(Alexandria, Va.-September 28, 2015)-"Marketing more effectively to existing customers and prospects, developing a new generation of sales reps adept at consultative/solutions/team selling, and diversifying built on understanding and responding to customer wants, needs, and expectations," are among the "Must-Dos" for industry companies that want to succeed in "an unprecedented period of change and discontinuity."

            That was the message delivered by Ken Garner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, to members of the National Association of Advertising Distributors (NAAD) at NAAD's semi-annual meeting in Alexandria, Va., on Sept. 25.

            In a session entitled "An Industry Perspective-a Discussion, Not a Presentation," Garner asked attendees to consider the evolution of the graphic communications and mailing services industries in recent years. "Service provider distinctions are disappearing, industry shrinkage continues-we haven't yet reached a balance between supply and demand-and postal complexity increases," he said.

            "Despite these challenges, there are still many opportunities for those who can identify them, execute new strategies, transform, and diversify wisely to meet customers' new demands," Garner continued. He cautioned that companies must continue to "improve efficiencies and control costs as vigorously as we did during the Great Recession," create an effective process of planning, executing, and measuring, and develop "a culture of adaptability" that can respond to-and even anticipate-change.

            Also on his list of "Must-Dos" was the need to add new levels of expertise to our staffs, especially in non-traditional areas. "A new workforce is required, with specific skills and competencies to move our industry forward," said Garner. "The good news is that a new generation is here and we need them. The Millennials are coming, both in our workforce and as our customers. With our industry's leadership poised to be replaced, we're in the midst of a demographic transition."

            Questioning his audience as to its optimism or pessimism regarding the industry's future, Garner opined that "our industry is not dyingit is being transformed into something stronger. The value of print and mail has been validated," he said, adding, "We alone control our future. But we must think and act differently."

            Epicomm was created last year through the merger of three longstanding industry associations: The Association of Marketing Service Providers (formerly the Mailing & Fulfillment Services Association), the National Association for Printing Leadership, and the National Association of Quick Printers. Founded in 1947, NAAD is an association of direct mail service providers whose members compile the National Resident Database (NRD). NAAD comprises direct mail companies who serve various facets of the direct mail industry.

            Both NAAD and Epicomm are active participants in the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) and support industry efforts such as Coalition for a 21st Century and Mail Moves America to represent mailers' interests in fast-changing economically challenging times. Epicomm's Postal Points newsletter and webinars help its members stay abreast of the latest developments related to mailing, fulfillment, and the U.S. Postal Service.

            For an expanded assessment of the graphic communications industry today, see the Epicomm State of the Industry Report, 13th edition: "The Adaptability Advantage." Sponsored by Canon, the report is one of the industry's signature assessments of current business conditions and prospects for the year ahead.

            Introduced at this month's GRAPH EXPO 15 in Chicago, the new report includes data on services offered by company type, commercial printing sales over the last half-year, sales and pre-tax profitability expectations for full-year 2015, and the outlook for 2016. For the first time, it covers companies whose primary services include mailing, fulfillment, and marketing, in addition to general commercial and quick printing establishments.

            Eligible Epicomm members receive a free printed copy of the full report as a benefit of membership. Non-members may purchase the report for $565. For more information, contact Tyler Keeney at tkeeney@epicomm.org or (201) 523-6316.




About Epicomm:

Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, is a not-for-profit business management association representing companies in the $80+ billion graphic communications industry in North America. It provides industry advocacy, management training, and a comprehensive slate of business-building solutions for companies in an evolving market environment. It was created in 2014 through the merger of the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) and the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL)/National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP). Its founding associations have some 200 years of combined experience serving graphic communications companies of every size and specialty. Epicomm headquarters is at 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 320, Alexandria, Va., 22314. It also maintains offices at One Meadowlands Plaza, Suite 1511, East Rutherford, N.J., 07073. For more information, visit www.epicomm.org or call (800) 333-6272 (Va.) or (800) 642-6275 (N.J.).