Wide format printers and their suppliers are optimistic about the chances of business recovery to pre-recession levels within the next 12 months, according to a Fespa survey. Also, some 83 per cent of respondents believe themselves to be well positioned to take advantage of the conditions if the market rebounds.Some 14 per cent of survey respondents already report signs of recovery, with a further 23 per cent expecting fortunes to improve in the second half of 2009. 25.6 per cent of the sample expects the upturn to come in early 2010, with a similar figure anticipating recovery by the end of 2010. Less than 12 per cent foresee current trading conditions lasting into 2011.
The electronic survey of 400 individuals during July was conducted by Fespa in partnership with research organisation InfoTrends. The research, which includes printers, manufacturers and resellers, will be repeated on a regular basis between now and FESPA 2010, which Fespa says helps to reliably gauge the mood of the wide-format community.
Fespa marketing director Marcus Timson says, “We found the intelligence from our recent Worldwide Survey so valuable that we decided it would benefit Fespa, our exhibitors and our global community of print service providers (PSPs) to test the temperature of the market more regularly.”
He continues, “With the Economy Survey, we’re questioning a meaningful sample of printers worldwide to assess how they’re managing the impact of the global economic downturn, and to understand the measures they’re putting in place to get through the difficult times and equip themselves for a positive future.”
While a quarter of those questioned indicated that their business had stagnated or experienced minimal impact, the majority had seen turnover affected, with 27 per cent of respondents citing a negative effect of 25 per cent or more.
The survey also shows that print service providers are still looking to their operational processes for solutions to falling revenues. Some 76 per cent of printers had developed production-led strategies to address the downturn, with many looking to reduce overheads with lower priced media, lower priced ink and by cutting printer maintenance programmes.
Sustainability practices have benefited however, with 46.3 per cent of respondents having tightened their waste management practices. Flatbed printing technology has also experienced a boost, with 22.2 per cent of PSPs looking to this technology to trim labour costs.