NPOA Releases Pricing Study

 Study Participants Receive Email with Confidential Link

If you participated in NPOA's recent 2015-2016 Quick Printing Industry Pricing Survey, you should already have received an email with a subject line - "Your NPOA Pricing Study is Ready to Download." The email was sent at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The Email provides a special, confidential link to our special download site. The new study is 126+ pages in length and is packed with useful pricing information for both digital and offset printing products and services. Please check your spam folders and deleted folders before emailing us regarding issues or concerns regarding non-receipt of this email.

The Study is now also available in the NPOA Bookstore and retails for $285. The NPOA Member Price is $171, reflecting a 40% member discount.

Not Sure Whether You Participated? - If you're not sure whether or not you participated and thus should be expecting a free copy, simply visit our "Official Participant List" page. This page list all eligible participating companies.

A special Thanks to our sponsors for this year's study - EFI, Printer's Plan and Ricoh. 

NPOA Welcomes New Members...

Five Printers Join NPOA in October

NPOA welcomes five printers who have joined our association in October.


Robert Merritt, R2 Graphics, Inc., Cheshire, CT

Meredith Bullock, Independence Press, Inc., Aspen, CO
Roy Beaupain, Economy Offset Printing & Digital, Goshen, IN
Brian Trucksess, Marshall Graphic Services, Wilmington, DE
Duncan Burke, Burke Printing, Napaneee, Ontario, Canada

NPOA Associate Member BindRite
Features Made-in-America Products 

The global landscape for purchasing printing equipment and supplies has been changing dramatically in recent months, as low cost countries are experiencing inflation and labor cost increases, and that has given the BindRite Dealer's Association (an NPOA Associate member) impetus for introducing its "Made in America" strategy, according to Albert (Al) Boese, Executive Director, BindRite Dealers Association. 

Doing business in these formerly cost effective locations has always been more complex with unit volume expectations, quality variations, supply chain issues including; travel time, dock strikes and other inconveniences, but cost was attractive." Now," notes Boese, "vendors to the printing industry are rethinking their options and sources of manufactured products. Many are either continuing or expanding their US manufacturing operations or moving back to America altogether."

In response to this worldwide paradigm shift, Bindrite has developed, according to Boese, a “Made in America” strategy for our web site, featuring companies who produce products for the Print Finishing industry and are manufactured in the USA. NPOA invites members to visit the BindRite website.





PrintOwners List Survey Results

NPOA Completes Members-Only Survey

NPOA has just released the results of a "Members-Only" survey conducted earlier this month regarding the PrintOwners Listserv. The survey deals with issues such as listserv activity, whether non-NPOA members should be charged a subscription fee, and if so, what members suggest that fee might be!

NPOA members can Click here to view the results. You must have your "Username" and "Password" to access the results of this survey. This survey, like most surveys conducted by the association, is part of the association's on-going efforts to solicit the opinions of its members as to issues of concern. As always, thank you for your input and participation.

NPOA First Regional Road Show
Comes to New England!

NPOA brings the popular topic of wide format directly to its members with an education seminar by Skip Grant of Grant Graphics. Skip was a highly rated speaker at the 2015 Conference in Orlando. He will present his session "Print, Cut and Make Money!" in the morning and moderate a panel of successful printers experienced in wide format sales and production in the afternoon.

NPOA is partnering with Mimaki, a manufacturer of wide format equipment to hold the one day seminar and panel presentation at the Mimaki offices in Newton MA on Friday, November 13 from 10 am to 4 pm. Registration is $49 for members and $75 for non members and will include the seminar and lunch, plus a Happy Hour that evening at the Newton Marriott.

For more information and to register for the seminar, click here.

An NPOA Members-Only Benefit

Jeffrey Hayzlett Webinar Released
"Think Big, Bigger - Be Relentless"

An hour-long Webinar video by popular business celebrity and maverick marketer Jeffrey Hayzlett is now available for NPOA Members Only. To view the webinar, go to NPOA Webinars. You will have to enter your user name and password to view this and other videos.

Grand Prize - Harley Davidson Signed by Jay Leno

AccuZIP Brings Out Smiles at Graph Expo
With Award of Harley Sportster to NPOA Member 

NPOA Member Bob MacIntosh, owner of Zoom Printing, Long Island, NY, was the lucky "Grand Prize" winner in a drawing held by long-time NPOA Associate Member AccuZIP. Click here to read the full story.

