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In-Plant Primer 201: Operational & Financial Concerns- In-plants by Vertical & Why it Matters

Article #2- In-plants by Vertical Impact Size, Concerns and What is Printed

  • Howie Fenton
  • |
  • August 29, 2017

This article is part of our initiative to educate dealers and vendors about in-plants, called "In-Plant Primer: From Operations Basics to Advanced Sales Concepts." Divided into basic (101) and advanced topics, this is the second post of the advanced in-plant primer series, "In-Plant Primer 201: Operational and Financial Concerns." In this advanced portion of the primer series, we're covering topics such as vertical markets, terms to use—and avoid, management and administration views of in-plants and more. For more about the series and links to the six In-Plant Primer 101: Trends and Challenges articles click here. To listen to the recording of our August 23 webinar about all of the topics log into your RSA partner resource portal.

Key Take Aways

  • In-plants can be categorized into specific vertical markets.
  • Understanding in-plant verticals can help identify the size of the in-plant, provide insight into the type of printing they do and their typical print volumes.

The Vertical an In-plant Operates in Impacts Volumes, Print Applications and More

In our last blog, we discussed different business or financial models and how this can impact pricing, the importance of reducing costs, and vulnerability to outside threats. In this article, we will discuss different vertical markets. If you categorize the parent companies of in-plants into different types of businesses, you will find there are common denominators such as universities, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, etc. These are called vertical markets. According to Wikipedia, "A vertical market is a market in which vendors offer goods and services specific to an industry, trade, profession, or other group of customers with specialized needs." In an article entitled, "Small and Medium-sized Businesses: A Marketing Services Opportunity," Barb Pellow, a group director at Keypoint Intelligence|InfoTrends, shared a graphic showing annual print spending by vertical market.

Communications Spend by Vertical for In-plant Primer 201 article 2

Advantages of Thinking about Verticals

Understanding vertical markets can provide insight into the type of printing they do and the typical volumes they print. As we discussed in the first blog of this series, in-plants can be split into graphic arts and transactional in-plants. The transactional in-plants work in verticals such as insurance, financial, healthcare, and state government agencies. They offer printing and mailing of transactional documents (bills, statements, explanation of benefits), are generally larger in-plants, and print higher volumes (i.e. 10 M pages/month). Education is typically the largest vertical (universities, colleges, school districts) within the graphic arts in-plants. A typical university prints about 500K pages/month, employs between 6-15 people, and typically prints business cards, course packs/books, presentations, letterhead, stationery and envelopes. In our August webinar, we discussed the importance of verticals in more detail. Log into your RSA partner resource portal to listen to the recording. In our next 201 primer article we will talk about the specific language to use – and avoid – with in-plant printers.

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About the Author

Howie Fenton

Howie Fenton is an independent consultant and trusted advisor to in-plant printers. He recommends equipment, best practices and workflow automation tools to streamline operations. To learn more about measuring performance, benchmarking to leaders, and improving your value e-mail Howie@howiefentonconsulting.com

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