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Industry Roundtable Day 12: Profit Centers in 2014

(November 2013) posted on Sun Oct 20, 2013

14 days of critical information to prepare your shop for the year ahead.


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Which technologies are on the upswing – and which are on the downswing? What markets and applications look to be hot next year? How much of a role will sustainability play in your company? Which profit centers should you invest in?


Get answers to these questions and many more, from six of the wide-format marketplace’s most informed analysts and consultants. Over the next couple of weeks, The Big Picture will post critical questions with invaluable answers from our panel – all designed to help you ensure that your company charts its best course for a prosperous year ahead.

Each day leading up to the SGIA Expo in Orlando, we’ll feature a round of questions and answers from our panel participants. For this year’s edition of our annual Industry Roundtable, our participants include:

• Lori Anderson, president and CEO, International Sign Association (ISA, www.signs.org);


• Marco Boer, vice president, I.T. Strategies (www.it-strategies.com);


• Tim Greene, director, wide format consulting service, InfoTrends (www.infotrends.com);


• Dan Marx, vice president, markets & technologies, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA, www.sgia.org);


• Peter Mayhew, director, LightWords Ltd. (www.lightwords.co.uk); and



• John Zarwan, managing partner, J Zarwan Partners (www.johnzarwan.com)

Q: What profit centers or niches should shops be looking into for 2014?

Dan Marx: Among markets, it’s retail stores, corporate branding, and food services that are most served; and interior decorators/designers/architects, retail stores and corporate branding are seen as growing the most. On the products side, we’re seeing banners and indoor wall graphics as the strongest areas, with indoor wall graphics, window displays, and P-O-P as those expected to grow the most. Lately, I’ve been looking at how companies can evaluate both their current market and product areas to discover untapped but easily achievable (hopefully) new opportunities. 

Marco Boer: Personally, I’d bet on digital inkjet textile printing. That market – nearly 20 years old – is ripe for acceleration. Products in this space range from direct-to-garment printers (DTG) for T-shirts and tote bags, dye sublimation (for sporting garments, flags, etc.), and rollfed textile printers at the high-end using dispersion type inks for apparel printing.

Peter Mayhew: We see more and more service providers bringing creative and design services in-house. It’s a logical move with productivity, revenue, and profit benefits, but the costs require careful management.             

Tim Greene: I’m a pretty big believer in the idea of transforming products into services, so what services can a shop add that will both differentiate them from their competitors and extend the value they provide to customers? I know it isn’t always easy to get customers to pay attention to new services that a shop develops, so it’s up to the shop to get their attention when the situations arise to say, “Hey, that implementation didn’t go perfectly – we can manage those installations for you.” Or, “Hey, that campaign could have been better – our content-creation team is pretty good, so maybe we could have a shot at some of that kind of work for you.”

Miss Day 11 of our Industry Roundtable? Click here for our experts' take on 3D printing. 


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