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ISA Wide Format Print Media Mix Survey Part One - Research Report ISA Wide Format Print Media Mix...

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  • ISA Wide Format Print &

    Media Mix Survey

    Part One

    PREPARED BY:

    SPONSORED BY:

    PRODUCED BY:

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 1

    Introduction

    The International Sign Association (ISA) leadership was asked to develop a

    research survey to make some determinations about the state of the signage and

    graphics market and the tools, technologies, and brands that ISA membership

    counts on to conduct its business. InfoTrends, a market research and consulting

    company that focuses on the printing and imaging business and with expertise in

    electronic survey methods, was fortunate to be selected to contribute to this effort

    as a research partner for ISA.

    The stated objectives of this survey are:

    To develop an accurate profile of ISA member & non-member companies by

    size of company (number of employees and revenue), production volume

    and other key metrics.

    To get a firm understanding of the adoption of digital printing within the sign

    industry.

    Examine the primary applications for wide format digital printing solutions

    and try to determine which applications are growing as a percentage of the

    signage and graphics business.

    To measure current wide format digital print media mix and brand

    preferences as well as purchase volume, purchasing expectations and

    purchasing decision criteria.

    The combined survey included approximately 30 questions and was sent in two

    separate invitations to participate. InfoTrends and the International Sign

    Association extend their thanks to those who completed the survey.

    This document provides the results from the first of the two surveys.

    We hope you find these results informative and useful.

    Key Takeaways Small shops make up

    approximately 70% of the establishments within signage and graphics producers. This places a large emphasis on the importance of efficiency and cash flow management.

    Digital printing is already the primary production method within the signage and graphics market

    Within digital printing eco-solvent inkjet is the primary technology employed but UV-curable inkjet is coming on strong.

    As expected, signs, banners, vehicle wraps and graphics are the top applications among these respondents

    Durability, print quality, and price are the top wide format digital print media brand selection criteria

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 2

    Respondent Profile

    Any survey should first indicate the role of the respondents. It is important to understand the role of the

    respondents because it impacts their responses and their ability to respond to certain elements of the

    survey. In this case, the respondents overwhelmingly represent leadership positions at these signage and

    graphics companies.

    President/CEO/Owner 74%

    General Manager, COO, VP Mfg. 9%

    Prepress/Production Manager 8%

    VP Sales & Marketing 6%

    IT Manager/CTO 2%

    In-plant Manager 1%

    Respondents by Establishment Type

    One of the trends that InfoTrends has identified for a number of years is the continuous evolution of the

    wide format signage and graphics market. Over time there have been a number of companies from other

    traditional segments of the printing industry that have entered the signage and graphics market seeking

    growth and higher profit margins. The chart below illustrates some of this evolution. The ISA membership

    now includes shops that dont refer to themselves as sign shops but as digital graphics print shops,

    digital printing specialists, or some other form of printing company.

    Which of the following best describes your print operation?

    Sign shop 72%

    Digital graphics print shop

    15%

    Digital printing specialist

    5%

    Other print company4%

    Other4%

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 3

    1 to 427.5%

    5 to 935.0%

    10 to 197.5%

    20 to 4917.5%

    50 to 995.0%

    100 to 2497.5%

    Mean: 27.1 Employees

    Under $500K44.2%

    $500K to $999K25.8%

    $1.0M to $1.9M10.0%

    $2.0M to $2.9M5.0%

    $3.0M to $4.9M1.7%

    $5.0M to $9.9M5.8%

    $10.0M to $19.9M0.8%

    $20.0M to $49.9M4.2%

    $50.0M or more2.5%

    Mean: $4.2M

    Shop Size

    Most of the shops that responded to the survey were fairly small in terms of revenue and number of

    employees. Over 62% of the establishments have fewer than 10 employees and almost 70% have less

    than $1 million in annual sales.

    In total, how many employees work at your company (at your facility)?

    The size of the average establishment is an important dynamic within the signage and graphics market.

    While all shops try to run efficiently, small shops are perhaps more acutely affected by issues that impact

    cash flow. An example of how digital printing is enabling more efficient operations is in how shops

    manage inventory. When shops were making signs by primarily cutting vinyl, they needed to manage an

    inventory of many different colors of vinyl. Using digital printing, all the vinyl is white which means shops

    dont have to tie up their cash in inventory.

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 4

    Own Wide Format Digital Printers vs. Outsource

    Many signage and graphics producers are smart about how they serve their customers. They recognize

    that they dont have to own all the equipment they could possibly need to serve their customers, in some

    cases it is better to outsource work that they are unable to do themselves. 21% of the shops surveyed

    reported that they dont own any wide format digital printers, outsourcing all of their wide format print

    production, while only 33% of the shops surveyed reported that they dont outsource any work.

    Do you have your own wide format digital printers or do you outsource wide format digital work?

    We have our own, dont outsource

    33%

    We have our own printers, still

    outsource sometimes

    46%

    We dont have our own printers,

    we outsource wide format print

    production21%

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 5

    Shops Often Own Multiple Devices, Multiple Technologies

    For the shops that own their own wide format production equipment, they often own multiple pieces of

    equipment and technology. Shops do this for several reasons, they may need multiple devices to satisfy

    capacity requirements, or they may buy several of the same production device to create redundancy as

    part of a lean manufacturing strategy.

    The most common technologies they own include analog, which is color-cut vinyl and screen printing

    equipment. When they have an aqueous inkjet printer they typically have more than one, which is

    probably because they use one as a proofing system and one as a production system.

    How many of the following types do you have?

    0.3

    1.3

    1.3

    1.3

    1.3

    1.3

    1.5

    1.5

    1.8

    2.3

    0 1 2 3

    Other

    Eco-solvent inkjet

    Solvent-based inkjet

    Dye-sublimation

    UV-curable hybrid

    UV-curable flatbed

    Latex inkjet

    UV-curable roll-to-roll

    Aqueous Inkjet

    Analog processes

    # of Printers

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 6

    Digital Printing Will Represent a Larger Share of Production

    As noted previously, digital printing technology is enabling a transformation in the signage and graphics

    market. Already shops report that digital printing represents more than half of their production, and they

    expect digital printing to make up a greater share of their production over the next two years.

    Thinking just about your wide format graphics business, approximately what percentage is produced using the following methods now and in 2 years?

    58.9%

    32.9%

    5.0%3.2%

    64.4%

    28.3%

    4.8%2.5%

    0%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    Digital print Cut vinyl Other Screen print

    now

    in 2 years

  • ISA Research Report ISA Wide Format Pr int & Media Mix Survey Part One

    . Inte rnat ional Sign Assoc iat ion 7

    Wide Format Digital Printing Technology

    Eco-solvent inkjet is the dominant wide format digital print technology among the signage and graphics

    shops surveyed. Eco-solvent inkjet is a very strong technology choice for signage and graphics shops

    because of its ability to print a wide range of applications, competitive running costs, good image

    durability, and low price. Also, some of the most popular eco-solvent devices on the market have

    integrated cutting systems included, which provides additional value for small shops that need to produce

    contour cut graphics.

    The chart also indicates that 25% of the

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