Training Is Key
Training is more important than ever. Even with new digital technologies and the Web, printing is still tricky to manage, market and produce. The printing industry is still different from most other industries since each order, program or campaign must still be customized to the exact requirements of each customer. Consequently, an unusual amount of skill and technical knowledge is required for the effective and efficient processing of print jobs. Similarly, there is a need for the training of salespeople, managers and supervisors.
Vicki Keenan, vice president of Printing Industries Alliance (PIA), a regional trade association serving New York State, northern New Jersey and northwestern Pennsylvania, reinforced an important job of local associations, “Since most print providers fall into the category of small and medium size businesses, they do not have the staff or scale to manage everything that is required. The local trade association helps level the playing field.”
Keenan went on to say she is pleased that so many printers regularly take an active role in the association. They are ensuring that the printing business remains current, relevant and profitable for current and future printers. She felt that many non members may not be aware of the many services provided and suggests that they visit their local association Web site.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
Some have walked away from trade associations because of the criticism that national organizations don’t keep up with technology and change, or have not been successful enough in lobbying for industry interests. The well-kept secret is that national organizations never lead changes in the industry. Historically, it has always been initiated by local associations with active members who developed innovative solutions to problems. The job of the national association is to identify the great idea, promote it, enhance it, then package it and disseminate it to its membership. Our industry associations can only be as good as the willingness of print providers to get involved.
If you are waiting for your national association to lead, you have waited too long. Get involved on the local as well as on the national level.