Semper International reports pessimism regarding third quarter sales in its most recent print Industry Insight survey
Global economic concerns fueling domestic fears about the print and graphics industry’s sales.
Boston, MA – July 27, 2012 – Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, announces that in spite of profitability throughout the industry, many companies have a negative outlook for the rest of the quarter. Results of Semper’s most recent Industry Insight survey show a negative outlook and indecision about hiring plans.
Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. To prevent bias, survey questions — both qualitative and quantitative — are designed by Semper corporate partner Cvent. Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies; both clients and prospects of Semper International. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and are not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation.
“The bad news coming out of Europe and Asia seems to be making waves here,” notes Dave Regan, CEO Semper International. “The sentiment in the industry is difficult to read. The majority of companies reported a profitable second quarter, but sales have dropped over the last two weeks. We’re looking for the typical sales cycle, where we see a big bump at the end of the third quarter, but people aren’t counting on it this year.”
The most recent survey indicates mixed business trends:
* 75% of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q2. This represents a 6-point increase over last quarter.
* Looking at the first two weeks of Q3, companies reporting an increase in current sales are down by 15 points. The number of companies reporting a decrease in sales is up 12 points over last quarter.
* 46% of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q3, 2012 while 40% expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter nearly 53% expected a sales increase and only 33% expected sales to stay the same.
* The vast majority of respondents indicated that hiring levels will remain the same or increase. Of the companies who plan to hire, only 9.2% of them plan to replace staff this quarter.
* Just over half of companies reported that healthcare is the labor cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. Base pay, the next largest component, continues to increase steadily. Companies are taking steps to control costs, but healthcare has remained the fastest growing component of cost for the last 9 quarters.
* The greatest competitive threat to printers remains largely unchanged from last quarter. The current economy (52%) is the biggest threat, far exceeding lower cost competitors (18%) and emerging technology (10%).
* Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressure on ink to substrate printing (57%) than other graphic service.
* 79% say digital print has increased significantly or increased somewhat as a segment of their business over the last 5 years. 12% do not offer digital print services, at all.
* Referrals (38%) and online searches (36%) continue to be the most popular ways to find employees. These methods put pressure on traditional help wanted advertising, which continued its downward trend for the third quarter.
To participate in future surveys, please email email@example.com. More information is available at the Semper International website: http://www.semperllc.com/index.cfm?page=president
About Semper International
Semper International is a temporary help placement firm founded and staffed by professionals who were raised and trained in the printing and graphic arts industry, and who understand the innate needs and demands of the profession. Semper has a thorough understanding of all the positions, equipment, and software essential to the business, which assures a perfect employee - employer match.
The Semper team constantly monitors job market trends in the industry. They understood the changes that occurred in job responsibilities when electronic prepress replaced the typesetter and mechanicals, and similarly understands the impact trends such as direct-to-plate and digital print have on staffing. Semper most recently introduced TechCreative professionals whose skills encompass both artistic, design and technical skills to output to any media.
To provide career growth, Semper offers Semper University, an online training program for its employees to help prepare conventional printing professionals for upcoming changes in the industry. Realizing how the Internet is revolutionizing the industry, Semper also works with the most talented web designers, graphic designers, desktop publishers and production managers.
Semper has offices in Boston (HQ), Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Minneapolis and Wayne NJ. Direct Hire services for sales and management positions are conducted throughout the country.
For more information, visit Semper International at:
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