NPRC Releases Hourly Rates Report

The 2017 Hourly Rates & Mark-up Practices Report, a 58-page special report published by NPRC, will be available for purchase on June 28, 2017. This brand-new publication, based upon a recent survey conducted by NPRC in early June, attracted more than 240 printing firms.

The new report offers a special look at the popularity of various computerized estimating systems, and then quickly moves to various budgeted hourly rates used in graphic arts departments as well as hand labor rates for a variety of bindery and other back-shop tasks. The report also reports on mark-up rates used for handling sub-contracted services and products as well as rates used to mark-up paper used in offset printing. 

SPECIAL ALERT – If you believe you participated in this survey but have not received the PDF report then it is due to it either going into either your trash or spam folders, OR you accidentally deleted the email we sent you. It is also possible that you never received it because the email address from which it was sent (membership@printingresearch.org) was not “whitelisted” as we requested during the release of this survey. The PDF of this report was sent to 245 email addresses on both June 26th and then again on June 27. The subject line was, “Your Complimentary Copy of the Hourly Rates Report.” Please thoroughly check all email folders prior to contacting us.

Table of Contents… Click here to view the Table of Contents for this new report.

Table of Contents

Retail pricing for this new study is $49.95 (PDF) and $56.95 (Printed);

NPRC member pricing is $24.95 (PDF) and $31.95 (Printed).

Order your copy via the NPRC Bookstore.

Digital Pricing Study – Table of Contents

Table of Contents for the 2016-2017
Printing Industry
Digital Printing Pricing Study:

Preface…………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………… 9
Terminology & Definitions …………………………………………………………… 19

Section I: Profile of Respondents and Pricing Data……………………………….. 21

Part 1: Basic Company Information………………………………………………… 27
Basic Company Information
2014 Gross Sales of all Respondents……………………………………………. 27
2015 Gross Sales of all Respondents……………………………………………. 27
2016 Gross Sales (projected) of all Respondents……………………………….. 27
Projected Increase/Decrease 2015-2016 of all Respondents…………………….. 27
Percent Single vs. Multiple Location……………………………………………. 27
Age of Firm……………………………………………………………………… 27
Number of Employees…………………………………………………………… 27
Distribution of Respondent Firms by Region…………………………………… 27
Distribution of Respondents by Estimated Market Size…………………………. 28
Sales Per Square Foot…………………………………………………………… 28
Age of Owner…………………………………………………………………… 28
Sales Per Employee……………………………………………………………… 28
Distribution of Respondents by Annual Sales…………………………………… 28

Part 2: Pre-Press, Graphic Services & Industry Trends…………………………… 31
Minimum Charges …………………………………………………………………. 33
File Handling Fees………………………………………………………………….. 33
Hourly Graphics Charge……………………………………………………………. 33
Jobs Provided by Whom?………………………………………………………….. 34
Percent of Color Digital Jobs Finished On-line…………………………………….. 34
Percent of B&W Digital Jobs Finished On-line…………………………………….. 34
Variable Data Color Printers……………………………………………………….. 35
Variable Data B&W Printers……………………………………………………….. 35
Variable Data Minimum and Hourly Fees………………………………………….. 35

Part 3: Pricing for Digital Color Printing…………………………………………… 37
Flat Sheets In Color:
100# Coated Text……………………………………………………………….. 39
100# Coated Cover ……………………………………………………………… 40
Variable Data Pricing……………………………………………………………….. 41
Carbonless Forms:
2-Part Carbonless……………………………………………………………….. 42
3-Part Carbonless……………………………………………………………….. 43
Color Click Charges Only………………………………………………………….. 44
General Stock Mark-Up Practices………………………………………………….. 45
16-Page Self-Cover Newsletters……………………………………………………. 46
32-Page Self-Cover Newsletters……………………………………………………. 47
16-Page Booklets with 4/4 Cover…………………………………………………… 49
32-Page Booklets with 4/4 Cover…………………………………………………… 50
Finishing Methods Used for 16 & 32-Page Booklets with Cover………………….. 51
Digitally Printed Envelopes…………………………………………………………. 52
Business Cards……………………………………………………………………… 54

