Thursday, March 3, 2011


This post is for “reprographers” only.

I visit a lot of blog-sites and web-sites – related either directly or indirectly to the reprographics business and industry – in order to find news and issues that I think might be of interest to people who visit Reprographics 101. That’s the reason why I visit the blogs of others in the reprographics business and industry. The other day, I noticed a “one sentence” post on Shaun Meany’s blog (Point of View). As most everyone in the reprographics industry knows, Shaun is the President of “The PEiR Group.”

The post that he did simply said: “PEiR (Group) Executive Conference, April 7-8, Orlando – save the date.”

I have no idea how many companies are currently members of The PEiR Group, but, when NGI (my former company, which was sold to ARC in Dec 2007) was a P-G member, there were quite a lot of P-G member companies.

I’ve previously posted several articles on this blog about the industry’s “affinity” groups. (A leader of one of the affinity groups, who is a friend, says he hates that word (affinity), and, I agree with him; it’s probably not the right word to use, even though I’ve just used it. Maybe someone will come up with a better word to refer to the industry’s affinity groups – ReproMAX, RSA, P-G, and GGN. If you do, let me know.)

The “gist” of the articles I’ve previously posted about these groups is that I’ve long been of the opinion, if not a very strong believer, that being a member of the industry’s “groups,” and being a member of the IRgA, and being a member of the industry’s “regional” reprographics associations (Eastern, Central and/or Western) can prove to be very valuable to your company. However, if your sole purpose of being a member of a group is so that you can use your membership as an excuse to go gambling in Vegas or play golf or tennis in Palm Springs and be able to write-off your trip expenses, that, to me, is a ridiculous reason to be a member of a group and a ridiculous reason to attend meetings hosted by a group. If you are truly interested in your company benefitting from its membership in a group, then you have to participate, listen, participate, listen and network. To me, the most valuable part of being a member in a group is the opportunity to network with your peers. Even though I’m a fairly fast typist, it would literally take me an entire month, if not longer, to write an article that would highlight and explain everything I’ve learned from being a member of several industry groups over the many years I was actively involved in the reprographics business. Where I used the word, “valuable”, that is an understatement.

When I think back years and years about the “group” meetings that I was fortunate enough to have been able to attend (or have gotten feedback from one of my associates, when I, myself, was unable to attend a meeting), I learned “a ton” of good information – a ton of actionable information. Even if you only learn one valuable piece of information, that’s good! (Or, as some would say, “worth the price of admission.”)

Even when times were tight, I, or someone else from our company when I could not attend, would attend every meeting held by one of the groups we belonged to. My own personal philosophy about “business” is that “the more you know, the better prepared you will be.” There is no substitute for knowledge.

Anyway, after I saw Shaun’s announcement of the upcoming PEiR Group “Executive” meeting in Orlando, I found myself wondering, “hmmm, times are tight, Shaun may end up talking to himself!” I certainly hope that does not happen. If you are a member of the PEiR Group and are not planning to attend, change your mind, attend. If you are not a member of the PEiR Group, but are thinking about becoming a member, contact Shaun.

My first company, Rowley-Scher Reprographics, was a member of MiniMAX and a founding member of ReproCAD (now ReproMAX.) My second company, NGI, was a member of the PEiR Group and a member of ReproMAX. I would have liked our companies to also have been involved in RSA, but there were territorial conflicts, so that never happened. One cool thing about being a member of the PEiR Group, which all of you know is owned by ARC, is that, if you learn something at a P-G meeting and go home and later use the information you learned at that meeting (whether that information came from a lecture or whether that information came from a peer you networked with at the meeting) to take business away from ARC, well, how about that for a smile! Just so you know, I attended an “FM Sales School” held by the PEiR Group in Las Vegas, a few years ago (it was the year before I retired from active duty), and, within one month after that meeting, I took a big customer away from an ARC division. We “FM’d” an ARC customer! It was a big score for NGI. I’ve never mentioned this before to Shaun or to anyone at ARC. I’m certain that this “revelation” is going to make Shaun laugh. (I know that he occasionally visits my blog to see what I’m up to.)

So, you have every reason to attend the PEiR Group meeting in Orlando next month. And, no good reason not to attend.

Oh by the way, I live about 100 miles away from Orlando, and, if you go to the P-G meeting and have an extra day, I’m always up for lunch or dinner for reprographics industry friends (both old and new) who visit the Tampa Bay Area.

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