PARAMUS, N.J., DEC. 27, 2004 – A group of graphic communication company leaders came together in Chicago earlier this month to discuss critical industry issues at the second annual meeting of the Industry Trends Analysis Group (I-TAG) of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). Formed by the Association in 2003 to provide a forum for industry leaders to strategize about the challenges facing today’s printers, the invitation-only group comprises owners and C-level executives from some of the industry’s leading companies.
During the two-day conference at the Park Hyatt Hotel on Dec. 6-7, 2004, attendees explored the approaches and tactics that are helping their companies advance in the areas of Sales, Human Resources, Customer Relations, Manufacturing, and more.
“The I-TAG group consists of companies we’ve identified as being on the cutting edge of advancements in the graphic communications industry,” said Joseph P. Truncale, NAPL president and CEO. “Coming together in a face-to-face forum gives participants a chance to examine today’s key issues with their peers and share strategies for success. The insights gleaned from I-TAG enable NAPL to continue to develop services and programs that help members effectively address those issues.”
The meeting opened with a presentation on The NAPL 2005 State of the Industry Report by NAPL Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi, who noted that the continuing economic upturn in itself does not ensure success for printers.
“The biggest threat to our industry is not the Internet, or foreign competition, or printers who don’t know their costs,” said Paparozzi. “It’s taking a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, being content with the status-quo, and assuming that a favorable turn in the business cycle is going to make everything right again.”
The printers that survive and thrive, he said, will be those that effectively answer three key questions:
• How do we gain share in markets that are not growing fast enough for everyone and protect share in markets that are getting more competitive despite consolidation and economic recovery?
• How do we get out and stay out of the commodity trap?
• How do we ensure that the changes redefining our clients, markets, competition, and labor force are opportunities rather than threats?
I-TAG participants spent the rest of the conference debating and wresting with the answers to these and other key questions. Their insights will form the basis of a comprehensive report on the findings of the I-TAG conference that will be distributed to participants of the group. In addition to the annual NAPL I-TAG conference, participants will take part in research and surveys throughout the year.
Graphic communications companies invited to participate in I-TAG are those that have shown they are proactive thinkers committed to finding effective and innovative ways to move their companies forward. “Becoming part of I-TAG requires a commitment from a company to be an active participant in our ongoing research,” said Truncale. “The benefits they derive in exchange for this participation—including the sharing of best practices in key areas—can make a major contribution to the continued success of their company.”
Graphic communications companies interested in being considered for inclusion in I-TAG should email [email protected]