A Tale of Two Printers
I've encountered two package printer stories of late which oppose each other but I surmise are typical of the state of things for package printers right now in this economy. Printer A recently added a digital press to its arsenal to address customer demands. I approached this printer to see if it would be interested in participating in our March digital printing feature. I wanted to profile the printer and talk about its successes, particularly in the digital printing arena. Phone calls and emails were exchanged, the deadline for response came and went. Finally I gave the printer a call to see if something was wrong with the questions I sent or to see if my contact there required more time. It turns out, the printer was struggling with reconciling the idea of championing digital printing and its successes with it with the reality that economic conditions called for recent staff layoffs. In the end, we both agreed it would be better to wait until we cover digital again to proceed with our profile. The idea was that hopefully by that time the economy would improve and the laid off employees would be back to work.
I met a Printer B employee at a recent conference. I asked if his business was taking a hit due to the bad economy and he said it really hadn't, that things had slowed down a little bit, but not to the point where the brass at his company are concerned. After lunch, I overheard him talking to someone about how his company doesn't lay people off at times like these. In fact, 20-30 years ago, during a downturn, the presses weren't running, but the pressmen were working, earning pressmen's salaries. The owners put their pressmen to work around the plant, painting buildings as well as a variety of other tasks until business picked up again.