Execs Examine Future Growth

OAHU, HI—Finding future revenue streams for continued growth was the leading theme of the PIA/GATF Executive Leadership Conference, held here at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina from March 12-16.

The conference, titled “Profitable Growth—2006 and Beyond,” was set against the backdrop of the lush, tropical paradise of this breathtaking Hawaiian island, which put conference goers in a positive frame of mind to address a challenging future that looms for the printing industry.

Kicking things off was keynote speaker and author/consultant Steve Little, who borrowed from his experiences as president of three high-growth companies to identify best practices and seven “Irrefutable Rules of Growth.” He also underscored the need for a bridging of the generational and technology gaps due to the disconnect between ruling baby boomers and their younger, tech-savvy contemporaries.

Among the second day breakout session highlights, Tom Quinn, president of the Mailing and Fulfillment Services Association (M&FSA), visited the concept of turning the twin ancillary offerings into profits. Quinn examined 13 critical parameters for successful fulfillment operations from the M&FSA’s fulfillment benchmark survey.

Jim Andersen, president and CEO of IWCO Direct in Chanhassen, MN, recounted how his company expanded from printing into the lucrative direct mail industry, fueled by a high-speed mail processing technology center, during his lively general session presentation “Beyond Printing: Growth Drivers for Success.”

Ronnie Davis, chief economist for the PIA/GATF, projected 3 to 3.5 percent growth in the economy for 2006 and 2007. He also projected printing shipments will increase 2.5 percent in 2006. Davis is also encouraged by the 2 to 3 percent growth forecasted for 2006, particularly in a mature industry such as commercial printing.

Conference goers were able to enjoy a number of after-hours activities, ranging from snorkeling and dolphin watching to golfing and an authentic Hawaiian luau with native dance performances.

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