Graphic Media Alliance

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Printing Industry Performance Insights Study Results

Source: Ralph Williams, Jones College of Business / Middle Tennessee State University, May 11, 2023

About five years ago, three weeks into a semester, my department chair shared that our business college needed someone to pick up our Entrepreneurial Financial Management course. That course is about small business leaders using financial data to assess and improve performance. Without hesitation, I said, “I’ll teach that course.” Given the challenge of picking up a new course in the middle of a semester, my department chair was shocked that I wanted to teach the class. But given how much financial benchmarking and ratio analysis played in the success of the three printing companies I led, I was very interested in that course.

You will find industry financial benchmarks and ratios helpful in assessing your firm’s performance! Our data can open your eyes to a path for improving your firm’s performance! That’s why we are committed to annually providing regional printing association members with financial benchmarking and ratio knowledge.

Although comparing your firm’s financial numbers to the data below may point to areas you need to sharpen, this assessment is about more than “budgeting.” From the financial data we pulled from the March 2023 PIPI survey, you may discover areas in your firm that need more or less resources applied. This reflects one strategic benefit of financial benchmarking and ratio analysis. Strategic planning includes deciding in what areas we need to invest more and in what areas we need to invest less; this is planning as opposed to reactive resource allocation – planning how much we need to spend where. With our benchmarks and ratios, we provide actionable thoughts you might consider.

We sought to provide this knowledge for specific industry segments, such as different types of commercial printing companies, label companies, and others. We also sought to provide averages for all firms and high performers in printing industry segments. We do provide some findings categorized in that manner. However, as our survey responses are limited, we do not offer the scope of industry segments we desire, nor do we provide numbers for high performers in all industry segments. However, our report includes helpful numbers.

Hopefully, this report will motivate more survey participation when we conduct the PIPI-Financial Benchmarking study again next spring.

Our report contains four sections:

  • Income statement and cost categories as a percentage of revenue
  • Balance sheets and related ratios
  • Cash management indicators
  • Summary with some key takeaways

The report includes income statements and cost categories as a percentage of revenue, balance sheets and related ratios, and cash management indicators. We had enough surveys to generate numbers for high performers and a few industry segments. In addition to the financial numbers, we provide actionable thoughts for you and your management team.

Thanks to all who participated in the survey. We hope this report prompts interest in participating in next year’s survey.

View the full survey results

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