How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
We are seeing applications growing with in-store promotional materials, whether it is static clings, floor graphics, wobblers, header signs, or end caps. However, we are seeing somewhat of a decrease with banners in a promotion due to the city or state ordinances. In dealing with retail chains, fast food, and supermarkets, they are all trying to drive traffic with the in-store promotions.
Marketing trends over the past five years have certainly suggested flat to no growth in screen printing as well as offset lithography. For this reason, many companies have diversified their capabilities by offering digital and photographic as visual graphic alternatives. In addition, many larger companies are also complementing their offering to include fulfillment, distribution, and implementation. Customers today want you to manage as much of their business as possible. The one-stop shop, so to speak, has become a preference. They can then deal with one company, one contact, thereby minimizing the stress and the paperwork. Today, many clients do not appear to be concerned with how the graphics are produced, whether screen printed, litho, or digital. They just want it done seamlessly.
SP: How have recent technological trends affected P-O-P production in your business?
We certainly are seeing more customization of graphics. We are seeing prices come down just for the printed work itself. There is more competition. The price per square foot over the last 18 months is coming down.
We feel that what we call the only companies will struggle in the future. If you are only a screen printer or only an offset company, the future may get tougher. Customers will need more production solutions from a single vendor. We believe in a vertical model called Concept to Completion. We offer full-service design, print, post-print production, and shipping and fulfillment. Technology allows us to be more competitive at every step of the way.
Digital technology has affected our P-O-P production. Going digital vs. screen eliminates a lot of past steps, which in turn allows us to produce the product faster, more economically, and with better consistency.
The new technology often times creates the necessity to aggressively look for ways to become more efficient; streamline the operations through lean thinking so you can maintain a competitive edge without eroding the margins.
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