Printing Industries of America Blog


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  • 02/12/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Each year, you analyze your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). You use the Ratios to compare your numbers against industry profit leaders—the top 25% in terms of profit as a percent of sales. Then you note discrepancies and come to educated conclusions, like “Our paper costs are out of line with industry averages we need to review our contracts with our vendors” or maybe “Our waste and spoilage figures are higher than average” or “Our sales per factory employee are too low to support our current staffing; we need to increase sales to current customers, develop new market opportunities, or reduce our staffing levels.”

    But what does it really take to be more profitable?

    Our members wanted to know, so our Center for Economics...

  • 02/05/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    As you know the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), which means a new to-do list for many printers. Last time we told you about the EHS resources available even if you missed the initial training deadline of December 2013. 

    Here is a “Who, What, Why, When, and Where” overview to give you a clearer explanation of what you need to do and when to do it to remain in compliance.

    WHO Do These New Standards Affect?

    All printing operations are subject to the Hazard Communication Standard because of the use of chemicals such as inks, toners, cleaning solutions, etc. As a printing operation, you must provide information to your employees about the hazards associated with your chemicals, including how to work with them in a safe manner through labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which are replacing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS...

  • 02/05/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    When it comes to the newly revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the countdown is on to comply with a long list of important new requirements—which means, yes, more acronyms!

    The new requirements started with mandatory employee training that had to be completed in December 2013, and the remaining requirements will be phased in over the next several years with the final deadline in June 2016. OSHA has adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals (GHS), and as a result there are significant changes that all employees need to know about.

    If you’ve missed the initial training deadline, don’t panic!

    Our EHS department has published a number of resources to assist members with complying, including a concise training video covering the topics required in the initial training and a customizable...

  • 01/27/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    We extend a special thank-you to Leslie Groene, President, Groene Consulting, for contributing this information. Leslie is a keynote speaker at the 2014 Print Leadership Summit.

    “Treat others as you like to be treated.” This little piece of fundamental advice our mothers gave us can be a giant step to success, and it applies to the business world as well. Sales can pose a huge challenge to many printing and graphic arts companies whose best clients can easily take their business elsewhere. So what is a key way to make them stay?

    One answer is exceptional customer service. Offering engaging, customized service that focuses on the customer allows you to stand out from your competitors, gain your clients’ trust, and ultimately increase your sales.  

    Your sales team is one of the “necessary pillars” of the print business, as Leslie Groene explains in...

  • 01/24/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Look back at all of the great mentors who have influenced you—bosses, coaches, professors. Though sometimes challenging, they teach us to achieve higher, go further, and surpass our goals. True team leaders inspire us throughout our careers and throughout our lives. Anthony Griggs learned from some demanding coaches as an NFL professional. And it was these high standards that inspired him to become a leader as a Director of Player Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Now Griggs shares his most important lessons learned in leadership—foundations that apply everywhere from the playing field to the board room. Here he discusses some of his most inspiring mentors, the lessons he’s learned, and how business leaders can apply them.

    Inspiration: Coach Dick Vermeil, Philadelphia Eagles

    Lesson: Being a leader is about more than just working hard.

    When I was...

  • 01/22/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    With rapid technological advances in recent years, we in the graphic arts industry are all trying to adapt to a changing market. Today it’s all about the customer experience. Clients demand accurate work and fast turnaround. Thanks to many new technologies, companies are able to differentiate themselves with the efficiency and high quality attainable only through automation solutions.

    “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This idea, in a nutshell, is what automated job management allows. You need to measure key metrics like throughput, inventory, expenses, and customer satisfaction to better manage and control your operations. Progressive companies, like our speakers from Classic in Charlotte, NC, and DME in Daytona Beach, Florida, have systems to track these metrics and quantify their impact on...

  • 01/22/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    What do lipstick, and sheet metal, have in common? No, it’s not some college hazing stunt gone bad. It is all included in the range of exciting tours you can experience as part of the 2014 Continuous Improvement Conference in Dallas, TX. This year’s tours at Mary Kay Manufacturing and KARLEE  get you in to see award-winning Lean manufacturing management and quality practices in progress. They will leave you so impressed you’ll be ready to “throw your hat over the windmill!”

    Although you may be familiar with these facilities (as well as some Texas colloquialisms) but you may be surprised by some of their most remarkable quality and manufacturing features. To give you a better look at what you can expect from these tours, we’ve put together this short quiz.

    So if you think...

  • 01/14/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Why is employee recognition important? It’s one of the most powerful recruiting and retaining tool. The Department of Labor reports that a reason why 64% of employees leave their job is because they are not recognized. So if you want to know the true measure of a company, simply count its number of satisfied employees!

    More graphic arts companies of all sizes are learning the value of putting their people first. When firms recognize employees for their achievements, their employees:

    • Develop a clearer understanding of company goals.
    • Are more engaged, productive, and motivated.
    • Stay longer with their company.

    Are you struggling to come up with new ideas for employee incentives, or trying to get your incentive program up and running? We’ve put together this list of 10 inspiring ways to reward your employees that are low cost and...

  • 01/13/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    In today’s business world, using current sales and marketing strategies can be daunting. This article comes from guest blogger, Kelly Mallozzi, speaker at the 2014 BIA Annual Conference and contributor to the Success.In.Print. blog at PIworld.com.

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done” –—Nelson Mandela

    What a spectacularly simple quote from one of the world’s greatest, bravest, and most influential leaders.

    Viewing something as impossible often has to do with fear. Fear is what keeps us from acting.  There are all kinds of fear—fear of the unknown and fear of rejection are just two. So here are five reasons to motivate you to get beyond your fear and take some action with regard to your sales and marketing efforts today.

    1. Your competition is doing it. There is someone out there right now who does what you do and thinks they can do it...
  • 01/08/2014 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Where can business leaders find a blueprint for transforming their company through continuous improvement? As Executive Director of one of the most prestigious Lean awards in the country, The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, Robert Miller has seen leaders build lasting cultures on the valuable concepts of The Shingo Model.

    We asked him for advice he would give business leaders within the graphic arts industry on beginning a continuous improvement program. Of course, like anything worth accomplishing, building a successful program comes with intrinsic challenges. Robert also offers some tips on how you can focus and prepare for these challenges and get on your way to creating a prosperous Lean organization.

    …Or maybe even receiving the next Shingo Prize?

    Q: What is the first thing that leaders need to start doing in order...