Lumped Together?

Last week I got a heads-up email from an old college buddy who is involved with the graphics industry on the sign side. It read: “See attached from a recent issue of the Federal Register. Go to Page 7 to review proposed changes to NAICS classifications. Quick Printing is to be lumped into an ‘Other Commercial Printing’ category. So too is Digital Printing, Also litho. Also flexo.” I took a look and found out that this was indeed the case. I also found the rationale for the move: “Recommendation: While less than optimal from a production function standpoint, the ECPC recommends combining the national industries for lithographic, gravure, flexographic, quick, digital, manifold business forms, blankbook and other commercial printing into a new national industry. In recent years, the printing industry as a whole has undergone significant consolidation and a move towards establishments that cross current NAICS industry definitions. The expansion of digital printing by establishments that also print using other methods is significantly re-shaping this industry. The increasing overlap of printing processes within a single establishment is expected to continue throughout the next decade.” No doubt there is an increasing overlap, but lumping litho, gravure, flexo, business forms, blankbook, and quick into one big blob makes little sense. Quick/small commercial printing is a definite category unto itself and should be recognized as such. The final date for comment or objection is July 12, which is fast approaching. I don’t know if this is really a big deal or not, but it just doesn’t seem logical, and the move itself is admittedly described as “less than optimal from a production function standpoint.”