Survey Says 2005 Is Lookin' Good
Many in the industry have had a tough time of things over the past few years. But if thinking positively can affect change as they say, then 2005 could be a pretty good year.
According to BookTech Magazine's "2005 Industry Outlook Survey," two-thirds of respondents rated their business outlook for 2005 as "Positive."
And, within the industry, the service and solutions providers (book manufacturers, paper or equipment suppliers, technology providers, etc.) are the most optimistic: 70 percent of vendors who responded said their business outlook is "Positive" for 2005. Among those on the print-buying side (publishers, CEOs, VPs of manufacturing, production directors, designers, prepress managers, etc.) who responded, 63 percent reported their business outlook for this year as "Positive."
Tech Spending to Increase
During the struggling economy of the past few years, technology spending for many was at a standstill; computers were being used well past their prime, production workflow systems were primitive compared to what was becoming available. Will 2005 see any changes?
Fifty percent of respondents indicated they anticipate that their companies' spending on workflow or design/production technology will increase this year.
Will More Companies Hire or Fire?
In the early 2000s, the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Jobs were scarce, and layoffs were plentiful. According to the survey, the majority of the industry doesn't expect to create more jobs, but they also don't expect layoffs. Sixty-one percent of respondents (both print buyers and vendors included) indicated that they anticipate maintaining their department's or company's current staff size. Five percent indicated they expect to lay off staff this year.
As for any division between the anticipated hiring practices of vendors and print buyers, more vendors (35%) anticipate hiring staff this year as compared to print buyers (23%).
What's on Your Mind?
Despite a predominantly positive outlook and an indication of relatively stable employment, several issues plague the industry. The top thee issues respondents indicated are of primary concern to them for this year are: increasing profitability (65%), growing/expanding the business (58%) and reducing costs (56%).
Keeping up with new publishing rechnology is of primary concern to almost half of primary concern to almost half of respondents (43%), followed by paper prices and availability, which is of concern to 38 percent of respondents.
About the Survey
The results of the "2005 Industry Outlook Survey" are based on 257 responses. Sixty-six percent of respondents were print buyers (publishers, manufacturing and production executives, etc.); 33 percent were vendors of products, services or solutions to the industry.
The survey was conducted in early-mid December 2004, using Zoomerang professional online survey software, which distributes the survey and tallies responses. Invitations to participate in the survey were sent via e-mail to BookTech Magazine readers. Respondents completed the survey online.