Face-Off

Last month's installment presented an analysis of two questions from PFFC's annual Critical Trends survey (conducted March 23-April 1), regarding staffing and employment levels. This monthly Face-Off feature, brought to you by the sponsorship of Fife Corp., permits a comparison of responses to a total of 30 questions that were posed to four industry segments, including flexible packaging; unprinted rolls and sheets; tapes, labels, and tags; and paperboard products. Over the course of the next few months, responses by sector to each of these questions will be shared here so you can learn how other industries have fared with the business challenges of today's economy.

Each primary business type was represented in our converter questionnaire sample. Just under a third of respondents (30%) are employed in the flexible packaging sector; 24% were in unprinted rolls and sheets; 24% in tapes, labels, and tags; and 14% in paperboard packaging. The companies for which the typical respondent works employ an estimated median of 75 employees.

We encourage you to compare your performance with and against other converter sectors and to share your feedback with me on issues that concern your businesses.

The recent economic crisis has taken a significant toll on respondent businesses

In all cases, the vast majority of respondents report the economy has negatively impacted their businesses. The Flexible Packaging segment appears to have suffered the least under the current economic conditions; one in five (19%) actually report their businesses have been positively impacted by the crisis. The Unprinted Rolls & Sheets segment appears to have been hardest hit, with 92% reporting a negative impact on their businesses.

  • Which best describes the impact of the economic crisis on your business in 2008?

Changes in revenue from 2007-2008 vary by industry segment

Despite the economic turmoil, almost half of Flexible Packaging respondents (45%) reported an increase in sales revenue in 2008. Just under a third (29%) reported revenues were flat, and only 26% reported a decrease. Again, those in Tapes, Labels & Tags and Unprinted Rolls & Sheets appear to be hardest hit, with 45% and 42% respectively reporting decreased revenue in 2008. Only one in four respondents in these sectors reported increases in revenue over 2007.

  • How did 2008 sales revenue for the primary business above compare to 2007 revenue?

See the cumulative responses to the Critical Trends survey

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