Printing Industries of America Blog

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  • 09/06/2016

    College expenses can be a nightmare, as most college students would agree. The average cost of tuition and fees in the United States for 2015 exceeded $32,000 according to And the cost can reach as high as $120,000 for graduate school, according to So it makes sense the first thing a student would (and absolutely should) do after being accepted to college is start looking for any means possible to cut the cost of higher education.

    For individuals interested in graphic communications, the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) offers the tuition...

  • 08/15/2016

    Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated two of its required employee postings. 

    For the Fair Labor Standards Act poster (commonly called “minimum wage poster”), significant changes include the following: 

    1. The poster includes new language from the federal health care law passed in 2009 that advises non-exempt nursing mothers of their right to be provided with a reasonable break time to express breast milk. It states that employers must provide a place that is not a bathroom, shielded from view, and free from intrusion by co-workers as well. 
    2. Officials revised the poster to include mention of additional penalties for violations of the FLSA.
    3. Lastly, there is mention that some employers are classifying workers incorrectly as independent contractors thus depriving actual non-exempt workers from their entitlement to minimum wage and overtime pay protection. Federal and state agencies, including the DOL, have been focused...
  • 07/21/2016

    Do you consider your business a career employer? When you hire skilled workers, do they stay for long periods of time? Do they talk up your business to prospective clients and other potential employees?

    The 2016 Best Workplace in the Americas recognizes companies that fit all of those benchmarks. It’s the only graphic communications industry competition of its kind to recognize outstanding workplaces and the companies that develop them.

    Last year, the full-service integrated communications firm MOSAIC was chosen as a 2015 Best Workplace in the Americas recipient in the medium-sized company category. Sarah Wilson, HR manager of the organization, spoke with us about HR practices in her company, what it means to be a Best Workplace in the Americas winner, and why recognizing employees is so important in the graphic communications industry.

    PIA: The Best Workplace in the Americas competition judges companies on eight key human relations areas: management...

  • 07/12/2016

    Key performance metrics (KPMs) evaluate the success of a business, but can differ between companies based on various factors including the size of the business and geographic location.

    Below, you can see the sales-per-employee KPM in the graphic communication industry over the last ten years for profit leaders and profit challengers. Profit leaders are printers in the top 25 percent of profitability while profit challengers are those in the bottom 75 percent of profitability. In this timeframe, the average profit leader in our industry saw around $15,000 more in sales per employee than the average profit challenger.

    How can you align your company to have sales-per-employee numbers that line up more closely with profit leading printers? First, you need to know where you stand. The new Printing Industries of America Dynamic Ratios will...

  • 07/11/2016

    By: Gary Jones, Assistant VP EHS Affairs, Printing Industries of America; Kaitlin Mackey, EHS Associate, Printing Industries of America; Matthew Crownover, EHS Associate, Printing Industries of America

    On July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its interim final rule, increasing the civil penalties for violations of its standards. The increase was required due to the passage of the two-year bipartisan budget President Obama signed on November 2, 2015.

    This is the first time in 25 years that OSHA has increased its penalties. Since 1990, OSHA has been one of only three federal agencies that were specifically exempt from a law that required federal agencies to raise their fines to keep pace with inflation. The bill allows OSHA to have a one-time adjustment this year to catch up from the last time the agency’s civil penalties were modified. In addition, the law allows the penalties to be increased each year. 

    OSHA’s New...

  • 07/05/2016

    In April, Printing Industries of America alerted you to a major scam involving a fraudulent direct marketing agency operating out of Montreal and Toronto. Federal authorities believe the targets in this case have been operating under the following names: Direct Market, DMW Direct, API Global Fulfillment, DMG Group Corporation, Global Media, Slim-Tab, and LipoCitrex. The scam artist purports to represent clients marketing weight loss products such as Axera International, BeSlim, and Nutrim.

    The scam is simple but effective and has claimed a number of victims. The marketing agency contacts printers via their website with a potential windfall job to produce millions of marketing pieces. The marketing agency literally banks on printers offering a line of credit based on initial feedback from credit references, which are similarly fraudulent.

    When printers ask for a check to cover postage, it is promptly sent via UPS. The check looks...

  • 06/23/2016

  • 06/15/2016

    Key performance metrics (KPMs), used to evaluate the success of a business, differ for businesses based on various factors. These factors can include the size of business and geographic location.

    One KPM that should be on every business’s must-have list is the metric for before tax profit as a percentage of sales. Before Tax Profit is a measure of profitability as it allows for a company to view profits before they have to pay corporate income taxes. 

    The above graph tracks before tax profit as a percent of sales for the past ten years for profit leaders and profit challengers. The Dynamic Ratios take this profitability measure and turn it into a proportion of sales. Turning before tax profit into a ratio of sales allows for this figure to be comparable across many companies.

    How do you compare to your competitors? Over...

  • 05/18/2016

    The United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced today major alterations to the overtime exemption classifications under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These changes have dramatic ramifications for all employers and it is strongly advised that you familiarize yourself with them as they may affect your budgeting for 2017.

    Beginning December 1, 2016, the salary threshold for overtime exempt employees will increase from $23,660 to $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker. This means that any employee whose salary is less than $47,476 will be eligible for overtime pay beyond their normal 40 hours per week schedule. Updates to the salary threshold levels will occur automatically every three years (with at least 150 days notice and effective January 1, 2020). 

    DOL will be allowing up to 10 percent of the salary threshold to be met by a non-discretionary bonus (including commissions)....

  • 05/17/2016

    The 2016 Premier Print Awards deadline is coming up fast! This June, expert judges from all segments of the print industry will come together to meticulously examine entries from across the globe. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to have your best pieces judged—all for a chance at receiving the coveted Benny statue. If you’re still on the fence about submitting your pieces to the “Oscars of the Industry,” we’re here to help make your decision easier.

    Michael Klyn, the 2016 Premier Print Awards chairman and decades-long veteran of the graphic communication industry, knows a thing or two about what goes on during this intense competition. Check out our video series where we got his two cents on some of the biggest trends seen throughout the Premier Print Awards. 

    The 2016 Premier Print Awards