With all the talk, the past several years, about “document management” and the fact that Reprographers have long been offering document management services (even well before documents were digital), one would think that Reprographers would have an interest in being members of AIIM, along with their membership in the IRgA. Every little bit of information can help Reprographers be successful. There is that old saying, something like, “the more you know, the better prepared you will be….”
When I was very young in the reprographics industry, my company (the first reprographics company I was with) became a member of the IRgA. Our first location was in Silver Spring, MD. The HQ’s office of the National Microfilm Association (NMA) was located within walking distance of our store/production center. Since we did not offer “microfilming services,” we were not members of that association. Almost all of the members of the NMA were companies who offered “microfilming services” companies. So, in that sense, the IRgA of 40 years ago, like the NMA of 40 years ago, was populated by members who were “imaging” companies (reprographics services - - - microfilming services). At some point in time, and I do not recall exactly when this happened – I think it was in the early 1980’s – the NMA changed its name to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM.)
That was 40 years ago! Wow, how time flies!
Over time, these two different associations, the IRgA and AIIM, have developed differently; for that matter, lot differently.
Today, many AIIM members are from the AIIM “customer” community. There are probably more members from the “customer” community than there are members from the “imaging services business” community. Basic membership in AIIM is free. Premium membership costs only $135.00 per year. AIIM’s web-site is chock-full of information about the “information and imaging” business, imaging hardware and software, cloud solutions, etc., etc. AIIM’s membership has increased a lot over the past 10 years.
Just to the opposite of how AIIM developed, the IRgA is still pretty much populated by members who are in the reprographics business. Unfortunately, IRgA membership has been in a declining mode the past several years. Perhaps the IRgA should consider opening up membership to people and/or firms who are in the “customer” community?
Here’s some information about AIIM:
About AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management):
For over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. AIIM was founded in 1943 as the National Microfilm Association and later became the Association for Information and Image Management. AIIM is also known as the enterprise content management (ECM) association.
Today, AIIM is international in scope, independent, and implementation-focused. As the industry's intermediary, AIIM represents the entire industry - including users, suppliers, and the channel.
Here’s a link to AIIM’s web-site:
Note: Some 40 years later, AIIM’s Headquarters is still located within walking distance of my first company’s first location.