PART 4: Pricing for Digital B&W Printing………………………………………… 57
60# White Offset, 8.5×11…………………………………………………………… 59
60# White Offset, 11×17……………………………………………………………. 60
80# White Cover, 8.5×11…………………………………………………………… 61
80# White Cover, 11×17……………………………………………………………. 62
32-Page Booklets…………………………………………………………………… 63
Carbonless Forms:
2-Part Carbonless……………………………………………………………….. 64
3-Part Carbonless……………………………………………………………….. 65
B&W Click Charges Only………………………………………………………….. 66

PART 5: General Discounting Practices……………………………………………. 67
Special Discounts Offered………………………………………………………….. 69

Section II: Usage & Ratings for: Digital Color Envelope Printers, Primary and
Secondary Digital Color Printers, Primary Digital B&W Printers 71

Usage & Ratings for: Digital Color Envelope Printers
Ratings of Dedicated Inkjet Envelope Printers………………………………….. 74
Ratings of Dedicated Digital Envelope Printers…………………………………. 74
Ratings of Digital Printers with Envelope Capabilities………………………….. 74
Envelope Printers – Ratings of Devices & Service………………………………. 75
Usage & Ratings for: Primary and Secondary Digital Color Printers
Color Printer/Copier Vendors by Placement…………………………………….. 77
Average & Median Copies/Month by Color Printer Vendor……………………. 78
Average & Median Click Charges by Color Printer Vendor……………………. 78
Average & Median Vendor Ratings for Color Printers…………………………. 79
Average & Median Service Ratings for Color Printer Vendor………………….. 79
Device & Service Ratings by Printer Vendor & Model Number ……………….. 80
How was Primary Color Printer Financed?……………………………………… 81
How was Secondary Color Printer Financed?…………………………………… 81
Usage & Ratings for: Primary Digital B&W Printer
B&W Printer Placements………………………………………………………… 83
Average & Median B&W Copies/Month by Vendor……………………………. 84
Average & Median B&W Click Charges by Vendor……………………………. 84
Average & Median B&W Device Ratings by Vendor…………………………… 85
Average & Median B&W Service Ratings by Vendor………………………….. 85
Average Device & Service Ratings by Printer
Vendor and Model #………………………………………………………… 86

Section III: Industry Snapshot Comparisons……………………………………… 87

2016 Industry Snapshots…………………………………………………………… 89

Market Baskets Based Upon Geographic Regions
Northeast………………………………………………………………………… 92
Southeast………………………………………………………………………… 93
Central…………………………………………………………………………… 94
West…………………………………………………………………………….. 95
Canada…………………………………………………………………………… 96

Market Baskets by Population Density
Rural…………………………………………………………………………….. 97
Small…………………………………………………………………………….. 98
Medium…………………………………………………………………………. 99
Large…………………………………………………………………………… 100
Major…………………………………………………………………………… 101

Market Baskets by Annual Sales
Sales $200,000 to $499,999……………………………………………………. 102
Sales $500,000 to $799,999……………………………………………………. 103
Sales $800,000 to $1,499,999…………………………………………………. 104
Sales $1,500,000 to $4,999,999……………………………………………….. 105

Industry Market Basket Analyses, Independents vs. Franchisees
Independents…………………………………………………………………… 106
Franchise………………………………………………………………………. 107

Market Baskets by Sales Per Employee
SPE <= $99,999……………………………………………………………….. 108
SPE $100,000 to $124,999…………………………………………………….. 109
SPE >=125,000 to $139,999…………………………………………………… 110
SPE >=140,000………………………………………………………………… 111

Huge Takeaways from Latest NPRC Ratio Study

 Although the just-released 72-page, 2017-2018 Financial Benchmarking Study published by NPRC is filled with key financial ratios, there is one page that virtually screams out at the reader with the following warning…

“You cannot survive, let-alone prosper in this industry if you allow your business to report key performance ratios this low!”

As of June 5, 2017 this just-released study is
available 
in both PDF and hard-copy formats! 

Despite the fact that the new Benchmarking Study offers up a variety of breakouts such as comparisons based upon annual sales, percentage of sales produced via offset printing versus digital printing, as well as breakouts based upon “sales per employee,” page 64, titled Key Ratios of All Firms by Profitability Quartiles, offers up some shocking comparisons.

If It Was Up to Me…

John Stewart Executive Director NPRC

The “Key Ratios” page is so important, so valuable, that if it was up to me, I would insist that every owner, especially those who are troubled by the fact that they are not making the kind of money they expect, make a copy of page 64 and tape it to a wall next to their desk. Of course, owners of the more successful companies in this industry have already been doing this for years, it is the troubled firms that I am most concerned with.

