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an appropriate generic strategy to position your printing business unit in its competitive environment

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Steps need to be followed to strategise printing business:-

• Planning for a brighter future starts with analyzing inner strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Internal evaluation coupled with an environmental scan of the competitive landscape.

• Differentiate your firm - It’s all about creating a unique value proposition. Start with your SWOT analysis. Everything is fair game (e.g. technology, experience, certifications, commendations, price, value, etc.).

• Invest in technology - Examples would include Web software that would allow customers to place and track orders, ERP suites, HR software applications, and other industry-specific technology.

• Identify new markets - Typically the more avenues of distribution you have, the better off you are. If, for example, you cater to the commercial market, consider the government space or even the aerospace and the aircraft sectors.

• Enhance your Website - Your Website should be optimized so that it becomes a powerful Internet marketing platform for generating sales leads contributing to both short and long-term growth of sales.

• Invest in Training - Great companies realize the value of their employees and staff development. Don’t wait for the upturn to focus on training. Trained employees are more confident, productive and resilient.

• Forge strategic alliances - Understand your core competencies, know what customers are looking for, and forge strategic partnerships to shore up your product and service portfolios.

• Trim costs surgically - Across the board cost cutting is risky at best. Analyze expenses with your key staff, one line item at a time. This way you can make strategic cuts, one cut at a time. And most importantly should be the last resort.

• Optimize your advertising effort - Go beyond traditional print advertising in trade journals and other publications. Be creative and don’t discount using Web-based technology (e.g. pay-per-click advertising). And be sure to track the ROI for each activity to make your money count!

• Build a strong sales force - Develop a unified sales team focused on customer needs and expectations. Indeed, your sales representatives should become business partners to your customers. Following are main items of printing business:-
• Banners
• Booklets
• Bookmark
• Brochures
• Brochures and catalogues
• Business Cards
• Calendars
• Carbonless Forms
• Catalogs CD & DVD covers
• CD Inlays
• Color Copies
• Custom Logo Design
• Envelopes
• Fliers & Trifolds
• Invitation and greeting cards
• Letterhead and envelops
• Magnets
• NCR Forms
• Notepads
• Post cards
• Posters
• Presentation Folders
• Product Labels
• Promotional products
• Rack Cards
• Rip Cards
• Rolodex Cards
• Sell Sheets Stationery
• Stickers
• Thesis Printing
• Trading Cards
Few examples of Top Commercial Printing Industry Competitors to strengthen printing business in competitive market are:-

Ø Printers Accutech infosystems Pvt. Ltd.
Ø Dalven Digital Services Pvt. Ltd.
Ø Graphic International
Ø Hcl Infinet Ltd.
Ø Jay Digital Graphics
Ø K.G.N. Xerox
Ø Karshak Art Printers
Ø Kimm's Digital
Ø Mr. Ads Designers & Printers
Ø Om Sai Rubber Stamp Maker & Plastic Works
Ø R.K. Graphics
Ø SV Digital Imaging Pvt.Ltd.
Ø Sai Sandeep Enterprises
Ø Singhania Offset Printers Pvt.Ltd
Ø Sandhya Printing Works
Ø Shri Gunti Offset Printers
Ø Sree Designs Advertising Services
Ø Sri Satyanarayana Agencies.
Ø Suhas Print Media
For positioning of printing business, we should go by the trends of market which are mentioned below:-
Transition to Digital Technology Digital presses have become the norm in commercial printing; industry growth is coming almost entirely from digital printing. The commercial printing industry is shifting to faster production of smaller order quantities with more color, the major benefit of digital printing over offset and other printing methods. While digital inkjet printers began at the small end of printers, technology is increasingly able to make digital printers with greater capacity.
Operations & Technology A typical commercial printer has different presses and binding equipment available to work on various types of jobs. The main printing process used is offset lithography, using either individual sheets (sheet fed presses) or continuous rolls of paper (web presses). Sheet fed presses print up to 16 pages of letter-sized product (a 16 page "signature") at a time, at speeds up to 15,000 impressions per hour. Web presses print 32 pages at a time at speeds over 40,000 impressions per hour, and are usually used for production runs of more than 50,000 copies. Presses usually print in one, two, four, or six colors; some presses can print eight. Digital presses are still used primarily in specialty applications. Paper is the biggest individual manufacturing cost, often amounting to 25 percent of revenues. Printing papers are often coated, and are bought in sheets or rolls from distributors. Some customers provide their own paper, but most is bought for customers, with a modest price markup. Paper prices can vary significantly from year to year. Digital technology is changing the competitive landscape of the commercial printing market. Prices for digital color pages are falling below offset printing prices and companies who fall behind in the shift to digital printing are at risk.
Sales & Marketing The largest single market for printing services is advertising, for newspaper inserts, magazines, and direct mail materials. Although some work may be done regularly for large customers under long-term contracts (magazines, product catalogs, and phone books), most is on a project basis, often after a bidding process. Work may be episodic and many printers keep extra presses to meet anticipated peak demands. Marketing is usually done by a traditional sales force calling on potential customers.

Commercial printing is a local business. Small printers can compete effectively with large ones because the small size and high variability of most printing jobs means that few economies are achieved by having larger presses. The high degree of personal attention that most print jobs require, such as client approvals of proofs and "press checks" during actual printing, means that customers prefer to use a local printer. Price is often a secondary consideration to quality and timeliness. Some types of printing, such as magazines and catalogs with large print runs, are more effectively handled by large printers.
Innovation
Coming up with innovative marketing strategies to market your business, does not have to be difficult. There are a number of paths that one can follow, which can be highly successful, to help you create marketing approach that fits one’s needs and budget. Rather than slide into the busy fourth quarter with the same old marketing bag of tricks, you can get a jump on your competitors by embracing new tactics for increasing leads and sales. Always be alert to new opportunities, ideas, to market your business. An example is you can give direct access to your regular customers through internet by remote printing software giving them a unique id account so that they can directly send the files to the work station.
Finance
Commercial printers generally keep low material inventories and don't require inventory financing. Receivables are generally collected within 60 days, and are sometimes financed. Equipment is often financed, or is leased. Presses have become more expensive, though more versatile, because of computerised controls and enhancements. Some printers have difficulty maintaining adequate workplace air quality standards, and emit pollutants into the air, mainly because of solvents in ink and the solvents used to clean ink from printing plates. Some printers also generate toxic wastes because of inks and solvents. Workplace safety may also be a problem, although the illness and injury rate has decreased rapidly in the past decade.
Human Resources Production personnel in commercial printing plants include employees with special skills in operating complicated machines, Computer operators, Graphic Designers, Creative Designers, and lower-paid, relatively unskilled workers. The number of people employed in commercial printing has been declining in the last five years, as more of the work has become automated. The industry’s annual injury rate is comparable to the national average for all industries.

Above mentioned things will definitely help to position/strengthen printing business unit.

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