Scattershooting – February 2013

No one was really surprised with the recent USPS announcement of going to five day delivery this coming August.  At this point in time, no one really knows what the affect will be to the print and direct mail industry, but check out this recent article in Forbes.

I continue to hear of various print producers struggling to find skilled employees — especially in bindery and customer service.  This may very well become one of the industry’s major challenges over the next decade.  Recruiting and training will play a much more important role than in the past.  On another level, keeping skilled individuals from leaving an industry they see is dying, or no longer challenging, is being faced by more and more companies.  Read this interesting blog, which was also posted on Print Production Professionals on LinkedIn.

OK.  I’ll admit it.  I didn’t turn on the tube to watch the State of the Union speech, I had more important things to do.  Before my Democratic friends “get Medieval on my . . .,” I haven’t watched one in 15 years.  I’d rather read it, or read about it.  It’s much more interesting that way.  From what I have read so far, or listened on the radio, as expected President Obama will work to move the ball more left of center.  Whether it’s done through Congress or Executive Order.  My concern is if he tries to move too fast or too aggressively that there will be economic harm to our country.  We are at point in time like we’ve never seen before and where serious economic harm could occur, which would last decades.  I may not like some of the ideas — but I accept that there are different perspectives and that there are no absolute rights.  Let’s just move a bit slower.

I was recently asked to be a judge at two print competitions — Printing Industries of the Carolinas (PICA) and Printing Industries of Southern California (PIASC).  Now I won’t get into who were the better printers (it would be tacky for me to say they’re found in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas), but what was thrilling was seeing the continuing role that print plays in communication.  No, we are not going to go the way of the Dodo Bird.  Yes, change is occurring — but not the fundamental role of print to communicate. It’s tactile, colorful, dimensional, and in many instances provides a much better ROI than other media.  It was also warming to see print providers entering the competition so they can be recognized for their company’s (employee’s) ability to transform raw materials into  outstanding communication pieces.

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