Y2K--A Common Cause
By coming together as a group, for example, the project has forced the hand of support systems to come to the table with information on their readiness. A presentation by equipment manufacturers took place in November, and more are in the works, including the United States Postal Service (USPS), various utilities and the railroad.
The GCP began late last September and has been gathering momentum ever since. Virgil Horton, a GCA consultant with the Print Media Group, is among those spearheading the project, which boasts more than 30 major printing, publishing and supplier players—a veritable Who's Who including Time, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, Quad/Graphics, Quebecor Printing (USA) and R.R. Donnelley & Sons.
Not surprisingly, these well-known companies have already left their mark on Y2K studies. Members and non-members alike can access the Standard Y2K Readiness Survey from the GCA Website's page covering the Graphics Century Project at www.gca.org/grafcent/gcpover.htm (Adobe Acrobat required). Horton is pleased with the results of the survey; he feels it is important to have a standardized measuring stick for the entire industry. In this manner, cross-referencing or interpretation of other surveys are not required.
"We've been able to set a standard to gather the necessary information," Horton says. "One, the survey helps you understand where you are from a compliance standpoint inside your own operation. Two, once you've filled it out . . . your answers are relative because all of the companies are answering on the same plane."
Thus far, Horton says the GCA's Website has attracted hundreds of hits to download the survey. He feels the survey will be a tremendous help to smaller and mid-sized printers, the two groups targeted as lagging behind in Y2K research and preparedness.
Aside from the workshops, which have included Q&A presentations from equipment manufacturers such as Heidelberg and MAN Roland, another GCP perk is its intranet site. Available to members only, the site is more geared toward the media industry. Browsers can visit the printing section and hyperlink to a given printer's site on Y2K. Search engines help access specific information; discussion groups are included to share common experiences and ask questions; and reports done by various companies are also available.