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Monday, July 13, 2009

Strange Twist - Managed Print Services is Redefined Again: Printing Industry of America

In an unpredictable and amusing way, HP's announcement today regarding the Printing Payback Guarantee, triggered negative reaction from the PIA.

You will remember the PIA is the Printing Industries of America.

They bill themselves as "...the world's largest graphic arts trade association..." and today chastised HP for leaving it's core business to start printing greeting cards.

Hang on, this is going to be fun...

From the PIA Press release...

"...It is with disappointment, therefore, that Printing Industries of America learned of HP's latest offering -- managed print services, which was advertised with great fanfare in this morning's Wall Street Journal. "We are always concerned when a major vendor in our industry deviates from its core offerings to venture into managing print solutions, which the private sector has competitively provided for hundreds of years," notes Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America..."

Go ahead, read it again...

HP is deviating from "its core offerings to venture into managing print solutions..."?


LOL! The PIA are the folks printing your wedding invitations, posters, handbooks,etc.

What is your definition of Managed Print Services?

I am pretty sure it is not online customer job tickets, soft proofing of files on line, job status, retrieval of jobs and files, instant notification of job arrivals and proof approvals, and a product catalog.

Wait. It might not now be, but maybe it SHOULD be someday---?

I was in absolute shock - stunned actually.

I didn't understand when murmurings appeared on Twitter about "PIA's negative reaction to HP's announcement" - who the heck is PIA?

Did Ben kill a fly during the press conference?

How could anyone respond negatively to a simple guarantee?

Alias, a PR was issued, and the third ugly head of ignorance around the definition of Managed Print Services spewed forth.

I doubt very much that my comment will be posted on their board - I have been accused of sometimes being "blunt".

The PR is here. Go now, enjoy. My comment, that will never see the light of day, or smell the sweet scent of ink, is below:


There is no way an organization that has been around for "100 years" can be so stupid...right?

"HP...Compromising their position..."

LOL! Bufoons!

I would urge all PIA members to re-evaluate their membership if this is the kind of direction the PIA leadership hands down.

Stunning...absolutely stunning...

You could have at least Googled "Managed Print Services" - even on dial-up the correct information could have saved you this embarrassment.

Too much, do you think?


  1. Pretty silly statements by the PIA.

    Printers in my patch always get scared when they find out I am selling a colour machine to one of their clients.

    You can guarantee that the outsourcing question comes up all the time.

    They know that they will lose business to a lower cost per print solution...after all, their success is based on marking up their own costs to profit.

    Printers need value added service or that same service upfront without being added (which is even better).

    The fact that they openly admit this fear is hilarious, I would use this against them.

    I would say; "look at this article by the PIA, they are afriad of this solution because it will rip away their profits and you will get a lower cost of operation in the process"

    I mean....its just dumb.
    I sent the HP announcement to the sales team, it really is a big announcement, I get it.
    Haven't heard anything back yet though, wonder if this is available in Canada...

    Another great find and post.
    Have a good day Greg!

  2. Doug -

    I don't run into the P4P folks much.

    I do not think they have anything to fear from HP on this front - I think there is enough fear to go around on all other fronts - their industry is constricting.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Again with the mis-identification of MPS.

    Over at, What They Think,, the PIA reaction is being supported and corrected.

    This my comment:

    I can not believe what I am reading - this flavor of "Managed Print Services" has very little, if anything to do with in-house production and graphic arts.

    You who think it does are missing the point in the biggest way possible.

    When I first read the PIA reaction I was dumbfounded. But to see some of the comments regarding the reaction leaves me even more shocked.

    This type of MPS is connected to EDM packages, Remote monitoring tools and business analysis and oh so much more.

    We who practice the discipline know how OFFICE DOCUMENTATION works through an organization, and the economic and cultural impact of changing the existing business work flows - electronic submission and ticket generation is only a part of our knowledge base.

    On the other hand, few of us would know what pantone number "coke red" is and we never, ever "loop" a document.

    It is true, as you state, "...The corporate responsibility for implementing the new MPS concept is gravitating from the Purchasing Department to the IT Department..."

    But your follow up is incorrect, "...This is often a mistake as few IT folks are heavy into “interpersonal corporate cultural change.” IT is typically into standardization and do-it-my-way..." - and very far from the truth.

    If it is connected to the network, it is IT's responsibility. This mantra should have been adhered to as soon as digital copiers hit the street.

    IT departments and CIO's are embracing the new "challenge" and changing the landscaped of the old typical copier purchasing model.

    A true MPS Engagement supports "in plants" peripherally - but in-plants cannot by their very nature support a corporate MPS Engagement.

    Big picture here is simple - in-plant, and print for pay, have nothing to fear from MPS.


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