March 4, 2021 – Ongoing discussions regarding our partnership with Printing United Alliance
This past year has brought many challenges to both our professional and personal lives. Through it all, we thank you for your continued membership and support of Printing Industry Midwest (PIM.)
We want to keep you apprised of ongoing discussions regarding our partnership with Printing United Alliance (PrUA.) In January 2021, Printing United Alliance (PrUA) president, Ford Bowers, presented the PIM Executive Committee with a plan to alter the structure and operations of how PrUA engages with PIM and all of the North American Affiliates of the former Printing Industries of America (PIA.) While the proposal would significantly alter the working agreement signed by PIM and PrUA in May 2020, PIM and its Board of Directors evaluated the PrUA proposal with the hope that the strategy it outlined would result in a stronger association and industry. Our due diligence revealed quite a different picture.
Prior to the merger of PIA and SGIA, the needs of our members were defined and addressed by PIM, with periodic support from our national partner, PIA. In contrast, the proposal by PrUA seeks to immediately reduce the size and scope of PIM, and cede its management and control to PrUA. To evaluate the impact of adopting the proposal, a survey was conducted of the PIM membership.
The survey revealed an association that is currently well-serving its membership through a variety of PIM-specific programs and services, such as the Loupe magazine, COVID preparedness, Wage + Benefits Survey, Buyers Guide, Job Board, EHS training, Financial Executives Council, and our many other programs and services. This same survey revealed a vast majority (62%) found no value or understanding of PrUA programs or benefits, despite the presence of a significant section devoted to PrUA activities in our bi-weekly e-newsletter and bi-monthly magazine.
PIM services are of course dependent upon a staff charged with their development and delivery. Should PIM agree to the PrUA proposal, revenue to the association would be reduced by 58%. Under the proposal, our ability to maintain regionally focused programs would be significantly limited and the value of PIM could not be maintained. Ford Bowers acknowledged that it will take years to expand PrUA level of services to replace those lost under the revised proposal. It is for this reason that the PIM Board joined with most other North American Affiliates and rejected the PrUA proposal.
What does this mean to you and your company?
There is NO CHANGE to PIM services and benefits or your access to those delivered by PrUA. The PIM board is seeking to participate in a process of developing how a future partnership with PrUA could be more mutually agreeable to all parties. In addition, a cooperative of Print Affiliates is already developing a set of products and services for Affiliate members that would enhance those currently being delivered by PrUA.
It is our belief that as an industry, we are stronger together. We look forward to the continuation of our partnership with PrUA that serves the needs of our membership. Because in the end, PIM is your association and its staff and directors will always put the needs of its members first.
John Barnhart Tom Murphy
President, Barnhart Press President, CARDSource
PIM Chair PIM Chair-Elect