A high-energy webinar you don't want to miss...

"Think Big, Bigger: Be Relentless!"
By Global Maverick Marketer Jeffrey Hayzlett
September 18, 2015, 11:00 A.M. EST


Jeffrey Hayzlett has been called a lot of things; most of them good. From Global Business Celebrity to Maverick Marketer, his bold, brash style makes a big first impression.

He’s a cowboy – literally. Jeffrey hails from South Dakota, and even far from his ranch, you’ll still find him in his signature cowboy boots. But hang on—because all that cowboy bravado is not without a point. Jeffrey is a business and marketing expert who saddles up to drive top companies on the path to change and growth. He asks the tough questions and gets up in their business: from people to process, marketing to social media, public relations to mobile marketing—Jeffrey knows what it takes to drive success.

So why is this accomplished marketer, author and celebrity talking to a group of NPOA Printers? Jeff’s start was as a printing company owner in South Dakota. Ink and toner are in his blood and his heart is with us still. He was a former NAQP board member, lobbied Washington for printers, and directed marketing of Discount Labels. He wants to show printers how in today’s changing world we matter and how we can think big, make big impressions and rightfully deserve a place in every businesses marketing tool kit. Click here or the sign-up form below to register for this sure to be sold-out webinar. Attendance is limited.

Attendees will receive at least three automated email reminders and links in advance of the seminar.  Look for emails containing "Hayzelett Webinar" in the subject line. 

NPOA Welcomes Newest Associate Member

 CPrint Founder Tom Crouser Joins NPOA

Tom Crouser, a long-time business consultant, speaker, consultant, and founder of CPrint International, has joined NPOA's ranks as the association's latest associate member.

NPOA's newest Associate Member has served as a business consultant to printing and allied companies on a variety of topics including, financial analysis, business organization, transitions, business to business sales and marketing since the early 1980's. In 2003 he founded CPrint International, a program for the printing industry with participants throughout the United States as well as Canada. Crouser is also founder and president of Crouser & Associates, Inc., a business consulting firm. Tom got his start in the printing industry in the mid 1960's as founder and president of Three Printers, Inc., Charleston, WV.

Popular Industry Publisher - Tom has authored numerous publications including, "Prospering: Putting the Business to Work for You and Your Family in 5 Basic Steps", 2001, "Dead Printer Working: a Printer's Financial Survival Guide", 1996, and he is publisher of the popular "Crouser Guide to Estimating Printing," a yearly pricing guide for commercial printing firms in manual and software formats. The latter has been published yearly since 1989 and Includes both digital and offset values. 

Crouser is also a Senior Contributing Editor to Printing News, formerly Quick Printing magazine, and he has presented seminars before business audiences throughout the United States, Canada, England and Australia.

For additional information regarding CPrint, click here.


 Association Releases More Survey Data

NPOA Releases Findings From
PrintOwner Subscriber Survey

MEMBERS ONLY - NPOA Members can view and read the latest findings from a survey conducted by the association in August 2015. The survey results are quite revealing and report on both the activity levels and satisfaction levels as expressed by both NPOA members subscribers as well as subscribers who are not members of the association. Click here to view charts and read a brief analysis. (You must sign-in with your user name and password to view this report.)

 NPOA Welcomes Simon King
Our Newest Member from the UK

Simon King, managing director of Blackfriars Contracts, Ltd., Plymouth, UK, is NPOA's newest "International" member. "Blackfriars began 36 years ago and I still enjoy what I do," says King.

Blackfriars is a commercial printing firm, and employs a staff of 9 in a 9,000 square foot building. According to King, Blackfriars uses a variety of equipment to meet the needs of their customers, including: A Ricoh 7100 with the "Extra Color" feature, Ricoh 5110, Sharp 6240, Konica 1050, Ricoh 2200, Kip 3000, HP 6200, and a HP 6100.

King is a subscriber to the PrintOwners Listserv and can be reached at [email protected] While the text is almost impossible to read, the photos below appear in an impressive PDF distributed by Blackfriars that illustrates some of the company's enhanced capabilities. Notice the colorful graphics on the Ricoh 7100!


