Wednesday, August 11, 2010

IRgA - relevancy - development of additional new standards

At the last IRgA Convention, one of the officers of the IRgA talked about the "declining membership" situation. Due to industry consolidation (primarily ARC) and the growth of affinity groups (PEiR Group, ReproMAX and RSA), the number of IRgA memberships has been on a downward spiral, for at least the past three or four years.

As I've said in several previous posts, my former companies were IRgA members, and, there is no question in my mind that both of my former companies derived benefits from being IRgA members. (One of my former companies was a member of MiniMAX and ReproCAD and the other one was a member of ReproMAX and The PEiR Group. And, at the same time, we were also IRgA members.)

It's now been three months since the last IRgA Convention, and, a couple of weeks ago, one of my industry friends (who is in a high position with a large reprographics enterprise) posed several questions about the IRgA .... these questions, basically, are restated and summarized by the following bullet points .....

1) If the IRgA had a full-time CEO, would the IRgA be better operated .... like any other business where the CEO is full-time dedicated to the mission of the business?

2) Why are the affinity groups (PG, RM, RSA) succeeding, gaining members, whereas the IRgA's membership is in decline? Is the lack of a full-time IRgA CEO - a person who would be solely focused on driving the goals of the group and thinking about benefits for the members - one of the reasons for that?

3) Would IRgA members benefit from the development of additional, industry-sponsored "standards?" (An example of an industry standard is the "square foot chart" that the IRgA came up with many years ago; in my opinion, any reprographer who adopted that standard derived great benefits.) Could the development of additional new standards include matters like "standards for charging for digital services", "standards for billing seat licenses", and matters similar to those?

The biggest question in my mind is "how does the IRgA remain relevant?" If it cannot remain relevant, then the IRgA will probably not be around several years from now, especially if its membership roll continues to decline.

While I am a proponent of the development of industry-sponsored standards - for all reprographers stand to benefit financially from those - I have no real interest in using my blog-site to lobby IRgA Officers and Board Members to "get with the program" of developing standards; that's something that YOU should be doing, if, of course, you believe that the IRgA should be doing that.

The financial challenge that the IRgA faces can only be solved by two things happening. #1 - consolidators must require their operating companies to be dues-paying members of the IRgA, #2 - affinity groups must require their member companies to be dues-paying members of the IRgA, and #3 - all non-member reprographers should continued to be encouraged to join the IRgA. Without that, there may not be an IRgA several years from now.

No comments:

Post a Comment