At Printing Industries of America, the Center for Print Economics and Management wants to work with our members to boost their performance and profitability.
Dr. Ron Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at PIA, has, over the past thirty years, authored numerous reports and articles on economic and business topics and has spoken at conferences all over the United States and the world. His responsibilities at PIA include economic analysis and forecasting, industry research, and international business issues and future studies.
One of the services provided are Financial Performance Assessments (FPA), an easy, user-friendly, and affordable way for PIA members to see how their performance compares to industry profit leaders, which includes a comprehensive written action plan to improve both their performance and their profitability.
Each FPA is customized to the individual company and highlights a number of key performance metrics and key variance metrics (like the company's numbers from the last fiscal year and operational information) to see where that company can make improvements. Even small, manageable fixes can bring a struggling company up to par.
"I think in many cases, managers and print owners are so busy running the company and keeping up with the day-to-day operations that they don't have time to step back and see the bigger picture to make these kinds of comparisons," Davis says.
At the end of this process, the 25-30-page report includes those key performance and variance metrics, graphics, and an action plan with five or six suggestions and recommendations. Three months of follow-up includes a detailed report to management, a web-based presentation to the printer's management team, and ongoing assistance and consultation as needed to help implement the action plan.
"We see this as a service to members more than a revenue generator," says Davis. "We charge a little bit for our time, but this is really a service to help members increase their profitability."
Though the FPAs can be crucial for businesses struggling to make a profit or to perform at a higher level, the information provided also shows where a company is doing well. Even if you are performing well, there is always room for improvement.
"There was one printer that was performing very well, but what their management team really wanted was to prove to their hands-off ownership how well they were doing compared to the industry as a whole," says Davis. "For a very small investment, we put the seal of approval on the management."
Davis is an advocate for our members and helps them in any way possible. "We're part of their team," says Davis. "They should think of us as the people who they work with directly in the plant."