Even when dealing with top-line challenges with help from the Printing Industry Financial Executives (PIFE) group and other professional resources, firms can still greatly improve profitability. How do you step up your game? In this article, adapted from “Boosting Your Bottom Line” by Dr. Ronnie H. Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Printing Industries of America, learn how to improve your financial performance from the bottom line up.

How’s your company ranking on the profitability playing field? If you’re looking to boost your firm’s bottom line and gain competitive advantage, sales, cost, and pricing have the biggest impact on performance and profitability. The 2013 Ratios survey showed a major financial performance gap between profit leaders and the industry average. For you, this indicates there are many opportunities for increasing profits!

So how do you bridge the gap from the “have-nots” to the “haves”? Step up your three key functions: sales, cost, and pricing. Here is some helpful advice you can apply to your firm:

  1. Increase sales: Add to your top line
    – Specialize by focusing on particular segments
    – Diversify by providing more value-added services
    – Gain process advantage using hybrid printing—its growing at a fast rate!
    – Offer ancillary services along with print, like Web-to-print and fulfillment
  2. Lower Your Costs: Benchmark
    – Benchmark costs with industry metrics
    – Shift fixed to variable costs by reducing overhead and using part-time and temporary employees
    – Substitute capital for labor by investing in employee development
  3. Improve Your Pricing: Compete for price, not on price
    – Specialize to reduce competition and allow pricing leverage
    – Develop strong branding and target customer awareness
    – Follow demand-driven rather than cost driven pricing
    – Provide sales comp incentives

Want to learn more and connect with other printing industry financial leaders? Come to the 2014 PIFE Conference, March 30–April 1, 2014, at The Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Dallas, TX. Information about the event will be available soon.

Find the complete article from Dr. Davis in the October 2013 issue of from Printing Industries of America: The Magazine under Archives: The Magazine(Member login required.).