PARAMUS, N.J., FEBRUARY 8, 2006 - In a move that significantly strengthens and expands its ability to help member and client companies develop highly responsive, customer-focused organizations, NAPL, the trade association for excellence in graphic communications management, has acquired eKG Research Associates, effective immediately. The eKG family of services includes proprietary diagnostic tools that graphic communications companies can use to strengthen customer relationships and determine a strategic direction for their organizations. The flagship product, the Competitiveness eKG, is used by many of the industry's top performers to enhance customer loyalty, identify new ways to add value for clients, and strengthen competitive positioning.
"In today's hypercompetitive marketplace, it's more critical than ever for printing companies to gain insights into how they're perceived by their customers and how they can bolster their competitive standing with those clients," said Joseph P. Truncale, NAPL president and chief executive officer, in announcing the acquisition. "There is no better way to gain these insights than through the Competitiveness eKG.
"Unlike traditional customer surveys, which have little or no long-term value, the Competitiveness eKG is designed to help companies promote positive change in their organizations," notes Truncale. "It provides reliable and valuable information on how a company rates in key customizable areas, how it compares with the competition in those areas, and how important each area is to its clients. I know of no other diagnostic tool that provides the depth and scope of this three-dimensional view or that can be used so effectively as a basis for strategic planning."
The acquisition of eKG is part of NAPL's ongoing commitment to exploring strategic transactions as a means of both strengthening and broadening its offering to member companies. This commitment was also evidenced in the Association's recent affiliation with the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP), and its 2004 acquisition of Rampart Associates, LLC, graphic communications consulting firm.
"When I made the decision to sell eKG to accomplish my succession plan, I knew immediately that NAPL was the best organization to offer these powerful diagnostic tools to the market," said Dallas Dort, former principal of eKG Research Associates, who will continue to be involved in the implementation of eKG tools as an NAPL associate consultant. "eKG complements NAPL's already comprehensive portfolio of products and services designed to help printing and graphic communications companies achieve their business objectives."
"Using the Competitiveness eKG has never been more critical than in today's business environment, where retaining customers is every bit as important as attracting new ones," said Truncale. "Many dissatisfied customers won't tell a company when things are going wrong-they'll just find another provider. An eKG analysis enables printers to take immediate, easy-to-implement, and low-cost corrective actions to address any concerns expressed by customers before they turn to a competitor. That makes it an invaluable tool."
NAPL will incorporate the eKG Competitive Index and the other eKG tools into its comprehensive service offering as an important first step in helping member and client companies chart a strategic plan for growth. "eKG is the first step in an important process that NAPL offers to help companies move forward profitability," said NAPL's Truncale. "We can draw on our broad range of services and products to help members act on eKG findings through the development and the implementation of an effective strategic plan."
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