Blog Posts - General

  • 07/29/2015

    Letters to loved ones overseas, a box of your favorite treats, tickets to the big game—what do these all have in common?

    They’re a few of the paper and packaging products that bring tangible, memorable substance to our lives. And they’re the subject of a new national public awareness campaign supporting the value of print, Paper and Packaging—How Life UnfoldsTM.

    Released July 8 by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), the campaign follows the model of other popular industry check-offs like “Got Milk?,” “Pork. The Other White Meat,” and “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner,” which are produced through government-sanctioned fees collected from the respective industries. Print, commercial...

  • 07/15/2015

    Remember when sending a client a physical proof of a print job was a chargeable service? That seems to have disappeared when we went to electronic distribution and suddenly clients started expecting a free emailed PDF proof. Many challenges arose with this system due to color inconsistency, productivity loss due to multiple revisions, etc.

    Today’s soft proofing systems offer convenient sharing, color accuracy thanks to screen calibration, automation, enhanced project monitoring, and other benefits that improve your workflow and reduce costs.

    How can you implement a system like this in your business? Here we spoke with Dan Caldwell, President of Remote Director, on the latest soft proofing innovations and how they can be the solution you’ve been looking for.

    Want a preview? Before you read this take a guided tour of Remote Director.


  • 07/09/2015


    The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015 that an employer maintains the right to have a policy restricting the use of medical marijuana by employees (Coats v. Dish Network). The Court held that the Colorado law that defines “lawful” activities means activities that are lawful under both state and federal laws. State Supreme Courts in CaliforniaMontana and Washington have come to similar conclusions.

    Colorado's Lawful Activities Statute states that “lawful activities” are protected if off-...

  • 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 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...