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The United States In-Plant Market

The definition of an in-plant is changing due to the expanded capabilities of digital production printing and copying equipment. Some sources prefer to identify in-plants in terms of the equipment they use, and only consider those sites that have offset printing equipment. At the same time, however, a huge market has grown up around the use of offset analog copying and digital copying and printing technology within product sites in corporations. Meanwhile, the convergence of digital printing technologies has encouraged some companies to combine in-house data center and in-house printing/copying operations. These trends have blurred the boundaries between market segments that had traditionally been separated.

Definition of an In-Plant

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures has created a broader definition of an in-plant print shop. This definition more realistically portrays a view of the current market:

An in-plant is a site that performs copy or print work primarily for others with a dedicated staff. In-plant sites can include in-plant print shops, Central Reprographics Departments (CRDs), integrated print/data shops, mail centers that also offer copying or printing services, and copy departments.

The market has two types of in-plant facilities that align closely with the definitions of the industries and types of establishments used by the U.S. Department of Commerce industry classification standards:

In-plant Print Shop: An in-plant print shop is one that aligns with a primary site. This means that it supports print needs that are company-wide (and not just for a specific department or division).  

In-plant Small Copy/Print Site: An in-plant small copy/print site aligns more with a secondary classification, with the primary classification being the work of the department or division (i.e. a copy/print site that is dedicated to the human resources department).
According to this definition, there are currently about 50,576 total in-plant or corporate printing sites in existence.

Table 1: U.S. In-Plant Summary (2003)

Type of In-Plant Number of Sites Total Revenue
In-Plants 10,425 $12.6 billion
Small copy/print sites  40,151  $ 3.2 billion 
Total 50,576 $15.8 billion

An in-plant can be operated by the company or managed by an outside firm. If it is outsourced, InfoTrends/CAP Ventures considers this to be a facilities management site.

Benefits of Having an In-Plant

Having an in-plant facility is related to cost savings, volume, convenience, and control. 

In-plant copying and printing facilities can lower the cost of producing copies or prints on distributed devices, and can also keep related personnel expenses to a minimum. Aggregated volume produced on faster, more capable devices almost always costs less. Having an on-site facility also offers convenience, in that walking down the hall or to another office in the same building is generally more convenient than outsourcing. The final issue is control. In-house facilities provide a level of security that is important to some companies, and they enable more unique configurations that can better meet the needs of the company. For instance, equipment and staff can be configured to meet the individual needs of a company. This is one reason that many financial services firms choose to have in-plant facilities.

The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ white paper entitled Defining and Sizing the In-Plant Market in the United States. Content for this report was heavily drawn from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ Multi-Client study entitled Corporate Print Services: The In-Plant Printing Opportunity, which was completed earlier this year.

In addition to the In-Plant report, InfoTrends/CAP Ventures also offers defining and sizing reports on the United States Quick Print Market and the Universal Copier Printer Market.

All of the reports are available immediately. To learn more about the reports or to make a purchase, please contact Alison Hipp at , ext. 126 or .



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