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Market Analysis: Union Printing and Design

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Competitive Advantage

Union Printing and Design is located in the student’s center, which is inside the university. Due to its location it is possible to tap into the student’s population that requires the products and services that it offers. The university has a population of about 25,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students who are prospective customers. These potential clients do not need to travel elsewhere for the services. Travelling is both expensive and time-consuming. In addition, it is disappointing when a person is obliged to travel only to find the services they are not being offered. Since Union Printing and Design is owned by the student union, they understand all their needs. Therefore, the business offers all the services and products that will satisfy the printing and designing needs of the students.

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The business offers services and products that are exclusive to the students. Since it is provided within the university, it specializes in the needs of the students, which the competitors cannot do since they have to focus on the general customers due to their location. When a business is focusing on a specific homogeneous population in the market, it provides corresponding products and services. The business is owned by the student union, which has a great influence on them. In addition, the student union also owns most of the television screens in the campus, which are used for the purpose of advertisements, for businesses, organizations, and clubs. They can use the screens to display their services, and it is an additional advantage since the clients can also advertise with them due to the location of the screens in the university. In addition, they offer campus poster services, which is their superiority over the competitors. Most businesses and organizations targeting the student population may contract them for the poster and advertisement services.

Competitive Disadvantage

The business experiences limitation regarding the space. Since they offer the services within the university, they have to use the limited space allocated to them. First, the place is limited, and they have to use it for all their purposes including storage, office work, actual space, and product provision. It limits their ability to expand their business as the customers’ demand increases, or if there is a demand for a given product. For example, they have a plan to expand their business in order to start selling more items in the store, but it is hard to actuate the plan due to the limited space. Failure to expand and offer large quantities of the products or add a new line of products may result in dissatisfaction of clients. Consequently, some of the customers may opt to purchase their products from the competing businesses.

Since the business is owned by the student union, the management changes annually through the democratic elections. Therefore, each management team operates the business for one year, and it is handed over to the next one. The change in management is very quick, and it is difficult to maintain or actualize the plans of the previous team. Additionally, a new management team strives to create new plans, which is time-consuming, and before the plan can be actualized, their tenure in office ends. Therefore, it is difficult for the management to have long-term plans due to the quick change of the team. In addition, one year is not enough to learn the problems of the business and implement an effective solution. Therefore, the business may suffer from the same problem for a long time. Accordingly, the business may not operate as effectively as their competitors.


University Bookstore

The University Bookstore is located in campus Building 23, room 101. It operates from Monday to Friday, opening at 8.30am. It closes at 6pm from Monday to Thursday and at 4.30pm on Friday. It remains closed over the weekend. The number of employees at the bookstore changes depending on different times of the academic year. They have more employees at the beginning of the school term due to the high demand for their services and products. The business is 83 years old as it began in 1931. In the financial year 2013/2014, its sales revenue amounted to $18,462,000. Its major clientele includes the faculty and the students, which use its services and products such as stationery, clothing with school logo, textbooks, and computers. It is aggressive as it made $18,462,000 in the 2013/2014 financial year. It has a competitive advantage since most professors have their courseware printed there due to convenience.

University Printing Service

It has 27 printer/copiers across the campus, and its hours of operations depend on the location of individual printer/copiers. Some are open for five days while others work seven days a week. It does not require employees to operate the printers/copier, but if there is a need, their support is availed. Its major customers are the students. The most services offered include printing and copying. The business provides printing and copying services only, which decreases its aggressiveness. However, its ideal locations around the campus ensure convenience to the clients. The business has a competitive advantage as a result of its approach to the offering services. The students do not need to have cash as they can load money into their students’ accounts and swipe their student cards when they have to pay for the services. The unused balance can also be transferred to other students who can access the same services. Offering these two services enables specialization, which is a source of competitive advantage.

ABC Print Factory

It is located outside the campus on 15 University Street. It operates from Monday to Saturday and remains closed on Sunday. On weekdays it operates from 8am to 6pm, and on Saturday it is opened from 10am to 4pm. The factory has been in operation for above twenty years, and its base includes six employees. In 2013, its sale volume amounted to $1,170,000, and the main clientele includes professors, students, and small business owners. Their services include printing of brochures, cards, and large format printing. In addition, the offer binding, graphic design, quality production, and bindery services. The products include office stationery and promotional items. Its aggressiveness can be noticed in the wide selection of provided services since it targets a large and diverse population. The competitive advantage of the factory also relies on the diversification of the customer base; hence, even when there are few clients from the university, it is still serving the small business owners and other members of the public.

The UPS Store

It is located on the 67 University Street, and it operates from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. It also opens on Saturday from 10am to 5pm and is closed on Sunday. The store has three employees and has been in operation for about ten years. In 2013, its sales amounted to $1,062,000. Its main clientele includes the students, small business owners, and residents. It offers numerous services, which include mailbox services, packing and moving, printing, shipping, business, etc. The store sells printing products such as fliers, banners, manuals and presentations, postcards, and newsletters among others. It is aggressive since it generates most of its revenues from shipping services including overnight ones. Its competitive advantage involves a wide selection of services including shipping and convenience. Hence, customers can make their orders and wait for them to be delivered.

123 Digital

It is located on 423 Main Street, and operates from Monday to Friday only. From Monday to Thursday it works from 9am to 5.30pm, and on Friday it opens business at 9am and closes at 5pm. The store has two employees and has been in operation for twenty years. Its sales volume in 2013 amounted to $362,000, and the main customer base includes the small business owners. The major products offered include design and printing services of various items including logos, flyers, posters, store front signs, outdoor banners, and pole banners. The business is aggressive since it made $362,000 in 2013 being operational only for a short time. It has operated for more than twenty hours. The store may increase its revenue by expanding the business through offering more services and products or improving specialization. The competitive advantage involves its long-term existence; hence, it has customer trust and established strong position in the market.


It is located on 95 King Street and operates from Monday to Sunday. On weekdays it is works from 8am to 9pm. On Saturday the business opens at 9am and closes at 6pm while on Sunday it opens at 11am and closes at 5pm. The number of employees varies from 20 to 49 in different times of the year. Its sales volume in the last financial year amounted to $7,595,000. The store mainly targets the students, residents, and small business owners. It has numerous products and services suited for its target customer base. The business offers posters, postcards, business cards, banners, stamps, flyers, and shipping, among others. It has a large market share due to its wide selection of services, shipping and the option to return faulty products. Its competitive advantage involves offering a large diversity of products and services to the students, residents, and businesses.

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