The printers I consult with tend to be the smaller shops; it’s where I earned my chops. They are equally frustrated by associations, franchisors, and trade vendors, and their frustration centers on one thing—speed. Their customers want immediate satisfaction and much of the industry support infrastructure is not keyed to speed. An economic report needs time to do right; finding a source for a trade show brochure printer in Vegas for your client who is getting on a plane needs instantaneous gratification. The infrastructure needs a remodel, and perhaps that is why the NPOA saw an opportunity to be more responsive to small print shop owners who, of necessity, must be nimble and fast.
If there was one piece of advice I would give the NPOA it is to embrace more than just national. There are ultra-clever small shop owners in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the Ukraine who can contribute as well. “Think Global, Implement Local” is my motto!
We need to stop the turf war concerns, I think the NPOA is truly a good thing and I will help them in any way I can.
Barry Martin, owner, Copyquick Printing & Graphics and NPOA treasurer
I am excited to be part of a new trade association that I believe will fill a void in our industry. I look forward to a dynamic group with fresh ideas for printers who are looking toward a future with positive growth and new revenue streams.
Joseph Truncale, president & CEO, NAPL
None of us have a monopoly on providing services to the industry. If there is a group of people who feel the need to come together in the form of an association, then that’s fine. This group has been talking together and discussing their businesses on the PrintOwners listserv for many years, so if they want to formalize that by creating an association, we certainly wish them the best and hope that they find what they are looking for. It’s all fair and it’s all good.
I think that people will also be interested to see the new service offerings that NAQP is preparing to offer. This is really exciting and there is a lot here that we believe our members will find extremely valuable.
Eugene Montenez, owner, Allegra Marketing - Print - Mail and NPOA member
As someone who started their business in the garage, with letterpress printing and a small Multi offset printing press, to a full service printer with 4 color press and digital color presses, we know the importance of a strong trade association. Our industry is developing at a dizzying pace, we need a national organization that can help triage the new technologies and be forward thinking. Whether you are an independent or franchise organization, there is nothing stronger than networking with owners experiencing the same issues and solutions they have found."
Mitch Evans, managing director, NAQP
I don’t believe that we need another trade association. In fact, as you know, there was a major consolidation effort last year. Also with the continued blurring of the industry, i.e.: quick printers, digital printers, and commercial printers all starting to look similar, there is even more credence to having fewer trade groups.
I am not sure what the impact will be on the industry. Their initial dues are so low that it is hard to visualize what they will be able to do anything significant that is new and different. Right now they are capitalizing on attracting members who know each other through Mike Stevens’ listserv. NAQP saw a modest increase in its membership last year, which I attributed to the industry coming out the recession plus a beefed up Member Advantage Program. Many of their new members are also supporting NAQP as they believe the groups are different.
We know that there are approximately 18,000 printers who do not belong to any trade association currently. This provides opportunity for all of the printing trade groups. Printers will join one or more groups as long as the trade association provides enough benefits to cover their dues.
Carl Gerhardt, chairman, Allegra Network
The industry does not need a new association. We already have too many associations and too many events competing for shrinking resources. However, some people in the small commercial segment and, more particularly the group that has formed NPOA, seem to feel that the only way they will get their needs addressed is by forming a new association. A much better way would be for this group and NAPL to work together to bring about the needed change to fulfill those needs. The reasons are complicated as to why that did not happen. Moreover, even though I have talked to both sides, I am not sure the climate or motivation exists to make that happen now. In a perfect world it could, but the world is not perfect.