New IPI Research Reveals Growth Trends During COVID
In-plants have expanded their service offerings more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the demand for traditional applications like forms and manuals diminished, in-plants began offering new varieties of signage and graphics, and moved into fulfillment and kitting services as well to increase the value they provide.
These are some of the key findings of a new study conducted by In-plant Impressions and sponsored by C.P. Bourg that examines the changing world of in-house printing. We surveyed 138 in-plants earlier this year to learn how they have weathered the pandemic and how COVID has impacted the way they work. Among the trends we observed:
- More than 80% of in-plant respondents now provide wide-format printing, which makes up 14% of their revenue, up from 9% two years ago.
- Contour cutting has shown the most impressive growth of any in-house service, with 35% of in-plants now providing it, compared with 26% in 2020.
- Floor graphics grew more than any other application during COVID, increasing 77% since 2020.
- Mailing services are now provided by 64% of in-plants, compared with 55% that handled mail in our 2020 study.
- Copier fleet management has grown as a service, from 31% handling it in 2020 to 38% today.
- 60% of in-plants now insource printing from outside their organizations, generating an average of 14% of their revenue this way.
COVID has changed the way in-plants operate. The biggest change, affecting 36% of respondents, is that that some employees are now working remotely. Designers, customer service staff, even 21% of managers are not in the shop regularly, which can impact productivity.
The shortage of workers is another issue of concern. Nearly 40% say keeping the in-plant fully staffed is one of their top worries, up from 29% two years ago.
The industry is slowly recovering from COVID: 44% of respondents report print volumes are up and 40% say revenue has surpassed 2020 levels; 56% predict their 2022 revenues will rise even higher.
Download the full report at this link. And hear IPI Editor Bob Neubauer discuss the findings in more detail during the opening presentation at the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference next week in Buffalo, New York.