First in New Monograph Series Offers Help during Economic Slump
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Pittsburgh, Pa., October 10, 2001 — "If the greatest of all commodities, water, can be branded and differentiated, so can print," writes industry veteran Dick Gorelick, president of Graphic Arts Sales Foundation (GASF), about the recent U.S. economic downturn accelerating the price war within the printing industry. In his new book, Lessons Learned from the Current Economic Slump, Gorelick affirms that an economic slump need not spell hardship for a graphic arts company. Lessons Learned is the first monograph in a new Account Development Series written by GASF and published by Printing Industries of America (PIA)/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). Fresh and timely, subsequent titles will deal with the changing roles of sales representatives and customer service representatives, use of customized post-bindery services to develop customers, and sales management, among other issues. Author of all seven titles in the series, Gorelick is also president of Gorelick and Associates, Inc., a consulting and research firm operating exclusively in the graphic arts industry. He explains that commoditization of print has been occurring for many years; it is nothing new. However, the recent economic slump has highlighted the resultant price competition. In the face of commoditization, a company must offer customers one or more unique reasons for a customer to do business with it—and good product delivered by caring people at a competitive price is rapidly disappearing as that unique reason. It is expected by the marketplace. Referencing the results of a survey conducted by many PIA regional affiliate offices in conjunction with GASF, Gorelick points out that the success of a company depends little upon geography, size, or niche. "There is genius and vision and, on the other hand, lack of logic and sensitivity to customers at companies of all types and sizes and in all parts of the U.S." With eight chapters devoted to a different "lesson learned," Gorelick provokes and inspires readers to think about their respective businesses and to address the sometimes subtle demands of the marketplace. Nothing—not technology, not equipment, not reorganization—has value in the long term unless it can be converted into perceived benefits to customers. He writes, "Creation of perceived customer value is the key to prosperity." In the same way that print companies should be increasingly responsive to the needs of the customers, PIA/GATF has launched this new series in response to the challenges that have materialized in recent years. Never more so than now is account development a vital need at most companies. All seven publications, modest in size and to-the-point, should be published by January 2002. The first in the series, Lessons Learned from the Current Economic Slump (ISBN 0-88362-389-7) is a 56-page, black-and-white, softcover text available for $60 ($30 for GATF/PIA members), not including shipping. Orders and pre-orders may be placed by contacting GATF by phone at 800/662-3916 (U.S. and Canada) or 412/741-5733 (all other countries); fax at 412/741-0609; or online at www.gain.net. Mail orders to GATF Products, P.O. Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143-1020. Indicate Order No. 17361.