This is your chance to receive the printing industry's most popular study absolutely FREE! - There's only one catch - In order to receive your FREE copy of the 100+ page 2015-2016 Quick Printing Industry Pricing Study you have to complete and submit your survey by Sept. 30, 2015. It's as simple as that! This year's survey is shorter than ever, and we've modified the rules for participation in order to make it easier than ever for you to get your free copy. Go Here to visit our special Pricing Survey Page. This year's survey and final study is being sponsored by:

NPOA Continues Outreach Efforts
To PrintOwner Listserv Subscribers

NPOA is continuing its efforts to update and confirm the size and location of subscribers to the PrintOwners Listserv. The listserv is by far the most popular and active listserv in the printing industry, and has been in existence since late 1997. Over time, the number of subscribers has grown from a few dozen printers to almost 700. Unfortunately, while it has always been very easy to join the list, it hasn't always been as easy to keep it up-to-date, especially as members moved on or closed their businesses.. We know the PO list contains a fair amount of "deadwood" and "inactive" subscribers but we just don't know how many.

That's where you can help - Whether or not you are a member of NPOA, if you are currently a subscriber to the PrintOwners Listserv we are asking every reader (unless you have already responded to our previous requests) to take our six-question survey:  Firms failing to respond to our survey by Sept. 3, 2015 risk being suspended from the list. See note at the bottom of this article. 

Although the survey asks for basic information such as owner's name, company name and full mailing address, it also asks a couple of related questions. The results below are based upon approximately 350 subscribers who have already completed our survey. 


 After September 3, 2015, PrintOwner Listserv subscribers who fail to provide the necessary survey information will be temporarily dropped from the list, but may resubscribe almost instantly using a new form we will be providing. The reality of "dropping subscribers" is really not as harsh as it may sound since we may in fact be dropping folks who have not been active subscribers in years, but simply failed to use the unsubscribe features provided by the listserv - Plain and simple, we just need to clean up the PO Listserv!

 Suppliers to Sponsor Next Pricing Study...

Three Key Industry Suppliers Step-Up
To Sponsor Next Industry Pricing Study

NPOA wants you to keep an eye open in the next couple of weeks for the association's newest industry survey - the 2015-2016 Quick Printing Industry Pricing Survey. The Survey is undergoing final proofing and editing and we expect to release the survey within the next next two weeks. The survey is open to all participants, regardless of NPOA membership. All firms who complete the survey will be entitled to a free copy of the final study which is scheduled to be released in early fall.

NPOA also wants to sincerely thank our sponsors - EFI, Printer's Plan and RICOH for sponsoring this year's survey and study.


One Hour to Greater Profits...

Benchmarking Study Reveals How
Winners Remain Winners in Industry!

By John Stewart, Executive Director, NPOA   

In 1983 I was fortunate enough to work with industry guru Larry Hunt and fellow printer Abe Corton (since deceased) on the industry's first attempt to gather information and publish financial data that would help fellow printers improve their profitability. We worked to produce a document that would really analyze the nuts and bolts of how some printers were extremely profitable year after year, while others struggled just to survive. Those were the boom days for many, so much so that I remember addressing audiences and telling them that the financial opportunities in our industry were so good, that "you had to be really stupid to fail," and I followed up that remark by saying, "but some folks proved it could be done if they worked hard enough!"

For many years, the studies were referred to as Operating Ratio Studies. Beginning In 2010, the name of the studies was changed to Financial Benchmarking Studies in the hope that the change in name would better clarify what they were all about. No such luck! To be honest, when I first got involved in the industry in the late 1970's I didn't know what an "operating ratio" or "benchmarking ratio" was all about, and I was too embarrassed to ask! It wasn't until I had the opportunity to meet and learn from Larry Hunt that I had an opportunity learn about key ratios and I learned that it really wasn't as complicated as some would have you believe. So I started helping Larry gather the numbers and the key ratios required in our industry. Larry was the numbers guy and I just plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet program called Visicalc, which was the forerunner of today's Excel.

The rest is history - Larry and I have continued to work on various projects for more than 30+ years, the most important of which has been the publication of the biennial financial benchmarking studies. During the ensuing three decades, Even after all these years and being involved in publishing dozens and dozens of studies, I still believe there is no study published in the industry as important as the benchmarking studies!

