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SPECIAL REPORT -- The State of Web Printing - A Year's Worth of Mastery

April 2005
By Kristen E. Monte

What a difference a year makes. When Mary Garnett was named executive director of the Web Offset Association (WOA) a little over a year ago, she had high hopes for what the organization could do for web offset printing companies. So far, she has proven herself to be an effective leader of the organization.

Mary Garnett
Garnett took over the position with WOA, a special industry group of Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), in February 2004. She immediately got to work on some of the major concerns that confronted the industry as a whole. She says that PIA/GATF and WOA share the same concerns, which are issues Garnett tackled when she first began her stint as executive director.

Price cutting, global competition, postal rates and healthcare costs were all weighing heavily on the minds of printers and Garnett alike. She says that the WOA will continue providing educational programs to printers to assist with their understanding of costing issues. She believes that as more companies are educated in all aspects, the better they will be in terms of pricing jobs, sales orientation and financial orientation.

Another hot button issue is global competition. Theoretically, competition is important for businesses to grow. And if they are able to spread business overseas, printers will be able to build the industry and stand to see financial gains. As global competition reduces the total printing revenue, however, more printers will be negatively impacted. PIA/GATF and the WOA will look at the issues from all sides.

Garnett notes that PIA/GATF is looking at the offshore printing issue as a whole and, based upon research and printer feedback, has recently released a complete study to all WOA members about base-line assessments. Garnett says that PIA/GATF plans to continue monitoring this area of concern for printers, and will issue future reports. She says that since the entire team keeps their fingers on the pulse on important issues, the members are better served.

A third issue Garnett sees as a growing problem for printers is healthcare costs. She is looking to help WOA members with the rising costs of benefits, along with the poor economy in recent years, to reach a common ground for better coverage and reasonable rates through advocating passage of association health provisions.
 

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