PIA Joins Alliance to Curb Energy Crisis
The power crunch hitting California has been making national headlines of late, but has yet to strike home in many parts of the country. In spite of this, printers across the U.S. are high on the list of industries negatively impacted by rising energy costs. In turn, this has serious repercussions on goods, services and products. With this in mind, Printing Industries of America (PIA), has taken proactive steps in support of finding a solution to the problem. The organization recently joined other trade groups in urging the passage of a national energy policy that increases supplies and protects the environment.According to responses to an ongoing survey of its membership, an overwhelming majority of printers are experiencing increased energy costs and anticipate further increases in the future. In fact, while most respondents cited fuel and electricity costs that had increased between 31 and 50 percent, some reported increases of more than 200 percent. To offset their own cost increases, many printers have begun altering operations and adding energy surcharges to customer service invoices. Additionally, survey respondents also indicated that ensuring sufficient and affordable energy supplies should be a key concern of PIA. Consequently, PIA and its members have joined the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, an organization whose purpose is to push for reform of the domestic energy policy. “Without a concerted and comprehensive effort addressing U.S. energy supply, demand, and environmental considerations, industries and consumers will continue facing wild market fluctuations that will ultimately impact our wallets,” said Harry Duncanson, vice president of Dynacolor Graphics, Incorporated, Miami, FL, and chairman of PIA’s Government Affairs Committee. “We have untapped resources – both intellectual and natural, so that can help us answer questions about our energy situation and come to some sensible solutions.”
The Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth has made the following energy-need projections for the next two decades:
• Coal: 22 percent more
• Renewable energy resources: 26 percent more
• Petroleum: 31 percent more
• Electricity: 45 percent more
• Natural gas: 62 percent more
“External shocks like the recent price increases can have severe negative impacts, especially given the current economic and print market slowdown,” said Ron Davis, PIA’s chief economist.
“Printers are reacting by initiating various energy conservation programs and attempting to pass along the increased cost to customers,” Mr. Davis added.
Industry Leaders Discuss Digital Printing and E-Commerce
Graphic arts industry leaders recently convened at the PIA-sponsored Graphic Media Briefing to discuss their community’s future in the areas of using digital printing and e-commerce to produce printed materials. Hosting the briefing were the Digital Printing Council (DPC) and the E-Commerce Council (ECC), both of which were formed by the PIA to identify how these emerging technologies might be incorporated into the graphic arts industry. Approximately 60 U.S. graphic arts professionals attended the conference. The overwhelming sentiment expressed was that while the printing community has
begun to incorporate digital printing and e-commerce into its operations, it must continue to focus on planning and customer education in order to maximize the potential they contain. In fact, Susan Kelly, managing partner with Raine Consulting, Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL, compared the industry’s incorporation of these technologies to “a freight train going five miles per hour.”
Ms. Kelly added that while digital printing and e-commerce have existed for several years, she believes the industry is just getting past its initial awkwardness and becoming more professionally mature in these areas. “E-commerce is like a series of deep sea earthquakes,” said Ms. Kelly. “We know where and when they’re happening, but we have no idea how large the waves of change will be when they hit the shore.”
In delivering the keynote address, Bill Taylor, California region president of K/P Corporation, San Ramon, CA, focused upon the advancement of his company’s incorporation of both e-commerce and digital printing into its operations. Mr. Taylor declared that the emergence of these technologies is a “revolution as big as Gutenberg’s” invention of the moveable printing press. Additionally, Mr. Taylor also expressed his belief that the industry must address the challenges that lie ahead in these developing areas through careful planning. “Digital printing and e-commerce are not strategies, but components of strategy,” he said.