Blogs

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This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group. If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the ...
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Our team members are the unsung heroes at The World Bank. Weve served behind the scenes and our contribution often goes unmentioned. In support of the institutions mission of ending poverty and sharing prosperity, our function is vital in the transformation of the world. In that sense, the awareness month campaign is a self-driven initiative to look back on our past, to reinstate our position, and to remind our colleagues of our importance. As a first step, the team in Printing & Multimedia division conceptualized what our clients should know about us. As a central theme of the awareness campaign, we want to remind our colleagues that what we do best is ...
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Dave Letterman has been off the air for a few months now. So I feel comfortable stealing his shtick. As managers, our top priority is to keep our folks employed and our parent companies happy. Everything we do falls under those two ideas. So a person looking in our windows might think it is a simple thing to accomplish. As the old coach Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.” Since I am swiping ideas and catch phrases from all corners, I will give you my Top Ten ways to ensure your in-plant closes. #10- Take at least 5 days to respond to customer calls. #9- Print your corporate colors one PMS shade up or down. Change this practice up weekly. ...
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One way or another, many of us have been through some type of business transformation; and in the printing/publishing industry, it is inevitable. You have to reinvent and innovate or you will drift into obscurity. I think for those of us with any longevity in our industry, we have inherent traits that probably go largely unnoticed by us in our day-to-day, but it’s who we are and we don’t give those traits a second thought. A good friend and colleague of mine and a friend of the industry recently used an analogy comparing my absolute single most favorite past time/hobby with how I approach professional challenges. Elisha Kasinskas, Marketing Director ...
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For those of us in leadership roles I think we can all relate to getting caught up in the whirlwind of day-to-day business operations. In the life of an in-plant manager with a wide array of responsibilities and conflicting priorities it seems to be a never ending battle. What I would like to share with you is some insight I have gained from a book and corresponding principles that I have found immensely helpful. The book is by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling; “ The 4 Disciplines of Execution .” All I can say is that after YEARS in management in what I would characterize as a relatively successful run, for the very first time I have ...
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As Print and Mail professionals we all realize our responsibilities sometimes go beyond marks on paper. Those that know me have heard me say that sometime we have to work above our pay grade, you know other duties assigned. 14 years ago when I took over the directorship of Graphic Production here at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools one of the things I noticed was the lack of identity for the department. You know that sense of pride that often goes with teams that play nice together. So I thought I would create a small rewards and recognition program for our department. I wanted to go a little further than “Employees of the Month” and those kinds of ...
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Join IPMA at GRAPH EXPO

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On the Show Floor It is that time of year again! IPMA will be at GRAPH EXPO September 13-16, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Come see us at Booth #4631, in the In-Plant Place Networking Hub . We will be on-hand to show you our newest member benefit, IPMA Exchange, which is an online community that was launched on June 29, 2015 and already has over 275 discussion posts! If you aren’t currently an IPMA member we encourage you to visit us and learn how we are currently helping your print and mail in-plant peers, and pick up a copy of Mike Lincoln’s Case Study that was featured in, John Foley Jr.’s new book, “Business Transformation: A Path ...
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As I look back at my career which began as forced child labor in the mid 60’s, I can’t help but be amazed at all that has transpired. At that time handset type, Linotypes, Vandercook, Chandler and Price and windmills were still in play. Offset press were the process of choice. Shooting film and under developing it so I could opaque the pinholes was a common practice. Hand collating, padding presses, paper cutters (scary for an 8 year old), folders and hall races with press carts were how I spent my youth. More important lessons like how to play cards and keep my mouth shut were hard learned. How working hard got you fed was much easier. So today’s ...
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Post-Conference Blues

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The time after conference is rough. There are hundreds of emails to sort through, no beautiful pool out my window, and no app to use to check in to all my meetings. With 12 months until IPMA 16 in Colorado, it’s a bit of a letdown. But there are some great ways to keep the spirit of the conference alive throughout the year. Here are my top 10. Debrief with your leadership team – pass out copies of your notes, get in discussions about what you learned. Give copies of vendor literature to your production team and let them do some research on the products you saw. Get involved with IPMA ...
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Attendees learned from industry experts, connected with their in-plant peers, and kept the conversation going on the conference app during the 2015 Orlando event. If the four-day IPMA Conference in Orlando, June 14-18, could be summed up in one phrase, it would be: “Everything is awesome!” In the sessions, during breaks, at receptions and other social events, there was a buzz of conversation and positive energy flowing among attendees. More than 130 attended the event, themed, “Splash of Color,” and the in-plant directors and managers enjoyed an opportunity to connect and get to know one another on a more personal level while they shared ...
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So, here’s a question for you to ponder over. When asked how your customer service is, how do you reply? Are you confident that you and your staff have the best customer service? Are you proud that your department knows how to take care of your customers? If you are unsure, then perhaps maybe you should take a moment and evaluate your department’s level of customer service. Do you have a black belt in customer service? Do you have the whole package? As arrogant and narcissistic as this may sound, if you have outstanding customer service, then brag about it. Talk up your department, ego boost your staff and let them know what a ...
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I grew up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reports that over 1000 farms currently operate there utilizing half of the county’s 355,000 total acres. 70% of the land that is not farmed is covered with trees. In my day, we had no malls, no traffic lights, and no parking meters. In fact, we had no indoor plumbing at my house until I was 7 years old. Every student in our elementary school was required to take the hunter safety course and it wasn’t until we reached high school when we learned about a newfangled machine people were calling a “computer.” It may have been the 20 th century everywhere else, but ...
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Networking is consistently ranked as one of the top two benefits for participants that attend conferences. This is why IPMA’s Annual Conference is so important to our members and the industry. I hope you’ll see a difference at this year’s “Splash of Color” Conference in Orlando. I’ve been learning how to help attendees network and take advantage of the face-to-face contact with like-minded professionals, I can’t wait to put these ideas into action in June and see how you, the attendee, use these networking opportunities. Before attending this year’s conference know what you want to accomplish. You can do this by asking yourself some simple questions ...
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Plan for the Worst!

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Have you ever wondered what you’d do if: You could not gain physical access to your building, but the power, computer networks, and physical facilities were all functioning? How would you deal with not having access for 24-48 hours? You could gain access to the building, but the phone/computer networks were down? How would your reaction change if you were told that the network would be down for 72 hours? You could not gain access to the building ...
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When IPMA contacted me about writing a blog, I was like, what the hell is that? I know what a bog is; I know what a bong is; I know what gong is; but a BLOG? Turns out it is just some ramblings from a crazy old so and so. I thought perfect. There are only a few out there that are older and crazier than me, so why not throw it out there. My first topic will revolve around staff. They are the best part of our jobs and the worst part of our jobs. Thanks for reading along. Back again. They said it has to be 400 words. I am rethinking this assignment. 400 freaking words, that’s longer than my dissertation. I’m going to pound back another cup of ...
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Important Deadlines

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We have some very important deadline approaching! Please review the deadline below and make some time to ensure you IPMA Awards The deadline for entries is April 15, 2015 . Winners will be recognized at the 2015 IPMA's Awards Banquet during IPMA's "Splash of Color" Conference on June 15th in Orlando. Outstanding Contributor Award Print Center Award Mail Center Award Innovation Award Organizational Impact Award In-House Promotional Excellence Award Click here to learn about the awards and view the entry forms. IPMA Brahney Scholarship The James M. Brahney Scholarship serves ...
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