The second annual Vision 3 Summit convened in Marco Island, FL, on Sunday, February 19 and ran through Wednesday, February 22. The conference, which addresses the interests and concerns of commercial printers, is produced jointly by NPES, NAPL, and Printing Industries of America. The theme for...
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According to a recent survey, commercial printers are regarded as the most trusted service providers. So how can printers leverage that trust into a positive force for growth? The panel urged them to focus on three areas: convergence, transformation, and optimization.
Convergence: The economy, culture, and technology are changing. As this convergence advances, the transactional, publishing, and promotional markets continue to merge. This creates unique opportunities for transpromo, advertorial, and e-book solutions.
Transformation: Printers need to develop non-print services—for example, DAM, Web-to-print, and Web-based services. Data management is crucial and the ability to blend products and programs and incorporate specific data points will be the keys to success. Printers will have to go beyond simple name and address to develop databases that incorporate behavioral data, including demographics, psychographics, and buying habits.
Optimization: Lean manufacturing and operational efficiencies are essential, not just to success, but to continued survival. Printers need to employ “forward constraint design”; limiting the options and choices they offer to customers in order to keep their production processes more streamlined. An example of this would be to adopt a house sheet in place of offering a broad selection of papers. Offer only those products and services that easily fit into your most profitable and cost-efficient production processes. Lean manufacturing means you must implement, track, measure, and establish a continuous improvement plan.
Panelist Jon Budington told attendees how he managed to use the recession to drive changes he wanted to implement in his company. “I see recessions as a time of opportunity,” he said. “When things are tough, our clients are more inclined to listen to our crazy ideas. When things are good, they’re more inclined to go with the status quo.”
During the lunch service, the information continued to flow with “Politics Unplugged with Mark & Lisbeth”. Presenters were Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of Government Affairs for Printing Industries of America, and Mark Nuzzaco, Government Affairs director for NPES. The two lobbyists regaled the crowd with stories of their adventures and accomplishments on Capitol Hill. They explained that the three biggest political issues affecting our industry today are postal reform, healthcare reform implementation, and taxes.
Postal Reform: “The USPS is on the verge of collapse,” warned Lisbeth Lyons. “That might have been hyperbole a year ago, but not now.” The mailing industry represents 8.5 million workers and eight percent of the GDP. Short- and long-term solutions are on the table—including two Postal Reform bills. Unless Congress acts decisively this year, the system will run out of cash in 2012. The collapse of the USPS would destroy tens of thousands of private sector jobs and would likely result in a government bailout. Long term reforms are needed.
Healthcare Reform: The presidential campaigns will likely frame the national conversation that will shape the eventual adoption of healthcare reform. Depending on the outcome of the election, there could be repeals of some reforms that have already been enacted or, if the President is re-elected, the reform could go into effect as it is currently written by 2013. Printers need to educate themselves about the facts in order to fully understand the implications this issue will have on their businesses and on individual citizens.
Tax Reform: A groundswell for sweeping tax reform could be on the horizon. The 100 percent Bonus Depreciation Credit has already run out, but the 50 percent Bonus Depreciation Credit is still in effect. There is a chance that the 100 percent credit might be reinstated. According to Lyons and Nuzzaco,this is one way that government shows that it understands the need to support businesses that are making capital investments in new equipment. They urged all attendees to get involved on behalf of their companies and the industry at large.