How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
An expanding range of media, new printing-equipment options, and increasing customer expectations for fast turnaround and high print quality make point-of-purchase a challenging market to serve. To find how print providers are adapting to the changes in P-O-P, Screen Printing magazine recently spoke to the leaders of five highvolume printing companies that are heavily involved in this market. Here’s what they had to say:
SP: What are some of the most significant changes you’ve seen in the P-O-P industry during the past five years?
We have seen a significant amount of permanent P-O-P display manufacturing moving to China, along with huge amounts of textile printing. Our industry is faced with the same challenges as other manufacturing concerns in the US. You have to expect these things to continue and specialize in areas that foreign competition can’t easily overcome, namely time and distance.
The continuing explosion in computer technology such as electronic file transmission, FTP sites, and remote proofing systems has shortened production timelines tremendously. I believe this technology has made customers expect us to produce as fast as they can transfer files over the Internet. We have streamlined our operations and invested in faster production methods to address this trend, but I don’t think we will ever be able to print at the speed of light.
We’ve seen recently that P-O-P has become permanent and semi-permanent graphics, not just the 50- to 60-day wonder material that gets put up and then taken down. The other significant change is digital printing technology, as well as the need for speed and other services beyond printing graphics, particularly fulfillment.
Turnaround times are a major change in the last five years. In the past, we would do maybe one large project a month with a 48-hour deadline. Today, we do that two to three times a week. The second change is the buyers not being able to keep up with all the information on all the digital devices in the marketplace. It makes it hard to have them understand what an HP TJ8500 does, let alone how it can lower their costs. We are in the industry, and it is hard to keep up with the Joneses next door when it comes to buying equipment.
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.