Improve the quality is the fundamental way out of PS version

At the beginning of 2006, the National PS Plate Professional Committee held a meeting in Zhuozhou City, Hebei Province to discuss the impact on printing plate material suppliers and the countermeasures they should take due to the rising price of the printing plate material-aluminum material. One of the countermeasures to be taken at the meeting is to increase the price of printed plates. After that, several large-scale suppliers of printing plate materials have successively announced the ratio or absolute value of the plan to increase, and the date to be increased. Since then, many printing companies, especially their purchasing departments, have been waiting for information on price increases; some small-scale printing plate material suppliers are also watching and actively exploring the news. But there is still no definite news today. Why?

In fact, at the beginning, many small and medium-sized printing plate production and supply enterprises adopted a passive attitude of not paying attention to the price increase, and no one dared to raise the price. The reason is that they are afraid of losing their already limited customers and market share due to the price increase alone. Several large-scale suppliers of printing plate materials, although successively announced the ratio, absolute value and date to be increased, are also the nature of releasing observation balloons. No one dared to be the first to be the real one and be the first reason to be a head bird. They were also afraid to reduce their customers and market share.

This truly reflects two indisputable facts in the current printing plate market. The first fact is that the current production volume of printing plate materials in China is greater than the amount used, that is, the printing plate market shows a buyer's market situation of oversupply. The second fact is that in the current printing plate market, there are no strong companies that can increase prices without losing customers and market share.

At a deeper level of inquiry, the plate material conference intends to adopt countermeasures to increase the price of printed plate materials, which will involve the issue of price alliances and industry protection. The author has the following immature views on this issue. I dare not be shameless and say so for your reference.

Think deeply:

Price Alliance Motivation

The author believes that a price alliance is a specific industry, region (such as the North China printing plate production industry), through industry organization consultation, and bound by rewards and penalties, and jointly implement the industry's minimum or maximum sales price agreement. The purpose of organizing and implementing a price alliance is to absorb the objective increase in the cost of raw material prices to the industry, that is, the loss of profits; at the same time, to prevent unfair competition by individual companies in the industry, nor to give buyers the opportunity to separately suppress prices and break down , So as to protect the overall interests of the industry.

However, the price alliance does not require any conditions, nor does it mean that once a price agreement is formed, it can be achieved. This leads to the following problem.

Objective conditions for price alliance success

(1) The market development is relatively mature, and there are powerful industry organizations to implement effective industry management for subordinate enterprises, and enterprises in the industry can generally abide by industry discipline.

(2) The production level of all enterprises in the industry, especially the product quality level, is basically the same, and has been jointly recognized by both buyers and sellers.

(3) The relationship between supply and demand is roughly the same.

According to the above conditions, we can analyze the next topic.

Difficulties in implementing price increases and price alliances

(1) The relationship between supply and demand is unbalanced-supply exceeds demand, that is, the production and supply capacity of printing plates is greater than the need for use. The value law of the market economy is that the price of supply exceeds demand will decrease, and the price of supply in short supply will increase. Therefore, from a theoretical point of view, although the printing plate material industry is facing greater cost pressure caused by the price increase of plate base materials, it is necessary to increase the price to relieve the pressure, but the author believes that in the current printing plate material market environment, it is not Have the objective possibility to realize this choice.


On the contrary, in the fiercely competitive market situation, the role and possibility of price reduction as a means of competition have increased.
(2) Printing customers' standards for plate quality requirements vary. This objectively supplies plate materials of different quality to various plate material suppliers and implements different prices, providing an objective basis and possibility.

(3) At present, the time for the government to delegate authority to various industry organizations is not long, many things have not been managed by the industry organizations, the role and prestige of the industry organizations are limited, and the self-discipline of individual enterprises is still poor, and the verification of breach of contract is not easy to implement .

(4) With different enterprise mechanisms and different costs, there is a possibility of price reduction for foreign-funded and private-owned enterprises; however, the possibility and space for price reduction by state-owned enterprises are relatively small.

