IPMA Brings Members, Experts, and Vendors Together
Showing the best the industry has to offer for in-plants
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The 2022 In-plant Printing and Mailing (IPMA) conference occurred in Buffalo, NY from June 12-16. IPMA is a member conference focusing on the needs of in-plant and mailing managers throughout North America. Over 130 in-plant managers, industry experts representing nearly 100 organizations, and more than 100 vendor participants from 42 companies attended the conference.
The IPMA conference is not a trade show and is not solely focused on technology; much of the content is about managing the operations and creating successful workplaces. The IPMA team packed the five-day schedule with an unbelievable amount of content—covering two keynote presentations, 17 general sessions, 20 breakout sessions, and a robust vendor fair. In addition, IPMA delivered their testing for Certified Graphic Communications Manager (CGCM) and Certified Mail Manager (CMM) certifications; held vendor focus groups; as well as hosted numerous outings, award ceremonies, and dinner events. They also announced the dates and location for next year’s IPMA conference: June 4-8, 2023 at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.
This conference had two keynote addresses with passionate and engaging speakers covering topics surrounding personal interactions:
- Tracy Stock spoke about her book, HOLY COW! How to Create an Amazing Workplace that Steers Passion, Performance, & Prosperity, sharing ideas for how these in-plant managers can improve their workplaces.
- Sarita Maybin discussed her book, Say What You Mean in a Nice Way: Communicating with Kindness and Compassion, which provided numerous thought-provoking and often humorous examples of better ways to communicate with your staff and others.
The massive number of general sessions covered topics ranging from life after COVID to leadership, succession planning, and application trends. Some of the key discussions included:
- Bob Neubauer, editor of In-plant Impressions, noted that the number of in-plants being approached by facilities management companies has dramatically dropped from 39% in 2014 to 17% in their most recent survey.
- Jason Gillam, Director of Business Operations for Blue Valley Schools, shared how he has automated his shop to handle up to 2,200 jobs in a single day. He estimates that 70% of their jobs don’t require any handling until finishing or packing.
- Jeff Monroe, from the paper company Sylvamo, gave an eye-openning perspective on the paper industry. (In short, expect paper availability to be tight for several more months.)
Breakout sessions included segment roundtables for government, mailing, small shop, manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, education, and corporate marketing. There were also panels and sessions focused on improving business performance, managing a blended home/office workforce, postal issues, and how to upgrade workflow software.
In a session I attended, Julio Rosado (Director of the Printing Section of the New York City Police Department) made several recommendations for small operations, which included time management, prioritization, job tracking and automation, delegation, as well as becoming your organization’s print procurement service.
The vendors attending the IPMA conference ranged in specialty from hardware to solutions and services. Some key vendors present were:
- Canon Solutions America & Canon USA had top executives present
- Capstone Technologies LLC discussed fascinating robotics applications for mailing operations
- Crawford Technologies
- eProductivity Software showed their MIS and storefront solutions
- Fujifilm North America Corporation
- Heidelberg USA
- Konica Minolta
- MindFire discussed and demonstrated their campaign management solution
- Pitney Bowes
- Quadient, Inc.
- Ricoh USA had two booths, one of which demonstrated augmented reality using a green screen
- RISO, Inc.
- Rochester Software Associates, Inc. showed WebCRD and QDirect
- Solimar Systems, Inc.
- Xerox Corporation had top executives present and gave FreeFlow demonstrations
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
The IPMA conference is always an informative and entertaining event, and I believe in-plant managers gained valuable insights regarding industry trends, best practices, and new technologies. While I felt that this year’s event was too long and suggest that IPMA shorten future conference events, the amount of peer-to-peer networking—which a report like this simply cannot cover—was exceptional.
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