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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Viva Vegas! Viva PEiR!

Shaun's Corner
by Shaun Meany

We're back. Last week's annual PEiR Group Executive Conference at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas was informative and fun - but it is nice to be home, isn't it?

Great turnout by the membership and it was great to be able to sit and talk with you all. Face-to-face is always better than the telephone, in my opinion, and it was a pleasure to sit in a comfortable environment and talk about this industry of ours.

We're still sifting through your feedback but initial responses to our two days together are overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for your kind words.

The theme of this year’s conference and our underlying theme for the PEiR Group in 2009 remains “Managing for Success.” We believe that in times like these it is critical for reprographic owners and their senior managers to focus on honing their management skills to a razor-like sharpness unseen at any other time in our business’s history.

Many of the presentations shared at the executive conference emphasized strategies for controlling costs and increasing sales. If your company’s sales are declining (like some) it is essential that you manage your expenses to assure your profitability. These decisions need to be made quickly but cautiously.

For those of you who could not join us in Las Vegas we will be posting all of the presentations on the PEiR intranet. In addition, we recorded many of the sessions on video and plan to post these sessions on the intranet as well; so you can see and hear what was discussed.

I've outlined a short summary of each of the sessions so you'll know what to expect.

Session #1: Bid Communications. Our resident expert, David Swider, shared with the group the impact that technology is having on the General Contractor’s bid communications workflow.

Session #2: Out of the Box Ideas for Generating New Revenue Opportunities. This session involved sharing real-life applications our members are using to generate new revenues. Some of the ideas were centered on using PlanWell for Color and non-AEC purposes. Other ideas included: marketing document management outside of traditional AEC market, document destruction/shredding services and out-sourcing (off-set, production color and graphic services).

Session #3: Revenue Opportunities with Remote Printing. This session addressed positioning reprographers as a network of digital document distribution companies able to send or receive documents for same-day distribution. A new remote print technology and service will be released to PEiR members at the upcoming IRgA conference in May 2009.

Session #4: Promoting High Margin Sales. This session focused on ways to generate more sales and profits by selling digital services and facilities management.

Session #5: Strategies for Right Sizing Your Business. What things you can do today to control costs, manage your business environment, incentivize your sales people and still keep focus on the future of your business.

Session #5 & 6: Opportunities in Wide Format Color. In these two sessions we heard vendor partners Tekgraf (Hp and Canon Distributor) and Océ discuss the future revenue opportunities for large format color. Miguel Gonzales told the members about Tekgraf's commitment to educating and supplying a full range of inject technologies. Océ presented a business case (ROI) on production color opportunities for their new Color Wave 600 printers.

Session #7: Navigating the Storm in HR (Liabilities, Opportunities and Threats). This session was presented by Laurie Williams the Director of Human Resources of ARC. Laurie discussed ways to avoid law suits when implementing labor force reductions. Strategies for keeping your trained and valuable human resources while at the same time reducing costs. New laws are in the works that could threaten your company's future.

Session #8: ARC Technology Pipeline. ARC has spent over $100 Million on technology over the last six years. This year alone ARC is budgeting to spend more than $6 million on new technologies. Kumar Wiratunga, Director of Technology, shared with the group the technology pipeline planned for the next 12 months.

Session 9: Green Initiatives and Sustainability in Reprographics. This session was an open forum on why sustainability is important to everyone. Why reprographers, their customers and industry manufacturers are "going green"? We also addressed what PEiR has planned to assist our members in communicating the power behind sustainability to clients.

That should keep you busy for a while. Check out this site for more pictures, video and commentary from people attending this year's conference. You're bound to recognize old friends!

With thanks,

Shaun Meany

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