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Michael Makin Q&A -- PIA's Future Plans

May 2003
Printing Impressions contributing writer T.J. Tedesco spoke with Michael Makin, president and CEO of PIA/GATF (Printing Industries of America/ Graphic Arts Technical Foundation), at the recent President's Conference held in Key Biscayne, FL. Makin came to PIA/GATF two years ago as COO under then-chief executive Ray Roper. He was named to his current position last August. Below, Makin provides his take on the future for the industry organization.

PI: Michael, you came to PIA/ GATF two years ago from the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA). Please describe your vision for PIA/GATF.

Makin: Our first priority is ensuring a smooth consolidation of PIA and GATF. I want both current and potential members to realize the benefits of combining technical, management and advocacy channels into a powerful association that can truly represent their full range of needs.

We will continue to be the primary source of information for our members when they need to know: How technology can improve their profitability; how the government will affect their business; and how management education can improve their competitiveness for the long run.

PI: One of the intriguing things you mentioned was your goal of positioning PIA/GATF as the number one source of information for all things legislative, technological and management-oriented. Specifically, how is that going to be brought down to the individual membership client base? What are you going to give them that they can use in their businesses?

Makin: On the technical side, we just completed a major member needs analysis survey. Our members want to know the impact of technology, and how that impacts their businesses. They want to know how they can improve their manufacturing efficiency and quality, which will in turn help them improve service to their customers and allow them to be viable and profitable.

PI: PIA/GATF is adept at researching and defining the role of technology. How do you use that research to inform those outside the industry (i.e., potential users of print) about how advancements in the printing world will benefit them?

Makin: We really need to position print as the medium of choice in the information technology continuum. For example, we're planning a major campaign, in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, to get the word out that print does offer a good return on investment. We're in the process of conducting market research to demonstrate that the ROI in printing and mailing is superior to other media formats.
 

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