Although not as "flashy" or "sexy" as some of the other studies produced by NAQP, NAPL or NPOA, I have come to appreciate the fact that these benchmarking studies are clearly the most valuable publications produced by this or any association. They are packed with information found no where else in the industry. You can't get this information from bankers or from CPA firms, or even some of the older printing associations - today there is only one place you can go to get critical information for helping you turn your business around (if it needs turning around), or just help you increase your current profit margins - The NPOA Benchmarking Study.

I used to advise consulting clients that, "If you do nothing more than read the Larry Hunt's 'Executive Summary' that appears in the front of every benchmarking study, and you ignore everything else in the study, you would still know more about this industry and what it takes to make a profit than 80-90% of your competitors." Don't get me wrong - it will definitely take more than just reading the information and studying the charts to boost your profits, but that is a good start. You will also have to make some very hard, very painful decisions in order to really turn your business around, but then again that's what owning your own business is all about!

There is a myth floating around the industry, especially among younger owners, that it is a far different industry than it was 30 years ago, and while that may be true in some aspects, there are some things that haven't changed whatsoever. On average, owners still report the same percentage for cost of goods today as they did 32 years ago! Overhead expenses have actually dropped as a percent of sales by almost 5%. Labor costs, however, have jumped 9% during this time. As a result, this industry's overall profitability has dropped considerably from almost 18% in 1983 to 13.7% in 2013. (P.S. the 2014-2015 Financial Benchmarking Study contains 12 revealing charts, tables and graphs regarding profitability in our industry - information found no where else!

There is good news - Fortunately, there is good news as well. The "profit leaders" in our industry, those who constitute the top 25% of this industry in terms of "owners compensation," never seemed to get the news about all the doom and gloom in our industry. The "profit leaders" in our industry continue to perform quite well, despite the naysayers at the bottom who claim the sky is falling and that profits are non existent.

The NPOA 2014-2015 Financial Benchmarking Study is truly an information-packed study. It contains 104 pages of profit & loss statements, balance sheets and key ratio pages. You will find a variety of breakouts in this study based upon size of firm, franchise affiliation and even the percent of brokered sales. Most important of all, however, are the "Profit Leader" analyses contained in this study.... analyses that succinctly spell out the differences between how the leaders in our industry stack up as compared to the laggards. 

Read More

NPOA Appeals to Large Cross Section in Industry

Recent Analysis of Membership Data by NPOA
Reveals Interesting Statistics on Sales & SPE

A recent analysis of data extracted from NPOA membership records reveals that our membership represent a broad spectrum of the industry, both in terms of annual sales and sales per employee data. While the average annual sales of NPOA members is currently $1.5 million, the median is almost half that at $850,000. Based on the data depicted below, we can make some generalized statements as to annual sales of our members:

    • Approximately 20% of our members report annual sales of $499,999 and below.
    • Approximately 50% of our membership reports annual sales of $999,999 or below.
    • Approximately 26% of our membership reports annual sales between $1-1.9 million.
    • Approximately 18% of our membership reports annual sales of $2 million or greater                                                                                               

Interpreting the Data Above - The green bar indicates that 36.3% of NPOA members reported their annual sales falling between $500,000 and $999,999. Read all other bar data in a similar fashion.

 The reason for the significant gap between the average (mean) and the median is the simple fact that NPOA, in addition to serving many smaller firms, has also attracted to its ranks a significant number of firms with sales in the $2-4 million sales range, as well as a smaller number of firms reporting annual sales of $5-15 million. Contrary to what some outsiders may think, NPOA appears to appeal to many owners ranging from very small firms to very large ones!

The chart above should be read/interpreted similarly to the previous chart. As an example, the yellow bar indicates that 30.9% of the NPOA membership reported their sales per employee to be between $100,000 and $125,000. Another 23% reported their SPE to be between $125,001 and $150,000. Note too that 26% of our database reported an SPE of $150,000 or greater.

NPOA SPE Data by Quartiles - After calculating the sales per employee of member firms, we then ranked the SPE data from low to high and divided the data into four even quartiles, and then calculated the average sales per employee for each quartile. The data as charted below is self-explanatory. While approximately 25% of NPOA membership reports an average SPE of $183,152, the bottom quartile struggles with productivity when measured by SPE.


