NAPIM's Annual Convention Focuses on 'Sustainable Business Strategies in a Petro-Centric World'

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 02.02.09

Like so many other industries, the printing ink industry has been buffeted by the slumping economy and
rising raw material costs, primarily driven by higher crude oil costs. While oil costs have decreased, raw material prices aren’t following suit.

Meanwhile, ink manufacturers are also being asked to focus on sustainability and green chemistries, and to develop more environmentally friendly products.

With all of these forces in play, the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) has developed an all-encompassing program focusing on these trends for its 93rd Annual Convention, which will be head March 22-25 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, FL.

The theme, Sustainable Business Strategies in a Petro- Centric World,” developed by program chair Rich Bradley of Lubrizol Advanced Materials, will provide insight into the business implications of this evolving landscape.

“The last several years have seen a fundamental change in the landscape for the world’s chemical manufacturers,” said NAPIM president Michael Gettis, general manager of Colorcon No-Tox Products. “Public awareness and concern over climate change, combined with rapidly destabilized supply and the price uncertainty of petroleum demand a business strategy that provides environmental sustainability, flexibility and foresight.”

“Management skills are tested in a difficult business environment and the program Rich has developed provides an opportunity to look at our industry as part of a broader specialty chemical segment intent on providing value to its customers,” added Jim Coleman, NAPIM executive director.

Among the highlights, on Monday, March 23, Dr. Jay Lehr, a 13-time ironman triathlete, will provide a light-hearted and optimistic view of the environment and its relationship to the family and home at the Opening Breakfast. The annual meeting and State of the Industry Report, which will be presented by Alan Kalmikoff of Keim-Additec Surface USA and Bill Miller, Flint Group, will conclude the morning session.

Dr. Lehr will open the Tuesday morning business session with a realistic viewpoint on chemicals, energy and environmental concerns. Bob Treadway will complete the morning session with his approach to accommodating the uncertainty associated with planning strategies. Forecasting based on scenarios that embrace the uncertainty of developments in a global industrial world will be discussed.

“‘Best Guess’ forecasting is not good enough in today’s demanding environment,” Mr. Gettis said.

Wednesday’s session will feature three speakers who will continue the theme of developing successful business strategies that generate lasting value. Bruce Uhlman from BASF will share an environmental analysis model that his company uses to assess the impact of products and methods. Dave Mattson of Lubrizol will deal with the dynamics of the petrochemical supply chain and its impact on raw materials. Closing the morning will be Eric Henry, president of TS Design, who will share a printer’s perspective on sustainability.

Aside from the meetings, highlights will include a variety of outside trips, golf and tennis tournaments, the Suppliers’ Party as well as the black-tie Ault Award Reception and Banquet. This year, NAPIM has switched the Ault Award dinner to the final evening, March 25, moving the Suppliers’ Party to Tuesday, March 24.

All in all, Mr. Gettis is excited about the focus of the convention.

“We are looking forward to bringing the importance of sustainability and green chemistry to our attendees,” Mr. Gettis said. “Sustainability really covers a lot of areas, from materials and technology to supply chain economics and managing costs, which is so important in today’s world.”

For more information on the upcoming NAPIM Convention, contact NAPIM at (732) 855-1525, by e-mail at napim@napim.org or on the web at www.napim.org.