The “Key Ratio” section of the study offers up 29 key ratios or percentages used to identify or distinguish top performers in the printing industry against those at the very bottom. The ratios use to analyze firms in various quartiles aren’t inconsequential ratios found in accounting textbooks but rather key financial that impact exactly how much an owner and sometimes his or her spouse take out of the business every two weeks.

“Even more important, the ratios you will discover, when compared to your own ratios, will determine whether, after spending 15-20 years in this industry, you will have anything of substance to either sell or transfer over to a son or daughter!”

Depending upon how your ratios compare to those detailed in the study, these ratios ultimately will determine whether in fact you should return to your previous field of employment or stick it out and try to turn your business around in the next 12-18 months. Even more important, the ratios you will discover, when compared to your own ratios, will determine whether, after spending 15-20 years in this industry you will have anything of substance to either sell or transfer over to a son or daughter!

Comparative Ratios – Winners vs. Laggards

What types of ratios are we talking about? The ratios range from the simplest ones such as annual sales and rates of annual growth based upon four profitability quartiles, to percentage comparisons for fundamental expense categories such as cost of goods, payroll expenses and overhead expenses.

The Benchmarking Study delves far deeper than the basic ratios noted above, with comparisons of ratios such as owner’s compensation, excess earnings, and profits per employee. Other ratios examined include current and quick ratios (all ratios and terms are thoroughly explained in the study), as well as average Accounts Receivable collection days, to return on net assets.  

Below are are just a few of the shocking comparisons between firms at the very top as compared with those at the very bottom.  Remember, the results we are reporting are based upon real-world firms with employee teams, job and equipment mix, and types of sales very similar to your own. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of rationalizing and saying that, “Things in my market are really different from these companies… my business is really different and there is no way I could achieve these types of ratios. I just can’t worry about things I cannot change.”

 Average Cost of Goods

Although COG, as a percent of sales, has remained fairly steady for almost 30 years in this industry, it is still worth nothing that the “Profit Leaders” in this industry still end up spending 9% less than the “Profit Laggards” when it comes to cost of goods – A shocking indicator that some owners are simply running very poor, very inefficient operations combined most likely with terrible pricing discipline!

“If your COG, as a percent of sales, is 31% or higher you are most likely destined to mediocrity in terms of financial success in this industry.”

The bottom line? If your COG, as a percent of sales, is 31% or higher you are most likely destined to mediocrity in terms of financial success in this industry. Most likely, it is almost impossible for you to become a “profit leader” in this industry with a ratio of 31% or greater. 

Payroll and Overhead Expenses

Once again, according to the Key Ratio Extractions, poorly managed firms in this industry, despite the fact that many of them are averaging annual sales of $1.1 million or more, are doing a terrible job when it comes to controlling both payroll and overhead expenses. In many cases, some of the most troubled firms are paying 4-6 percent more for payroll and overhead than companies in the top quartile!

“How owners can possibly manage, let alone improve their operations, by relying on financial statements that lack even the most basic tools is beyond me!” 

Rest assured that the reasons these companies are paying so much than those at the top are rarely, if ever, related to geographic or demographic reasons. The most common cause is the failure of owners to carefully examine their monthly financial statements and then to take the necessary actions that are so clearly dictated.

To be perfectly blunt, how any owner could discover a total payroll cost ratio (excluding money paid to the owner) of 33-35% from his current financial statements and still be able to sleep well at night is beyond my comprehension. Note too that I am now 73 and really “cranky” sometimes but there are some owners out there who need to be grabbed firmly by the shoulders and given a good shake. 

A special footnote worth mentioning – it is shocking to discover how many owners receive monthly profit and loss statements lacking a vertical column of financial ratios – i.e. the percentage of total sales represented by each expense item. How owners can possibly manage, let alone improve their operations, by relying on financial statements that lack even the most basic tools is beyond me! 

Excess Earnings of Winners

Excess earnings is defined as those funds or profits generated by the business after paying a single owner a fair-market salary for his or her efforts. Excess earnings is often a key factor in determining the value of a business. It is typically subjected to an excess earnings multiplier and used to calculate the value or worth of a business.

“Sad to realize that companies can ignore this type of data for so long, only to realize after spending 15-20 or more years in this industry that their business has no value whatsoever!”

