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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Negotiating the Curves" at CRA

By Shaun Meany, The PEiR Group

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the Central Reprographics Association’s (CRA) annual convention and trade show in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme of this year’s event: “Negotiating the Curves” focused on helping reprographers predict and plan for the inevitable twists and turns that lie ahead for our industry.

While talking with many of the reprographers in attendance I made note of their assessments of our current market condition and came up with the following observations:

 Sales were down from previous years but not as bad as some have predicted.
 We have seen more acceptance of our digital service offerings.
 Large format solvent printers can offer significant return on investment to reprographers.
 I think we need to get more involved with FM’s.
 Software vendors like: ISqft, Blue Book Bid, Bid Mail and others, continue to intrude on the reprographics market.
 Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a disruptive technology that will change the AEC workflow forever.
 Reprographers need to better understand the intricacies of the design and construction workflow and learn to exploit the opportunities that our technologies and services can offer.
 Success and ROI from new technology requires our sales people to focus on discovering the customer's realized and unrealized needs and offering solutions to those needs.

Opportunities to grow sales are available in every market. It will require a bit more creativity to navigate around these curves but the rewards can be worth it!

It was an interesting show. While I have you, if you're planning to attend either the WRA in Puerto Vallarta (October 2-4) or the ERRA/SRA in Daytona (November 12-14) please drop me a note ( and lets share the experience together.



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