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Offset & Beyond Conference Stresses Leadership

May 21, 2010
BALTIMORE—Whether it was the industry executive outlook delivered by Japs-Olson President Michael Murphy; the motivational talk presented by Michael Abrashoff, a former U.S. Navy commander and author of "It's Your Ship"; or the acceptance speech given by James Andersen, IWCO Direct president/CEO and the 2010 Harry V. Quadracci VISION Award winner who recognized the contributions of his management team, one common message was our industry's need for strong leaders with the drive, cunning and conviction to steer their companies to profitability.

Murphy discussed how buyers are less wedded to print than before. As a result, he stressed the importance of creating professional leaders and great teams to achieve profitability, noting that the days of employers keeping "C players" on staff are no longer feasible. He also highlighted Japs-Olson's focus on process improvement through lean manufacturing methodologies and computer-integrated manufacturing that merges business management and production systems to provide business intelligence on manufacturing costs. "If we can do these things well, we will be able to take 50 percent out of our cost process," Murphy proclaimed. 

On hand as living proof that leadership and a strong team works was Abrashoff. He told the inspiring story of how his ship, the USS Benfold, was transformed into one of the greatest ships in the Navy by empowering the crew to take ownership and to improve every aspect of the way things were done.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, (outgoing) chief marketing officer for Eastman Kodak and author of the newly released "The Mirror Test," summarized how business owners can ensure that their companies are thriving. He emphasized the need to have proper leadership that can cause productive tension, build a team of efficient workers and set the right mood. He closed by saying that print is emotional and that printers need to keep printing and selling emotion.

Following Hayzlett, Bill Gibson, vice president of sales for Trico, moderated a panel about the truth behind "Do Not Mail." Panelists included Lisbeth Lyons, vice president, Government Affairs, Printing Industries of America, and Peter Nowack, founder of Print Leadership. They addressed the issues surrounding "Do Not Mail" and how major certification programs (FSC, SFI, etc.) impact the printing industry.

Jim Mikol, executive vice president at Leo Burnett, discussed how marketers are embracing new business models to reach consumers through multiple touchpoints. These include social media outlets such as Facebook and through electronic communications such as e-mail blasts, but also through ink-on-paper communications. "Marketers learned that eyeballs don't buy products; it's finding eyeballs with wallets," said Mikol, in justifying the relevance of print as part of effective multi-channel communications.


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