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Surviving in print

Surviving in print

Printers' adaptability has been essential to their success. By following the customer’s changing needs companies can bring value to their journey.

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Headshot Stephen Absolom

Partner, Restructuring

KPMG in the UK

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Surviving in print

Over the past 36 months the landscape in the printing industry has changed and how companies keep pace with this change is vitally important for stability, growth and profitability. The market has been affected by a number of factors including new technology, online purchasing, trends in packaging, capacity consolidation, energy costs, paper and ink costs and in some areas a skills shortage. 

While the market has challenges there still remains opportunities for printers to review their offering and define a new, sustainable business model. 

The common theme from those that have survived is proactive engagement and addressing the challenges with a clear plan. 

Underestimating the challenges when they emerge and believing that a recovery will happen on its own is a high risk strategy, fraught with uncertainty. 

Warning signs can arise in differing forms between printers however the underlying trend throughout is that the sooner action is taken, the more options printers have to maintain a sustainable future.

The print market continues to evolve

If technology has rendered print a commodity, then its up to printers to get more involved and become providers of expertise, advice and solution driven excellence. Printers need to change the perception of how they are seen not only by the buying team but also the marketers. Successful companies must understand the customer’s business, what their objectives are and how they can add value in that journey. Printers need to think about how they can add value either side of the core product offering.

There is of course a cost to changing a business model and product offering even more so when margins are being squeezed. Printers not in a position to innovate will be aiming to simply survive. Proactive evaluation of future funding requirements and testing business plans are robust will reassure stakeholders, enabling them to work with printers to ensure appropriate contingency plans are in place.

How can we help?

KPMG has years of experience working within the Print sector and across various other industries.

We can help management teams and executive boards to ensure they are appropriately prepared for turbulent market conditions. 

Our expertise can help to provide confidence to key stakeholders, help businesses to maintain a more cash efficient position, and optimise their performance to be able to withstand unpredictable events or funding requirements.

Cash

Through carrying out a review of your cash position, we can help maximise cash generation to meet your funding requirements. We can assess your working capital and identify hidden cash benefits which can ultimately be released. We can also ensure there is clear visibility of your cash position in the short and long term to avoid any unpredictable cash outflows having a harmful impact to your business.

Options Review

Our options review can ensure appropriate and robust contingency plans are in place, consider the sale of underperforming areas of the business and help to implement a strategic plan to carry the business forward in the best possible way. In more challenging circumstances, we can also carry out a CVA feasibility study.

Business plan review

We can thoroughly review your business plan and apply stress tests to ensure key stakeholder confidence is maintained. The review can also include product profitability to ensure you have the optimal range of products through focus on profitable activities.

Financing and funding

We can use our extensive debt advisory expertise to ensure optimal debt structures are in place for maximum headroom. This may be through seeking new debt finance or refinancing with existing lenders. We can help to improve margins across your business by assessing and reducing your cost base. This can focus on rapidly taking out costs – from head count costs (via workforce right-sizing) to non-pay costs. We will also ensure appropriate spend controls and authority limits are in place.

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