Printers Go Local…with Printing Industries of America

As the largest graphic arts trade association in the world, with more than 10,000 member companies, Printing Industries of America knows a thing or two about value. So when non-member printers consider whether or not to join their local PIA affiliate, CEO Michael Makin encourages them to look at annual dues as a reinvestment in their businesses—not as a cuttable expense. Show Daily asked Makin to share more thoughts about his association and its presence at GRAPH EXPO 2010.

SD: Why should a print shop owner ‘invest’ in PIA membership, especially in this margin-eroding economy?

MM: In these times, I think that Printing Industries of America offers a unique advantage to our members— the local affiliate. It is very tempting to look at the cost of an association as an expense, especially in these tough economic times. The important thing to do is look at it like an investment. The local Printing Industries of America affiliate provides tools to help printers of all sizes overcome obstacles. They have up-to-date studies with best-of-class information for members to leverage as well as technology and profitability studies to guide printers. Having a local affiliate with these assets only a phone call away can help printers weather the storm.

SD: Part of the Printing Industries charter is to be dedicated to the advancement of the graphic communications industry. Can you elaborate on benefits to members?

MM: We provide our members with the tools that allow them to adapt and change. We host a number of webinars on the latest technology. We have a team of consultants and leaders in the field who are willing to assist a print shop in becoming sustainable or taking advantage of automation. We can provide that roadmap, that blue print, the strategic direction so our members can keep up with the industry. We are the watchdog on Capitol Hill. We oversee environmental and OSHA regulations that have a huge impact on the bottom line of our members. We provide training education and up-to-date information on technology. So we are really an extension of our members’ business, and that’s how we want to be viewed.

SD: What can members and prospective Printing Industries members see while they’re here in Chicago?

MM: At GRAPH EXPO, visitors to our booth (#3661) will find a wealth of knowledge and resources to help them succeed in the industry. More than 45 seminars will be offered, giving attendees an in-depth look into the world of social media, digital technologies, prepress and production strategies, as well as many other topics. They will discover tools and resources that can help them to convey the message that print is one of the most effective forms of communication, as well as a completely renewable resource. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about digital technology and what it has to offer their companies by speaking with Julie Shaffer, vice president of digital technologies. Additionally, our research team will be available throughout the show, and they will be highlighting solutions with events and interactive presentations.