27 November 2013
NAPL economist says create your own recovery
TORONTO—Andrew Paparozzi wants printers to start looking at the current climate as a chance for innovation, rather than a threat.

"The biggest threat isn't the internet," said Paparozzi, U.S.-based NAPL senior vice president and chief economist, at Graphics Canada on Nov. 22. "The biggest threat is complacency…In times of great uncertainty, our natural instinct is to wait. But there is an opportunity to act, and create our own sense of clarity."

NAPL's Andrew Paparozzi at Graphics Canada 2013 urges printers to make a plan for recovery

Paparozzi stressed the idea of creating a "recovery manifesto," saying printers should look at their weaknesses and strengths, write down a plan for success and share it with employees and clients.

The first step is to look in the mirror and make an honest assessment. Pick any process, and ask, "How do we squeeze even one step out of this?" Paparozzi said to forget about radical overhauls and concentrate instead on making a number of small, incremental adjustments.

Printers should zero in on what's new or special about their capabilities. Paparozzi said to be specific, since overused words have lost their buzz. "'Reliability' is not a competitive advantage. But '98% on-time' is," he said.

Paparozzi recommends picking one client as an example, and thoroughly documenting the value your company has provided.

Next, pick a social media strategy. Printers should blog to establish themselves as experts, making on-site How-tos so their homepages become reliable destinations when clients Google answers to their problems. To help guide content, Paparozzi says to hang out in the same spots as clients, whether Facebook, online forums, or in real life at related trade shows.

Finally, complete the recovery manifesto and send it out. Make it simple and effective, and make sure to act on it. "If it's costly and complex, it doesn't get done," he said. "This is about doing."
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