Suffice it to say, that companies in the top quartile in terms of profitability reported an average excess earnings figure of almost $200,000 while firms in the bottom 25% actually reported a negative amount. The latter meaning that these companies have very little if any net worth other than the “street market” value of their equipment.

Sad to realize that companies can ignore this type of data for so long, only to realize after spending 15-20 or more years in this industry that their business has no value whatsoever!

“However, before you start patting yourself on the back, realize that 25% of the entire industry is actually reporting an SPE of $180,000 or greater!”

Sales Per Employee

SPE has always been a reliable indicator of overall productivity, and once again those at the top, according to NPRC’s latest Financial Benchmarking Study, consistently report a considerably higher SPE than those at the bottom. Almost 13% of our participants reported an SPE of less than $100,000!

If your firm’s SPE is below $126,000 you will discover you are in the bottom 25% of the industry – Like it or not, you are clearly doing something wrong, at least compared to your peers, when it comes to either pricing, personnel management or equipment selection and you need to make some dramatic changes in the way you run your business.

If your SPE is in the $156,000 or above range then consider yourself fortunate because that would place you in the top 25% quartile. However, before you start patting yourself on the back, realize that 25% of the entire industry is actually reporting an SPE of $180,000 or greater!

Purchasing this Brand-New Report

The 2017-2018 Financial Benchmarking Study, published by the National Printing Research Council (NPRC), is available for purchase through the NPRC Bookstore. It is priced at $115 and sold on a 100% money-back guarantee. It is only available as a hard copy. Sorry, no PDFs available. To read testimonials from fellow printers, click here.

 

New Net Worth Survey Published!

The National Printing Research Council (NPRC) has released its latest industry survey providing a detailed analysis of the personal net worth of printers. The report was mailed 1st Class and or distributed via email to more than 120 participating firms. The report is now available for sale (hard copies only) in the NPRC Bookstore.

“Successes, regrets and advice section was priceless. I have followed many of those suggestions over the years and it has paid off.”
John Byrd, Bryd Printing Co., Norcross, GA

“I have been in the printing business for over 36 years and always wondered how I was doing compared to other print shops. With this Net Worth Study, now I know. No more guessing.” 
Dan Tiedt Sr., PIP Marketing/Signs/Print,Iowa City, Iowa

Click here to review additional testimonials provided by fellow printers. Read what they have to say about the value of this just-released report.

Retail Price… $225    
NPRC Member Price… $112.50
At the present time, this report is only available as a hard copy. No PDFs.

In the meantime, NPRC has released some preliminary statistics uncovered in the survey:

  • 24% of survey participants report a net worth between $501,000 and $1 million.
  • Average net worth of all participants is $2.2 million
  • Average 2016 sales of participants is $1.5 million
  • Approximately 62% of all owners surveyed indicated they owned their own building. It’s even higher among those with the highest net worth.
  • Estimated average value of building (if owned) is $709,000.
  • 28% of owners indicate they also own other commercial real estate.
  • Approximately 37%  of those surveyed indicated they owned other “non-commercial” real estate such as second homes, vacation cottages, etc.

The National Printing Research Council is dedicated to publishing hard-hitting, fact-based research studies and surveys that directly benefit its members. We employ a full-time executive director with extensive knowledge of the industry, and we are available 24/7 to answer questions about pricing, profitability, wages, key financial ratios, and valuation methods. And best yet, we offer those services and more for low annual dues of ONLY $240!

A special new-member bonus! Printers who join NPRC between now and March 16, 2017 will receive a FREE copy of the above-mentioned confidential report on personal net worth. This is a “first-of-its-kind” report and is sure to spark a lot of discussion in the printing industry. 

This represents data representing the net worth of the average American Household in 2013 (latest available). As you can see, as the owner of a small, closely held business the odds are in your favor of far exceeding the average net worth of most Americans.

More than 120 owners, with sales ranging from $200,000 to $7.5 million, shared highly personal data about their personal net worth and told us where and how this wealth was acquired. This report, which will retail for $295.00, is expected to be released no later than Jan. 31, 2017. No other industry trade organization gathers, analyzes and provides this type of in-depth information.

