2016 Year End Newsletter
Gosh, it’s hard to believe, but so true as it’s just over a year since I took over as Executive Director. It’s been a year of many and varied accomplishments. Some visible and some not so obvious. The achievements which are not visible are also not so exciting to talk about as they involved transferring the administrative records, active correspondence files and bookkeeping system from Don Breher and setting it all up in my home office. This took place last December and early in the New Year. In gratitude, I really appreciated the excellent cooperative effort of Don Breher and his dauntless work over the years in keeping us together as an association. Thank you Don!
So now to the exciting stuff. Before I get too far into it, I want to remind myself as to who WE are. We are an association of printers and suppliers working for what we believe would be for the common good of the printing industry in Saskatchewan. By working together we try to accomplish those things we could NOT accomplish individually as a print company on our own. So let us reflect on just a few of those “team” accomplishments as we get ready to turn the calendar to a New Year.
- Copy Contract with Print Procurement
There are currently around 18 Saskatchewan print companies who have a copy contract with Print Procurement, Communications Services, Executive Council of the Government of Saskatchewan. After some 4 years of working with a contract with no price adjustments for inflation and the increased cost of doing business, a meeting was arranged with Print Procurement and a new contract was negotiated. It went into effect last October. In the new contract, as one example, there was a significant increase of the price for Black Copying on Paper from .008c per impression to .012c per impression for orders over 5,000. A .008c rate was certainly taking away from the bottom line! We did not get all we wanted, but this was a noteworthy step forward. The time and dedication of Blair Baron, Lisa Pluhowy and Daryl Schaffer in making this happen is greatly appreciated.
- Supply Chain Management, Central Services
In Early September, thanks to Daryl Shaffer, I became aware that Supply Chain Management of Central Services was seeking proposals to get an outside Service Provider to manage their entire Photocopier and Network Print Programs. A quick read of the Request for Comments on a RFP was alarming. What communication proposal they could accept would have either a huge negative or a positive impact on those printers involved in supplying services to the Government of Saskatchewan. With this in mind, a meeting was arranged for September 21 with Darren Sproat, who is a Business Analyst in the Commercial Services Division of Central Services and Kathleen Stelter, Director of Supply Chain Management. Supply Chain Management is a division of the Ministry of Central Services. In the meeting, the following points were made:
- If the Government of Sask (GoS) gets a proposal on reducing the number of printing units and farming out the copy services to the Copy Contract printers, then it will be an awesome bonus.
- If the GoS gets a proposal on getting rid of old equipment and investing in a central print service, then this will be disastrous. In other words, this scenario would be reinventing the Queen’s Printer.
- They may get proposals on ways and means to eliminate paper as much as possible, and instead, focus on the distribution and storing of information digitally in “the cloud”. This could have serious ramifications for all printers.
- They may get proposals that include all of the above or a mix.
The Request for Proposals was to go on early October, but so far there has been no action on this from Supply Chain Management. There is an understanding with them to keep SPIA in the loop if any action is taken. Hopefully, the GoS will take no action on this.
We are now Saskatchewan Printing Industries Association. This was talked about for years and now it is a reality. What is significant in this is that it was the collective decision of the entire membership who submitted names and logos and then voted on the new name and the new logo. Thank you all for your invaluable input!
- Sask Polytechnic
It is very important to maintain and build upon our relationship with Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Graphic Communication Program. Last December, thanks to the leadership of Daryl Shaffer, a luncheon with the students and staff was sponsored by our association at the Regina campus. This was a successful public relations effort to promote our association and the Saskatchewan print industry to future workers in our industry. Currently a meeting is being set up with key people from their print program to discuss areas of mutual concern.
- Printing Industries Association Scholarship Trust Fund (PIASTF)
In the words of Jeff Ekstein, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of PIASTF, it is important for the print industry to make every effort possible to attract the brightest and most talented students to the print industry. In a teleconference call with Jeff in November, a number of positive options were discussed on how to attract the best. Lisa Pluhowy agreed to lead the charge on this and so watch for more information and action on this in 2017.
- Mailer — Choose Print
A mailer is in the works to promote print over digital, to promote the SPIA and its members and to address misconceptions/myths about printing. It is in the final steps of preparation and all final production details should be worked out at our January 19th provincial meeting. The anticipated mailing is late January to early February. It will be interesting to see the results after this mailer nudges the some 11,000 businesses in Saskatoon and Regina to include print in their marketing mix. Yes, in a digital world, print does stand out! And as our entire membership will be listed on the mailer, it will promote us as preferred printers and suppliers to do business with in Saskatchewan. Thanks to the enthusiastic and supportive work of Kent Pizzey and Daryl Breckner in moving this significant and exciting project forward.
- And So Much More…
We are moving forward on quite a number of other initiatives. They include a review of our bylaws, monitoring the Multi-Material Stewardship Western waste printed paper program, launching a membership drive, undertaking a “Go to Guide” and starting up an education program that would fit the diverse needs of our current membership. As we are affiliated with the British Columbia Printing and Imaging Association (rebranded as “Print Forward”) and Printing Industries of America, ways and means are being looked into how we could take better advantage of our membership. Lastly, we have a great website and the hope is to build on the successful launch of this important source of information. Yes, we are on the move! As they say “onwards and upwards”!
At this time of year it’s important to stop and reflect on our accomplishments. And personally I want to reinforce how sincerely I appreciate our membership base and the leadership of Past President Darren Schaeffer and current President Kent Pizzey. Without all your support and efforts, I could not do the work that is necessary to ensure the printing industry is represented by a recognized standard setting organization in Saskatchewan. Now is an excellent time to think back over the current year and determine what you’d like to do differently. It’s quite satisfying to wipe the slate clean at year end, and then start all over with full knowledge of how we can plan to make things better. On behalf of the SPIA, please accept my heartfelt best wishes for a safe, happy holiday season with your family and friends, and the best for 2017.