The printing industry is going through an interesting shift. While, mediocre printers are ranting the decline in the print business, bigger players are going for expansion and diversification as well. And that’s not all; the smaller players are also doing good business with respect to their installed capacity and direct personal involvement.

One thing is clear – print is not dying; it’s there and will be there for many years. But, the dynamics are changing. With bigger players, like HT Media, The Times of India, The Indian Express, Amar Ujala, etc, offering commercial printing facilities; a huge chunk of the business from mediocre printers has been shifting to these big-wigs. The reason is simple–apart from appointing experienced marketing personnel; they can afford to give competitive rates at good quality. They have better logistics and of course superior infrastructure. Since they are financially sound, they always have a room for new technological upgradation and expansion. The overall experience of working with such organizations is pleasant.

Similarly, there are bigger printing set-ups who have been expanding from offset to digital, digital to offset, labels to packaging, labels to offset, etc – the idea is to offer all printing services under one roof! These set-ups have an edge over other printers as they offer a one-stop solution for all printing needs.

On the other hand, smaller printers are catering to larger number of customers with tight budgets and where high quality might not be the requirement. These printers usually give better rates as their overheads are low; their infrastructure cost is low and so is their production cost.

This situation has actually caused a threat to the medium-level printers, who are facing larger challenges; they can neither compete with larger players in terms of cost vs quality nor can they compete with smaller players in terms of cost. While the larger players give a complete solution to the customers (mailing included), the smaller players fit into the budgets for customers looking for low-end printing needs.

Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the fittest’ holds true even now. So, it’s actually time for all printers to decide where they would like to see themselves – too big or too small?

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