Printing Industries of America Blog


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  • 06/30/2015

    Great employees are out there, but how do you find them? Here Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President of Human Relations, shares valuable tips from a revealing new HR survey.

    In May, PIA’s HR Department conducted an ad hoc HR Trends survey on common questions from PIA members.  Recruiting sourcing for various types of positions (production, sales, management/administrative, and IT).  Employee referrals and on-line job banks were deemed by survey participants as the top sources for each category above. 

    Employee referrals have long been a successful recruiting tool for printers.  The incentive for the referral typically varies from the company to company. I have seen some members offer a higher incentive for hard-to-find positions.  The incentive can vary from a few hundred dollars to even $1,000.  Some firms vary the payout, such as half at time...

  • 06/08/2015

    Is becoming a certified sustainable or green printing operation a priority for you? If not, you may want to take a closer look at what certification can do to transform your business. Many print customers are demanding that their products be produced in a sustainable fashion. In addition to meeting customers demands, sustainable business practices provide business benefits as well as protect the environment. Companies that have become certified under the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership have been able to cut their operating costs, increase their productivity, and reduce their impact on the environment.

    In an exciting development, New York State has become the first state to preference printing companies certified under the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership. This means that decision makers in the state are encouraged to issue contracts to printing companies who follow SGP’s standards in sustainability. By making this...

  • 06/04/2015

    This post was contributed by Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President, Human Relations, Printing Industries of America. In this installment, Jim discusses the role of 401(k) plans in your business.

    Two interesting studies were released in May analyzing various statistics of 401(k) plans in 2014. First, Financial Engines reported that as many as 25 percent of employees are not taking full advantage of their company’s match to the 401(k) plan. They calculated that these employees are, on average, missing out on $1,336 a year of “free” employer money. Calculated over 20 years, this equates to $42,855 (including investment gains).

    Second, Aon Hewitt reported that 2014...

  • 05/20/2015

    What factors make a company a top place to work? This is an important question considering the average time an employee stays in a job is only about 4.5 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    To employers this means more time and resources spent toward recruiting and training new employees. People leave jobs for a number of reasons, including poor management practices (“I can’t get along with my boss”) and lack of motivation and engagement. But there are also many practices you can implement to make them want to work for your company and be a more satisfied, productive employee.

    We’ve compiled key stats from the print and graphic arts industry’s top workplaces. Based on data provided by the 2014 winners of the Best Workplace in the Americas program, we can say that 69.6% recognize employees and have an average voluntary turnover rate of just over 7%.

    Take a...

  • 05/18/2015

    This post was contributed by Leslie Groene, Groene Consulting, and instructor of several new online Sales Courses available in Printing Industries of America’s Integrated Learning Center.

    It’s no secret that the role of a salesperson has changed. The Internet provides your customers with an infinite number of options making it impossible to compete on price alone. Customers are 57% through their buying process before they seek engagement with suppliers. Your customers expect more; to seal the deal, they want top-notch customer service and value-added benefits. 

    Shift 1: Salesperson to Consultant

    You want your sales team to grow your existing customer base, acquire new ones, and/or...

  • 04/29/2015

    Profit leaders—printers in the top 25% of profitability—saw profits increase to 10.3% in 2013 and the forecast looks like increasing profits into 2016, based on the 2014-15 Ratios results. Now is the time to make a decision—do you invest those extra profits into growth areas, or do you save for a rainy day? Here Ed Gleeson, Director, Center for Economics and Market Research and Stu Margolis, Partner, Margolis Partners, give a plain-English explanation of the Key Printing Industry Ratios you need to be aware of—to keep your business strong both in good times and in bad.

    Increasing profits enable companies to grow by generating capital that can be invested into additional productive capacity, hiring additional workers, and moving into new facilities. ...

  • 04/29/2015

    This post was contributed by Stuart W. Margolis, CPA, MT and Suzette Margolis from Margolis Partners, LLC. Together with Printing Industries of America and membership participation, Margolis Partners brings you the annual Ratios Survey. Visit www.printing.org/ratios to learn more or participate in the 2015 Ratios Survey. 

    For most of us, ratios are not something we think of every day, at least not until springtime and the onset of baseball season. If you want to compare two Major League home-run hitters, you are likely to compare their batting averages.  If one is hitting .389 and the other’s average is .236, you immediately know which is doing better, even if you don’t know precisely how a batting average is calculated.   When applied to business, think of ratios as “batting averages for business”. In baseball or in business most ratios measure some form of productivity. They...

  • 04/22/2015

    If you’ve ever had a great teacher who you wish could be recognized for their work, this story is for you. When Ben Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn,” he may well have been talking about Professor Dan Wilson, D.I.T., of Illinois State University. Dan is the Academic winner of the 2014 Education Award of Excellence given to an individual who has pioneered a distinguished education service, program, project, or other accomplishment in graphic communications.

    Nominated for this renowned award by peers as well as students, Dan has impacted many lives. His dedicated work, both in and out of the classroom, has no doubt contributed to...

  • 04/21/2015

    Binders and Printers. A match made in heaven? This year’s BIA Annual Conference, one of the most popular postpress networking and education forums, is teaming up with the 2015 Print Leadership Summit in Minneapolis May 18-19 for a synergistic event that will surely have people talking. Here Valerie Price tells us about the benefits of the NEW BIA and why their upcoming conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for members.
     

    Q: As the industry continues to advance, how can postpress companies stay ahead of the game? How can they retain a competitive advantage?

    VP: By always knowing what is happening within the printing environment, staying up to date with the leading-edge printers, and creating partnerships between print and finishing. Another best practice is educating printers on binderies and why it’s sometimes...

  • 04/17/2015

    This post was contributed by Kelly Quinn Mallozzi, RainMaker, Success.In.Print and speaker at the 2015 Print Leadership Summit, May 18-19 in Minneapolis, MN.

    It’s hard to believe that 21 short years ago, when I got my start in sales for a small digital print shop, my sales tools were a desk, a landline, a pager, and my resourceful brain. No cell phone. Certainly no smart phone. And a shared computer that only had access to the company’s database of accounts wasn’t in the picture. I called companies that I thought might have a need for printing, and if they did, I would get an appointment, go see them, talk to them, show them samples, and a good lot of the time, they would become customers. 

    And that worked for me, for kind of a long time.  

    And gradually times changed. I got my first cell phone a couple of years...