By Ed Avis, Managing Director, APDSP
Association of Printing and Data Solutions Professionals – what a mouthful that is! It’s been almost two months since we officially changed the name of the organization, and I thought it would be interesting to give you a report from the front lines.
First, let me say this: Yes, I know the name is long and unwieldy. Nobody knows this better than I do, since I typically have to say it on the phone several times a day. More important than its length is its unfamiliarity – I still have to say “formerly IRgA” afterwards, and probably will have to do that for the next year at least.
But that’s OK. I was there when the name was born a few months ago at one of our board meetings. It emerged after hours of discussion on that day, which was the culmination of months of searching. I think we all knew then that it wasn’t elegant, and it wasn’t going to be an easy sell, but it was the best choice we had. And it says a lot – it touches on the two big businesses of our members (yes, like it or not, printing is still a big business) and it includes the word “professional,” which our members always strive to be.
What was left out of the name was equally important. We’re only marginally an international organization, and even in IRgA’s most powerful days the international membership was slim. We are, honestly, a North American association. And the word “reprographics.” Oh, what a long history we’ve had with that word! I remember when I first became involved in the industry in 1992, explaining what “reprographics” means was a constant struggle. When I started Modern Reprographics magazine in 1993, our very first issue contained an article that defined the term. So dropping that part of our name wasn’t hard – now we don’t have to explain it.
Here are two things I’ve discovered about the name in these past 60 days:
First, the acronym is very handy. It’s easy to say APDSP, especially if you put the emphasis on the D. It kind of rolls off the tongue. I can’t wait until our members are familiar enough with it that I can just say “Hi, this is Ed Avis from APDSP…” when I call someone.
Second, other than a few complaints, nobody seems too concerned about what our name is. Maybe there are a bunch of members who secretly miss the old name, but they’re diplomatically keeping it to themselves (so far at least). Instead, what people really seem more interested in are the new benefits.
For example, our first members-only webinar, on single-pass printers, which was held on Tuesday, attracted 41 participants. That’s great, in my opinion! I think they got some really good info that will help them make smart purchasing decisions. I’ll post the recording and transcript of the webinar on the members-only site as soon as it’s available. And stay tuned for the next one, now being planned.
Of course, the more tangible benefits are also getting attention. I spoke today with Brandon Daugherty of member firm Integrity One Technologies and he told me he has greatly benefited from the wholesale vinyl service being offered to members by printtrader.com. Read his short testimonial here: http://www.apdsp.org/blogs/technology-news/case-study-integrity-one-profits-from-apdsp-vinyl-benefit/
On the other hand, it looks like a good percentage of members have not yet logged into the members-only section of the website. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t care, or because they lost the log-in email, or what. But I re-sent the invitation to log-in yesterday, so hopefully those members who haven’t checked out the benefits yet will do so. If you still need log-in info and can’t figure out how to get it from the website, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s my brief report on the first two months of our new name. Now I want to hear what you think -- please give me your impressions of the “new” APDSP so far. Use the comment box below so others can see what you’re thinking.