Scrambling is for Eggs

By Dawn Lospaluto
In July 1, 2013

The announcement this week that the Boards of Directors of NAPL and AMSP passed a resolution to explore a consolidation of the two trade associations seemed a very fitting way to mark NAPL’s 80th anniversary.

It was in July 1933 on what was most likely a sweltering day in New York City that NAPL was formed during the economic and industry challenges of the Great Depression. In short, NAPL was founded as an active response to change as the photo-lithographers of the day recognized the need for unbiased industry leadership.

For the next eight decades, NAPL continued to respond to changing conditions by providing leadership and guidance for an industry that experienced one evolution (or revolution) after another, most notably in changing technologies, but also in market demand and customer expectations.

This week’s announcement continued that tradition. Our industry has changed dramatically over the last few years—this time not as a result of internal advances, but external competition. We’ve learned quite clearly that being the best printer in town or the most cost-competitive is no longer a guarantee of success.

Instead, our success will depend on our willingness to see ourselves as communication providers rather than strictly print providers and our ability to evolve our products and services, as well as our management strategies, to become knowledgeable and effective multi-media and multi-service competitors.

Change is inevitable. It may come slowly or, especially in today’s world, it may come as quickly as overnight. Either way, it will come. Company leaders, like association leaders, cannot shrink from change or wish it away. They must be aware of it, understand it, and adapt to it.

How does your business react to change? Do you try to get in front of it by gathering as much knowledge about it as possible and carefully considering your course of action? Or do you wait until you have no choice but to do something—anything—and then scramble to catch up?

Being a good scrambler may be a positive trait in golf or short-order cooking, but it’s not the best way to lead your business. Your membership in NAPL includes access to the most comprehensive industry information available—from economic trends to sales strategies and everything in between. It puts you in touch with the industry’s most experienced and informed experts on every aspect of business management.

And with services such as the new NAPL and NAQP Connect online communities, it gives you instant 24/7 contact to a broad cross-section of your industry peers—frontline business executives who face the same challenges you do and are ready and willing to share their solutions and advice.

Have you added your voice to the Connect virtual peer group yet? It’s free and easy to participate. If you’re an NAPL or NAQP member and want more information or help in joining a Connect community, just give us a call at (800) 642-6275 and we’ll get you started.

Dawn Lospaluto

Epicomm Senior Director of Communications, Dawn has been the editor of Epicomm 's "Bottom Line" magazine and its predecessor publications, "NAPL Business Review," Printing Manager," and "The Journal of Graphic Communications Management," for 20 years. She also writes and edits several Epicomm member print and electronic newsletters, including [Re]View, Management Bulletin, Highlights, and Discover; press releases; and various marketing materials; and oversees Epicomm 's book publishing program. Dawn previously served as corporate managing editor for Allied (now Honeywell) Corporation and as a reporter and editor for New Jersey's largest evening newspaper. She is a graduate of Douglass College (Rutgers University) and holds an M.A. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she has served on the adjunct faculty.

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