Editor's Note: ReproMAX President Rick Bosworth answered some questions from IRgA about the future of his organization and the industry in general.
1) First tell me a little about yourself - how long have you been ReproMAX president? What did you do before that?
I have had the pleasure of serving as the President of ReproMAX since 2003. Prior to ReproMAX I was the president of Indox Services with operations in St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver. That career spanned nearly 30-years. Both opportunities have offered differing objectives and challenges and both have been extremely rewarding.
2) What do you feel your biggest accomplishment as ReproMAX president has been? What are the biggest challenges you've faced?
The growth of the ReproMAX Network from 35 to over 150 North American and European markets in an era of downsizing and consolidation is likely ReproMAX’ biggest accomplishment. Much of that growth is attributable to the vision of the ReproMAX Board of Directors in developing a quality value proposition and to the consistent participation by many of the industry’s leading companies in ReproMAX programs. The biggest challenge continues to be developing new and profitable business opportunities for ReproMAX Partners during highly disrupted and rapidly evolving markets.
3) What do you see as the key role of ReproMAX? Has that changed over the years, or has it always played that role?
ReproMAX originated from a focused market approach believing that companies can become more effective, successful and profitable by pooling knowledge and resources – leverage the network to provide competitive advantage. Since 1984 ReproMAX has consistently focused on that original objective to provide competitive advantage and global network to its Partners and their customers through industry leading technology, information sharing and industry education. At ReproMAX industry leading companies will continue to leverage shared knowledge to more effectively address market solutions.
4) How has the ReproMAX membership changed in the past few years - up, down, the same? Are there metropolitan areas that are not represented? What about international areas?
The ReproMAX Network has maintained positive growth in each of the past six years of traditional industry decline. 2013 demonstrated strong growth in the North America and new opportunities in Western Europe. ReproMAX continues to reach out to leading industry service providers in non-represented markets, targeting companies looking to actively evolve their businesses. We have a significant international presence and continue to develop our value proposition for those markets.
5) The reprographics industry has suffered in the past decade - what are your feelings about its future? Are you optimistic, pessimistic? Neutral?
Optimistic. As today’s evolving markets requires our Partners to re-evaluate and reinvent, we see growth and promising upside. Our traditional revenue source has been disrupted creating an uncomfortable position, but ReproMAX Partners are successfully working together to find growth and profitability. There is still a lot of work to do, but we consistently see more positives as we expand markets and services. Leveraging ideas and information between industry leading companies can only accelerate the growth process. It was interesting to hear Sol Magid’s thoughts at a recent conference in NY when he stated “we may need ReproMAX now more than ever before in our 30-year history. The ability to share and leverage knowledge will create new and expanded opportunities.”
6) Do you think the reprographics industry will remain an identifiable group, or will the companies that call themselves reprographics firms eventually align themselves with other industries, like quick printing or sign making?
I’d question whether holding on to past definitions is in our best long-term interest (and I’m still not sure how everyone in our industry, including our customers defines the term “reprographics”?). “Quick printing or sign making” is far too narrow for today’s technical print service providers. I’m hopeful that through the disruption comes a better service industry, a much more diversified industry that both manages information and produces print solutions to a much broader market.