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Interview With

Marian Stefani

Jo Golding talks to Marian Stefani, chief executive officer of the Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA)

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Marian Stefani is the chief executive officer of the IPIA and previously founded software company Red Tie

Promoting the value of print

Can you tell me about the history of the IPIA and its key objectives?

The IPIA was formed 26 years ago to support and connect the suppliers of business forms and computer stationery with the print managers and resellers who sold directly to businesses. This was in the day when every company had NCR invoices and continuous stationery, so the market was huge. Things have changed a lot now but we still try and keep the traditional values of good business practice and connecting buyers and suppliers.

Things have changed a lot now but we still try and keep the traditional values of good business practice and connecting buyers and suppliers

What is your own history in the print industry?

I started a photo gift company in the mid-1990s, which then invested in some of the first digital presses and we became a commercial printer. We developed our own software as we grew the business and then launched it as a W2P SaaS solution—Red Tie—it became very popular and it was fantastic to be at the cutting-edge as the internet changed everything.

What do you think are some of the key challenges facing the print industry currently?

Capacity increasing, demand decreasing, and the need to ‘sell’ rather than just wait for orders to arrive.

You held your Everything’s Possible in Print (EPIP) event in July. How did it go and what was the response like from attendees?

It was really good, better than the first one I think. The speakers were great and we had lots of brands and marketeers in the audience. We need to do more to encourage people to use more print and I think EPIP did a great job, the audience loved it and were really engaged.

You will have your own stand at The Print Show in October. What do you hope to achieve at the show?

Awareness of what the Association does, and of course some new members. We have some great new initiatives and we want the whole industry to support us as we promote the value of print.

The IPIA held a successful gala awards dinner at The Print Show 2016, where many industry names were in attendance

What does the future hold for the IPIA?

We are about to launch our accreditation scheme, which will be a standard for trade manufacturing that helps our members stand out as industry suppliers. It will connect the supply chain with our print managers also part of the scheme. It is really exciting and something we are very keen to develop as we want to raise the standard of trade services. It will benefit end buyers of print too as when they look for a print management company, they should check they have our accreditation.

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