NPOA Launches New Links Page
For Signs & Wide Format Industry

NPOA Member Rob Roberston, owner of the Printing Department, Inc., Richmond, VA. has helped the association launch a brand new, members-only page providing useful resources, links and commentary for association members involved in the signs and wide format segment of our industry. Assisting Robertson with the project were Signs & Wide Format Sign Committee members Barry Martin (Copy Quik, Hagerstown, MD), Dennis Trump, (Trump Direct, Decatur, IL), and John Henry, (Mitchell Printing & Mailing, Oswego, NY).

NPOA needs your help and support to make this new page grow and be helpful to other members. If you're in the signs and wide format industry, and you have found dealers and suppliers who have been very helpful (or maybe not so helpful) then let us know.. Drop us an email at [email protected] and share your own links and comments. "This page can help both newcomers and old-timers in the sign industry, but we need to give it a life of its own by constantly updating and revising the page," notes Robertson. "Please, if you have some special vendors you'd like to share, or some comments about where you have found the best dealswhen it comes to this end of the industry please contact me either at the above address, or my own address at: [email protected].

Visit the New Signs & Wide Format page today by clicking here. You will need your user name and password to access the page. 

NPOA Seeking Pricing Study Volunteers

Help Your Association Draft New
New Industry Pricing Study Questionnaire

NPOA is seeking 18-25 association members willing to assist in developing the next survey questionnaire for the 2015-2016 Quick Printing Industry Pricing Survey. We plan to distribute the survey in mid-late August and publish the final study in Oct. 2015.

The Pricing Survey, as it has in the past, will cover some or all of the following:
  • Pre-press and graphics services
  • Digital color copying data and pricing
  • Digital BW printing prices
  • 1-C Offset Printing
  • 2-color Offset Printing
  • Basic Bindery Services
The challenge, which is greater than ever, is to try and shorten the survey while targeting the most popular items and services facing most shops these days. We may be forced to trim back on bindery services but will rely on the committee for their advice.
How much of your time do we need? We need individuals who will (1) download and print-out the attached Pricing Survey PDF, (2) read it carefully, and (3) then be willing to suggest what can or should be cut, and what might be added. (4) We need folks who are just as willing to suggest deletions and cuts as they are to suggest new products to price. (5) If, after reviewing the last questionnaire, you think that it is pretty good and only needs minor changes we welcome that as well.
We need folks who understand that these surveys are designed to uncover first and foremost current pricing for specific products.... not the processes or machines used to produce the products. We do not have time or space to analyze how these products are run or what equipment is used. We are solely interested in retail & discounted selling prices for specific products. We need folks who understand the difference between "Wouldn't it be nice to know...." vs. "we must know..."
I will create a master distribution list, gather the comments as they come in, and then redistribute to the committee. As time goes by, I will begin to forward drafts of the survey as it is developed.
How to volunteer? Simply drop me a private email at [email protected] with Pricing Study Committee in the subject line. The link below will take you to a page where you will find a PDF of the last Pricing Study Questionnaire for your review.
Time is of the essence since we always move with a "Sense of Urgency" on projects such as this so we need to hear from you ASAP if you are willing to help.
John Stewart, Executive Director, NPOA

Exclusive offer to NPOA members...

Printware Offers Free On-Site Installation
Of iJet 4-Color Inkjet Envelope Press 

Printware Offers NPOA Members Free, on-site installation and training anywhere in the continental U.S. plus a spare print head ($2,000 total value) - courtesy of the Memjet expert Printware iJetColor Team.  For additional information click on the link above, or contact Bill Frederick, Director of Sales, Printware, St. Paul, MN. 1-800-456-1400 ext. 418.

New NPOA Benefits Page

Recently, NPOA received a call from a prospective member who politely complained that it was difficult, especially for a non-member visiting the site, to at least view some of the many benefits available from the association.

We agreed with the caller, and immediately began working on a benefits page. The page is a work in process. It does not provide direct links, since most of those links are for members only, but it does illustrate what and where to find special special benefits and publications.

Links for Sign Services & Products - We are also currently working on a dedicated page of helpful links to assist members who are involved in signs and large format and we hope to have that page available soon. If you have an idea for a new service or product that might benefit the membership please don't hesitate to drop us an email with your suggestions.