Specialist Printing Article: Concerns & Cautious Confidence

February 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

Steve Kahane, International Coatings’ President, recently presided over the fall executive forum of NASMA, the North American Specialty Printing Manufacturers’ association, of which Steve is currently Chairman.  Steve summarized highlights of the meeting in a recent article published in Specialist Printing magazine entitled:  Concerns And Cautious Confidence,  a look at business and market trends in North America.   Here is a reprint of the article:

NASMA recently held its fall executive forum meeting in Irvine, California at the corporate headquarters of Roland DGA.  Over 20 senior executives and owners from the leading manufacturers in the North American print industry participated.  Here are some of the highlights from the meeting.

All participants were increasingly optimistic about their businesses and markets.  In a quick and very general survey, everyone indicated that sales in 2010 are up from 2009.  And next year, everyone expects further growth.  Two-thirds of the companies indicated that their marketing spend increased this year.  Over three-quarters of the group plan to increase their marketing spending next year.  Given the experience during the recession, companies to this point have held off hiring and buying equipment.  But that is expected to change next year as participants begin increasing headcounts and capital spending, albeit cautiously.  The new normal in North America appears to be mostly steady but slow and challenging growth. 

During the business roundtable discussions, several issues seemed to be on everyone’s mind.  First and foremost, material availability and supply chain management are challenging everyone at the moment.  Second, margin pressures remain as print customers work to regain their bottom lines.  And third, what is the role of screen printing in an increasingly digital world?  

The keynote speakers expanded on these issues and gave their views on where the market is heading.  Tom Butler, owner of Ink Throwers, one of North America’s largest screen printers, talked with us about his business and the screen print market in general.  Tom noted that the ‘big box’ retailers have shortened their supply chains over the past several years, bringing a lot of printing back to North America.  But expectations from the major retailers are very high in terms of pricing, delivery and response.  Screen printing remains the go-to technology for high volume printing.

Frazer Chesterman, FESPA Managing Director, and Marcus Timson, FESPA’s Marketing and Sales Manager, spoke with us about the growth in the digital marketplace and FESPA’s plans for its upcoming shows – in particular, FESPA Americas.  FESPA sees considerable growth ahead for graphic printing.  Screen printing will remain an important market segment, but attention is shifting to digital printing where there is a faster pace of innovation.  FESPA plans to highlight wide-format, in particular, at its upcoming FESPA Americas show in Florida.

While there are many challenges ahead, the good news from the meeting is that manufacturers are excited and are once again looking to growth and the future.   

About NASMA:  NASMA is an executive forum comprised of the leading manufacturing companies in North America that supply the screen printing, digital printing, and related specialty-graphics markets.  

 NASMA partners with its European counterpart, ESMA, an Association of European Manufacturers of machinery and consumables for the specialist printing industry, to address global concerns that the print industry is facing.

About Specials Printing MagazineSPECIALIST PRINTING Worldwide is the industry’s leading international technical reference source which users of screen and wide format digital printing systems turn to for the latest information on techniques and products.

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