Thursday, January 6, 2011

ARC's PEiR Group President, Shaun Meany, offers advice for 2011

One of my favorite blogs to read (and one that I’m a “follower” of) is the “Point of View” blog authored by Shaun Meany. Shaun is President of the PEiR Group [the “trade association for independent reprographers and reprographics vendors”; the trade association that’s owned by American Reprographics Co (ARC)]

Shaun’s latest blog post is titled, “PEiR to Power Sales with New 2011 Theme” and, while I am going to copy some of the comments he makes in his post into this article about his post, I encourage you to read the full article he wrote - - you can find his latest article at this Internet address:

In the middle of Shaun’s article, he says this, “Reprographers must realize that technology (digital files and the internet) has disrupted the reprographics industry; new digital workflows are being implemented throughout the project life-cycle and as a result drastically reducing the need for prints. Reprographers who think that print volumes will return, as in past economic recoveries, will be in for a real shock.”

I am sure that Shaun is aware that it is highly likely, inasmuch as ARC is a publicly-traded company, that financial analysts and institutional investors [(who report on or who are investors (or potential investors) in ARC stock] do, from time to time, visit ARC-owned (or operated) web-sites for information about ARC and that they also visit other web-sites (such as my blog, “Reprographics 101”) that publish information (or opinions) about the reprographics business and industry and that, when he makes a comment (or, in the plural, comments) that bring into question the recovery of revenues from “prints on paper” when the A/E/C industry finally exhibits its (assured) bounce-back, that some analysts and some investors might react negatively to that sort of comment. Most people who are not directly involved in the A/E/C reprographics industry do, I think, expect to see a robust recovery in ARC’s traditional sales revenues (revenues from printing plans and specs) when the A/E/C industry exhibits its bounce-back (recovery) and expect ARC’s sales to recover in proportion to the A/E/C industry bounce-back. If, in foresight, Shaun’s expressed-opinion proves, later on, to be accurate, then ARC may well be hard-pressed to recover the some $250 million decline in sales it has experienced since the end of 2007. As a long-time fan of the A/E/C reprographics industry, I certainly hope that ARC, and, for that matter, all of my friends who still own companies in the reprographics industry will experience a very robust recovery and that the recovery is in direct proportion to the recovery the A/E/C Industry experiences. (But, as to the latter, I do have my doubts, as I’ve expressed in earlier posts.)

Further on in his article, Shaun does raise two other questions, and, in my opinion, these are the two “most important questions” that reprographers face, going forward (whoever they are and wherever they are; this is certainly not limited to U.S. reprographers, but includes reprographers world-wide):

”So what should a reprographer do? Reprographers need to have a sales culture that empowers their employees to sell other stuff besides printing. What stuff and how? We will get to this in later posts!”

I, for one, am very much looking forward to Shaun’s future posts, which, hopefully, will shed light on what reprographers should do!

If you are in the A/E/C reprographics business and are interested in ways to improve your chances for recovery and want to improve your opportunities to generate revenues from new services or from new, non-traditional, customers, then perhaps it is time for you to join the PEiR Group, so that you can learn, first-hand at PEiR Group meetings, stuff that you might not otherwise learn.

(And, no, I am not being paid to advertise membership in the PEiR Group!)

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