Printing Industries of America’s Dynamic Ratios has been the industry’s standard helping printers to improve their profitability by benchmarking their operations against industry profit leaders. Members that participate in this important study will receive a free copy of the Dynamic Ratios report. Dr. Ron Davis, Vice President & Chief Economist, Printing Industries of America, shares his insight into the industry’s leading benchmarking survey:

1. What makes the Ratios so valuable for decision makers in the graphic arts industry?
The Ratios are extremely valuable for two big reasons. First, the Ratios are the industry benchmark in terms of printing firm financial performance. They not only provide hundreds of detailed accurate current industry financial metrics but also break down the information for all printers and profit leaders by printing process, firm size, market segment and geographic region.

Secondly, printers can use the Ratios to improve their performance. By comparing your firm with industry profit leaders and finding the expense line items that are “out of bounds,” you can determine what needs fixed and how to fix it

2. What is your advice to first-time users?
First-time users typically get a big “eye opener” from the Ratios. They are usually pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to provide the data – either online or by filling out the form. n many cases, they learn a lot about how to organize and classify their expenses from the Ratios chart of accounts.
The biggest advantage comes from using the free Ratios report volume that comes with participating. Users also get access to the new Financial Ratios Electronic Dashboard. From both of these, they can compare themselves with profit leaders in their “peer group” (firms with similar size, market segment and process profile) to find where they can improve their bottom-lines by bringing their expenses in line with profit leaders

3. How can printing companies benefit from using the Ratios for trend analysis?
The Ratios trend analysis allows printers to track their Ratios numbers over a period of time. This allows you to compare yourself today with how you looked in past years. With this analysis you can determine where you have improved and where your performance has declined. This provides a complementary perspective to comparing yourself with profit leaders in our peer group.

4. Are there any common misconceptions about the Ratios? If so, what are they and how do you address them?
The biggest misconception is that participation in the Ratios is a lot of time and work. This is not true. Participation is simple and easy – just completing the online form or filling out the printed form. We even provide an option to have our Ratios CPA firm, MargolisBecker, complete the form based on your existing financial for only $50. Is there anything else that you can get from a CPA for $50?

Another misconception is that since the Ratios are an established program, there is nothing new or exciting. Again, this is absolutely not true. Every year we make improvements to the program. Recent improvements include the web-based survey system and the Financial Ratios Electronic Dashboard system allowing real-time, interactive analysis and scenario planning.

Also, some CFOs mistakenly believe that the Ratios, as an outside source, somehow interfere with their financial management. Just the opposite is true – the Ratios enhance their financial management and augment their abilities and knowledge.

Finally, there is a misconception that participating every 2-3 years is just as beneficial as participating every year. Not true. While there are significant benefits from participating this way, the benefits of annual participation are even greater. Why only make improvements to your business every few years? Annual, year-by-year Ratios participation provides far greater benefits

5. How can the vendor community and other companies outside the printing industry use the Ratios?
Industry financial performance is a key determinant of industry purchases of suppliers and equipment. Therefore, industry vendors should be tracking the Ratios data for insight into these trends. Looking deeper, industry vendors need detailed, accurate and up-to-date information on their printing firm customers

In the financial area, there is no better source of this information than the Ratios. The Ratios can tell vendors exactly how much is spent on various industry suppliers, consumables and equipment by size of printer, location of printer and type of printer.

There are four different ways you can participate: online survey, survey pdf, survey spreadsheet, or by having Margolis Partners complete it for you. Members that participate in this important study will receive a free copy of the Dynamic Ratios report.

  • Click here for more information about the Ratios.
  • Click here to participate – access to the online survey form and pdf downloads.

DEADLINE IS JULY 31, 2016! If you have questions, please contact PIA’s Center for Print Economics and Management at economics@printing.org.

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