(5) The competition or joining of foreign companies are beyond the control of domestic printing plate production enterprises. They will use competitive means such as price reduction to operate, instead of playing cards according to our game rules.

(6) From a practical perspective, examples of price adjustments in related industries can provide a valuable reference for the printing plate industry. For example, the printing industry in a certain area has convened a meeting with the heads of major printing companies in the region to reach an agreement to maintain the lowest price in the industry for some processing projects. In order to strengthen the binding and seriousness of the agreement, everyone even drank for an alliance. However, after the meeting, according to their own business conditions, in order to hold customers and maintain market share, they all broke through the bottom line that they vowed to strictly abide by at the meeting. The reason is not that everyone's reputation is bad, but that the publishing and printing markets at that time were sellers' markets with less printing tasks. Therefore, breaking through the bottom line is a need and necessity for survival, and we cannot simply blame everyone for being unjust. It can only be said that the conditions and timing of the agreement at that time were inappropriate. [next]

Anticipation and countermeasures

Based on the following analysis, can we predict the expected trajectory of market factors such as the price and quality of printing plate materials? And try it.

The quality of printing plates will continue to improve. The expected trajectory of quality improvement and its consequences are:

With the continuous development of China's economy, China's cultural undertakings will inevitably continue to develop, and the state, society, and publishers will inevitably increase the quality requirements of printed materials. The requirements of printing companies on the quality of printing plates will also increase accordingly. Orders for printing plate production plants with lower product quality levels have been reduced to shortfalls until they close.

The quality problems of the printing plate production plant are solved by compensating for losses or engaging in relationships. It is not a long-term and fundamental solution. The best strategy is to improve the quality of the product through various efforts. Plate manufacturers that have long been unable to meet and adapt to printing companies' demands for plate quality and price will sooner or later withdraw from the market. Plate manufacturers that have won the competition have relatively high product quality and eventually form a large plate production group The situation of coexistence with the characteristic small and medium-sized professional plate material production plant. The number of plate production plants and the total output will be relatively reduced. Within a certain period of time, a seller's market with a supply capacity of printed plate materials less than the demand of the publishing and printing industry will be formed, and the price of printed plate materials will inevitably rise. At that time, new funds will be injected into the plate production industry to obtain higher profits, and if there are more plate manufacturers, it will form a new round of competition and improvement in quality. In this cycle, in the competition of the birth and death of enterprises, the quality of printing plate materials is continuously improved, and a suitable price is formed.

So, as a single printing plate production and supply enterprise, what should we do under the current market situation?

During the period when there is no condition for forming a price alliance, the countermeasures that a single printing plate production and supply enterprise can take:

(1) Improve the quality of the products of the enterprise to expand the market share of the products of the enterprise and obtain better economic benefits.

Various methods can be used to improve the quality of our products. Such as the introduction of new equipment, new processes, new materials, quality system certification, the establishment of strict operating standards and supervision and implementation, staff training, the establishment of reasonable assessment and distribution methods, management and system and mechanism reforms, change leadership and Manage thinking, adjust personnel, etc.
(2) Do everything possible to reduce costs to strengthen competitiveness, increase profit margins and economic benefits. In this regard, in addition to using the various methods mentioned above, it is also possible to strengthen the statistics and analysis of cost-based data, formulate reasonable consumption quotas, reward savings, compare prices, reduce procurement costs, streamline the management of troops, and cultivate a multi-functional Multi-faceted technicians, etc.

(3) Taking the production and sales of printing plates as the internal driving force, in practice, a loose alliance has been gradually formed and developed into a close enterprise group, occupying a larger market share, and seeking economies of scale. It can also be small and specialized, for example, it can focus on target markets such as CTP plates. You can also specialize in the thermal version and purple laser version of the subdivided CTP.

(4) Unfair competition behaviors of other printing plate production and supply enterprises shall be reported to relevant industry organizations and government departments for handling to form a fair competitive environment and promote the healthy and orderly development and progress of enterprises and industries.

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