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SGIA Enhances Rigor, Scope of Industry Research

Fairfax, VA, USA : SGIA is taking a new approach to its survey methodology, establishing representative survey panels. The panels, which will typically total about 200 volunteers each, represent six industry segments: graphics, garment, commercial, packaging, in-plant and functional printing.

“Methodology matters,” said SGIA Chief Economist Andrew D. Paparozzi. “Establishing survey panels minimizes non-response bias, maximizes data consistency, improves participation and builds relationships and engagement.”

The new methods debuted with SGIA’s 2019 industry benchmarking surveys, which have been restructured as a series of focused, quarterly surveys covering markets and products (in progress), financial and production ratios (Q2), wages and workforce development (Q3) and business strategies (Q4).

The surveys, conducted online as questionnaires, are followed by telephone interviews with participating panelists. More than 100 respondents agreed to participate in the interviews.

“A good interview yields context and insights that even the most carefully executed email survey can’t,” Paparozzi said. “This is a rigorous approach, and the industry will benefit from it. SGIA’s new methods will yield more robust, pertinent data that printers, manufacturers and suppliers can use to build their businesses.”

Preliminary reports from this quarter’s Markets & Products survey highlight the phenomenon of industry convergence, Paparozzi noted.

“We’ve seen 25% of graphics and sign printers noting they also work in the commercial printing segment, and 29% of garment decorators saying they’re also serving the graphics and sign market,” he said. “Commercial printers have told us they’re getting, on average, about 35% of their revenue from work in other segments.”

It’s clear, too, that respondents gain much from the format. Shawn LaFave, President/CEO, North Georgia Promotions, said he benefited from his interview conversation with Paparozzi and enjoys knowing that the information he provided could help another entrepreneur.

“I like to be involved in business education, to help make people who might not be aware of something more successful. I can glean information that helps us be more successful than we are. Andy’s questions put top of mind things that I know are not at 100% yet. It got my thoughts back on things that we need to take a look at and reevaluate,” he said.

“Building panels is hard, but that’s how you get meaningful results you can count on and act on,” Paparozzi added. “It’s well worth the effort.”

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