Changing demographics and greater volumes of information is forcing production printers to outsource, says new market report

Changing demographics and the need for greater volumes of information are key drivers of growing page numbers and value in the production printing market, according to exclusive market data from Smithers Pira. The global market for production print totalled $13.8 billion in 2015, with 308.2 billion A4 prints making up 112.6 billion pages.

The Future of Production Printing to 2021: Toner vs Inkjet recognises the biggest segment of production printing as the financial sector, followed by utilities, and then the governmental and public sector applications. The splits vary considerably between different countries and regions, but globally there are not major changes in the relative shares across the period.

Originally, production print was handled by the service provider from dedicated in-plant print shops. As the technology improved, these sites bought new equipment and developed their own workflows, specialised to their particular customer base. Often the printing equipment is under-utilised and run inefficiently. A major trend is the growth of outsourced production printing. Many service providers choose to outsource printing, transferring their print facility to an outsourcer in return for a medium- to long-term supply contract. The outsourcer can often increase efficiency and equipment utilisation by adding work into the facility and gaining postal savings through higher volumes.

Sean Smyth, report author

Production printing covers a range of print applications, where specific information held on a computer by an organisation is digitally printed and sent to an individual or another organisation

North America is currently the biggest market for production printing in terms of volume and value. By 2021 their print volumes will fall to around 30%, placing them behind Asia, but their market value will still be stronger than Asia’s with a total value share equating to 35%.

The conflicting market drivers of requirement to communicate with customers across multiple channels, greater amounts of information, changing demographics with more households and greater urbanisation, rising print and postal costs and greater environmental awareness are combining to produce a complex market. There are more transactions, with more households and end users pushing demand. Production efficiencies allow mail savings, but many end users prefer to receive non-printed items.

The Future of Production Printing to 2021: Toner vs Inkjet market data has been developed from the extensive database, with primary research sources and discussions with leading players across the supply chain. Smithers Pira uses primary research, together with cross-checking against secondary sources. Primary research included structured surveys and follow-up interviews with leading players in the toner and inkjet value chain, including selective end users.

Secondary research consisted of multiple sources such as financial reports of publicly held companies participating in the industry, internet websites of key industry supplies, proceedings of industry conferences and publications, including press announcements, and presentations to financial analysts.


The Future of Production Printing to 2021: Toner vs Inkjet is available for £4,200.
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