Allegra Member Praises New Study

2016-17-nprc-wage-benefit-backup_6244_image015This is what an Allegra franchisee had to say about our latest industry Wage & Benefits Study… “I like the analysis options based not only on regions, population, and size, but also on profitability. I also liked the sales representative breakout. Good work and thank you.”
Jim Elder, Allegra St Louis, St. Louis, MO

For additional information, visit the NPRC bookstore. This just released study retails for $179; NPRC members can purchase the study for only $89.50, a 50% discount off retail.

FREE Sample Pages from Just-Released Pricing Study

Four Free Sample Pages – Would you like a very brief glimpse of what’s contained in the latest 2016-17 Digital Printing Pricing Study? All you have to do is click on the artwork below or click here to download a FREE 4-page PDF demonstrating the tip of the iceberg as to what is in store in the complete study.

didital-4-p-sample-pages-sm

“I immediately raised my digital envelope prices 5%… More than paid for the study in less than a month..”

Bob Rosenfield, Edison Press, Sanford, ME

This brand new 114-page study is one of the most comprehensive pricing studies we’ve ever published.

2016-17-digitalcoverolnprcDedicated strictly to pricing of digital products and services, this new study is now available for immediate shipment (hard copies and PDFs). Retail price of this study is $229, however NPRC members are entitled to a 50% discount on this and all other publications listed in our bookstore.

PDF orders are shipped/transmitted same day as received. Hard copies are mailed within 24 hours. Click on the Bookstore tab above or Click Here to place your order.

2017-18 Wage & Benefits Survey

2017-18wagecoverLook for this brand new survey in October. This survey has always proven to be one of the most popular and easiest to complete surveys we publish. NPRC will survey approximately 22 major positions in the small quick and small commercial printing industry segment. The survey doesn’t forget firms who are now offering either mailing services or signs and large format. Both industry segments, in terms of position descriptions and wages, are surveyed as well. 

The new survey has also added a couple of new job descriptions as well, to reflect the belt-tightening occurring in the industry and being reflected in various “combo” position, where CSRs are now often responsible for operating digital equipment and bindery operators are just as likely to be serving a dual function as a delivery person.

We expect the survey to be distributed in early October 2016 with a publication date for the final study of early December. As always, companies that participate and complete a survey will receive a FREE PDF of the final study.

Why participate? There is nothing more disruptive and potentially expensive to a company than to suddenly be faced with replacing a valuable employee that you end up losing because the hourly wage or annual salary you were paying was no longer competitive! If an owner only reviewed his/her salaries periodically, these types of situations would be far less likely to occur. This study is also ideal when you prepare to advertise for a new position or vacancy. Your ability to know in advance what certain types of positions are demanding in the industry can be a powerful tool – and a free tool if you participate.

Free Report on the Future of Offset Printing

OffsetNewsletter_NPRC-1

A PDF of this 12-page report is available by clicking below.

You can now download and print our 12-page report titled, “Printers Report Strong Shift to Digital,” by Clicking Here.. If you wish to read it on line, the full article appears immediately below in the adjoining column.

The file is currently 12 pages, 8.5×11. To print as 3, 11×17, 2-sided pages from Adobe Acrobat > Print,Page Setup in lower left corner, > Tabloid, landscape orientation. then > OK. Under Page Sizing and Handling, select Booklet. Then just choose 2-sided from your printer.

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Download PDF of New Survey

OffsetNewsletter_NPRC-1You can now download and print our 12-page report titled, “Printers Report Strong Shift to Digital,” by clicking here. If you wish to read it on line, the full article appears immediately beneath this notice.

The file is currently 12 pages, 8.5×11. To print as 3, 11×17, 2-sided pages from Adobe Acrobat > Print,Page Setup in lower left corner, > Tabloid, landscape orientation. then > OK. Under Page Sizing and Handling, select Booklet. Then just choose 2-sided from your printer.

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Download FREE Executive Summary

Complete Study Now on Sale… (see below)

Executive Summary of 2016 Study
Now Available for Free Download

2016SalesExecSumCoverThinking about purchasing this just-released study on compensation practices but would like to first take a glimpse of what this study actually contains? No problem – QP Consulting has prepared one of its popular “executive summaries” highlighting key findings of this new report. No, it doesn’t reveal everything, but it certainly provides more than enough data, charts and graphs to help you make that final purchasing decision.

For a limited time, the complete study (retail price $285) is available for only $233, an 18% Discount. Visit the bookstore to place your order. Offer expires May 16, 2016.

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